CSR for Specific Sectors

Certain sectors face particular challenges when it comes to CSR. Sector-specific CSR tools are useful for helping enterprises exercise responsible business conduct in connection with specific sectors and products. In addition, enterprises operating in areas where the government takes little or no regulatory responsibility at all face major challenges. The federal government initiates and supports sector-specific tools.

Raw Materials Sector

The Background report on commodities published by the Swiss Federal Council in 2013 offered recommendations concerning possible risks affecting human rights, environmental and social standards, corruption and an enterprise’s reputation. The Federal Council supports the following tools and initiatives in particular:

Agricultural Sector

Transparent and fair land use systems that promote access to land and other natural resources, especially for poorer communities, are particularly important in rural areas in developing countries. At the same time, responsible investment in agriculture and food systems is needed to secure food supply around the world. By exercising due diligence for their value chain, enterprises avoid having any adverse effects on society and the environment. Among others, the following tools are useful for implementing these issues:

Financial Sector

Due to the many different types of investment and complex business models in the financial sector, there are many risks for potential adverse effects on society and the environment. The following tools and initiatives serve to reduce these risks:

  • OECD Responsible Business Conduct in the Financial Sector: The OECD provides the financial sector (including institutional investors) with tools for implementing the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
  • Thun Group: As part of this initiative, universal banks operating at an international level have prepared a discussion paper for implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
  • Swiss Sustainable Finance: Swiss Sustainable Finance serves to position Switzerland on the global market for sustainable finance and as a platform for the surrounding dialogue.
  • UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System: This initiative serves to collect best practice examples and experience from different countries and define strategies for finance systems to take a better approach to sustainable development requirements.

Security Sector

Countries and enterprises often commission private military and security companies to protect their safety in armed conflicts and areas where the rule of law is under threat. The Montreux Document provides an overview of the international legal obligations of private military and security companies deployed in armed conflicts. It also offers good advice on methods countries can use to meet their international legal obligations. By signing the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers, enterprises undertake to adhere to human rights and international humanitarian law in areas where the rule of law is under threat. Good practices when working with public security forces and private security providers can be found in the toolkit "Adressing Security and Human Rights Challenges in Complex Environments".

Garment and Footwear Sector

The garment and footwear sector is one of the biggest consumer goods sectors in the world. It poses potential risks relating to adverse effects on society and the environment arising from the direct operations of an enterprise or its value chain. The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector serves to implement the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, in particular in terms of due diligence concerning human rights and the environment in the value chain. The guidance aims to help enterprises identify and reduce potential risks and to report on them. With a self-test, a company or a sustainability initiative can check whether the recommendations of the guide are being implemented.

Sustainable Textiles Switzerland 2030 is a multi-stakeholder program with the mission to contribute significantly to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Swiss textile and clothing sector along the entire value chain.

Tourism Sector

The Confederation supports various initiatives to promote sustainable tourism as part of its Tourism Policy.

The sustainability programme Swisstainable is open to all companies and organisations in Swiss tourism. Participating organisations receive the Swisstainable signet. The programme is divided into three levels to take into account the different requirements and commitments of the businesses. The programme divides existing certifications (e.g. EarthCheck) and proofs of sustainability into different levels. This does not create a new certification, but provides orientation. Swisstainable is part of the Competence Centre for Sustainability of the Swiss Tourism Federation.

Last modification 05.06.2023

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