ZHAW, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz and Verband für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften have published a new research paper on behalf of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and Development and Cooperation (DEZA) on the importance and value of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) guiding principles for multinational businesses in Switzerland.
The research found OECD guiding principles to have less importance compared to other Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) standards, mostly because of missing promotion activities. However, this does not mean, that businesses are not actively participating in the realization of CSR. On the contrary, it has been pointed out, that 93% of the questioned companies try to get involved in environmental protection and approving working conditions. Around 35% even take specific action.
The CSR standards serve mostly as a source of inspiration and an orientation for a more concrete action.
Reports regarding the use of international standards of the 500 most high-selling Swiss companies as well as ten internationally active SMEs have been analyzed. Furthermore, multinational businesses based in Switzerland were asked to fill out a survey on the importance and value of the OECD guiding principles in comparison to other standards of corporate social responsibility. And lastly, interviews with delegates of selected businesses were conducted.
All in all, Swiss businesses do see potential for a stronger reinforcement of the standards and they admit to the benefits of it.
Importance and value of the OECD guiding principles for multinational businesses in Switzerland