CSR: the Federal Council’s expectations of companies

The Federal Council’s position paper and action plan inform companies about the Federal Council’s expectations and defines the Swiss Confederation’s role regarding corporate social responsibility.

  • The position and action plan adopted by the Federal Council in 2015 provide an overview of the Swiss Confederation’s current and future CSR-related activities. The Swiss Confederation plays an important role in the development of framework conditions and standards, particularly in multilateral forums such as the OECD, the International Labor Organization, and the United Nations.

  • CSR assumes compliance with laws (for example, employment laws or environmental protection laws) and social partnerships. Society’s expectations, which may go beyond legal obligations, are also to be considered. The Federal Council expects companies to take responsibility for all activities they perform in Switzerland or abroad in accordance with internationally recognized CSR standards and guidelines. They are urged to encourage their commercial partners, suppliers and sub-contractors to comply with the CSR principles.

  • In addition, the Swiss Confederation educates and supports companies during the transition to CSR. It thus informs, encourages dialog with company stakeholders (suppliers, partners), incorporates these aspects into public/private partnerships and leads by example by adopting responsible behavior in its activities. It therefore supports the “Sustainability Compass” platform (only in German), which advises Swiss SMEs and the public sector in choosing and applying environmental and social criteria during acquisitions. It also funds the Swiss network of the United Nations Global Compact as a platform for dialog on CSR issues and for the dissemination of good practices relating to the ten principles of the Global Compact.


On the subject

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises 

These Guidelines represent the most comprehensive multilateral code of conduct for ensuring responsible business conduct. The OECD Member States developed them in collaboration with companies, trade union organizations and NGOs. They are directed toward all companies that operate on an international scale as well as SMEs. This code of conduct, which is not legally binding, supplements the regulations in force in the States concerned and must be applied wherever the companies operate. 

The signatory States have committed to promoting them in terms of international law. They encourage the implementation of the principles particularly through National Contact Points (NCP). Any suspected breaches of the OECD guidelines can be reported to the NCPs, which offer a platform for dialog or a mediation procedure and are available to answer any questions. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) hosts its secretariat.

Last modification 21.08.2018

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