The Swiss Federal Council has just released the national report on the realization of the Social Development Goals (SDGs) 2018: “The realization of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development”.
The analysis highlights the Swiss dedication to the essentials of the UN-Sustainability Agenda 2030 – constructive cooperation between the State, businesses and the civil society.
A common framework for a multi-level cooperation has been created with the UN-Sustainability Agenda 2030.The recently published national report of the Swiss Federal Council suggests an already functioning cooperation in most areas between State, businesses and the civil society in Switzerland. The report also underlines Swiss interest for a sustainable and future-compliant world. Switzerland does not need to worry about an international comparison, on the contrary, it occupies a lead position in a variety of fields, such as environmental protection, social cohesion, quality of life and sustainable economy.
Anchoring of the SDGs in Swiss politics
National political efforts should now be directed towards extension of this already existing collaboration in order to guarantee added value for society and businesses. Therefore, the Agenda 2030 should be perceived as an orientation framework and not as a regulatory bodice. Accordingly, a clear institutional consolidation and an integration of the SDGs in the ordinary political process is imperative. Instead of multiple parallel actions of individual departments, a clear institutional anchoring of the SDGs is necessary. For example, the legislature plan should be aligned with the SDGs, rather than promoting a parallel sustainability planning. This would lead to a perception of the SDGs as a global orientation framework instead of a regulatory corset. Otherwise Switzerland will not exploit its full potential and waste important resources on parallel actions.
The line between over-regulation and self-responsibility is extremely thin. Therefore, both partners must contribute their share to a functioning realization of the Agenda 2030, the State by providing a maximum of liberty in the realization of the SDGs and the businesses by taking responsibility.
We ask for concrete strategies and realizations rather than legal analysis, because global goals cannot be achieved without the help of the private sector and without entrepreneurial initiatives.
Globalization and market access
The 8thSDG Goal (SDG 8), which aims at human work and economic growth, supports the idea that economy and sustainability are not contradictory, the UN-Sustainability Goals being clearly also of economic interest. Decreasing poverty and increasing legal certainty lead to growing markets, which lead to prosperity and peace through trade and investment.
Engaging with the World Trade Organization (WTO), Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and by advocating market access for developing countries, Switzerland already contributes to the SDG 8.
Businesses and self-responsibility
The number of Swiss companies integrating the SDGs in their core business is increasing steadily. Nevertheless, the Agenda 2030 must be more widely promoted in Swiss economy, to emphasize the diverse business opportunities and to stimulate an efficient reporting on the companies’ performances.
Venue: Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd, Mythenquai 50-60, 8022 Zurich
On behalf of our Chairman Thomas Wellauer, we are pleased to invite you to our Annual Assembly 2018.
On this occasion, we will discuss the possible introduction of a “Collective Redress System” in Switzerland. Our guest of honour, Prof. Christopher Hodges, has varied experience in this field and will give us his view on the latest developments worldwide as well as the opportunities and threats of such procedures. A panel discussion will follow with Swiss personalities specialised in this complex domain.
Our assembly is open to representatives of members of ICC Switzerland and delegates in general. Please feel free to forward this invitation to colleagues. Non-members are also welcome to participate. Registration is compulsory.
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.
ICC Switzerland strives to stimulate discussion and raise awareness on topics of current business interest. Our Chairman's Lunch took place at Restaurant «Belvoirpark», Zurich, on Tuesday 13 March 2018.
A substantial tax reform and the decision not to ratify the Trans-Pacific-Pact TPP as well as to leave the Paris Climate Agreement are landmark decisions in the first year of the Trump administration. What is the appreciation by US Business? What are the perspectives ahead of the USmid-term elections in November 2018? Which role will the US assume in the near future in the global economic framework? Is there room for a renewal of negotiations on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and the US?
These are some questions which have been addressed at the Chairman’s Lunch. Peter Robinson, President and CEO of USCIB, has shared his thoughts to introduce the discussion.
The USCIB is the US Council of International Business. It is the affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD and the International Organization of Employers. It works to forge world business positions in support of U.S. corporate views on the key international policy issues.
To stimulate and facilitate the exchange with International Organisations and the respective Diplomatic Representations in Geneva, ICC Switzerland continues its Geneva Business Dialogue with a series of high-ranking roundtables. The second of such discussions was on the topic of innovation with Francis Gurry, Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO, as lead speaker.
HAVE WE REACHED «PEAK» GLOBALISATION?
Geneva, 17 October 2017
To stimulate and facilitate the exchange with International Organisations and the respective Diplomatic Representations in Geneva, ICC Switzerland continues its Geneva Business Dialogue with a series of high-ranking roundtables. The first of such discussions was on the future of globalisation with Prof. Carlos Braga as lead speaker.
The talk analysed what the recent trends in international trade, foreign direct investment, and technological innovation mean for the world economy. In particular, the presentation addressed to what extent the observed slow-down in some globalisation indicators (e.g., slow growth of international trade) can be explained by cyclical factors, or by changes in trade policies, or by geopolitical shocks (and economic uncertainty), or by structural developments such as the increased maturity of global value chains.
Panel Discussion with participation from the audience