Title: Insights into the CSR approach of Switzerland and CSR practices of swiss companies
Authors : Hetze, Katharina
Winistörfer, Herbert
Published in : Corporate social responsibility in Europe
Pages : 153
Pages to: 174
Editors of the parent work: Idowu, Samuel O.
Schmidpeter, René
Fifka, Matthias S.
Publisher / Ed. Institution : Springer
Issue Date: 2015
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Series : CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance
Type of review: Editorial review
Language : English
Subjects : CSR; Corporate social responsibility; Corporate social responsibility activity; Global reporting initiative; Corporate sustainability; Corporate social responsibility practice
Subject (DDC) : 658.4: Executive Management
Abstract: Switzerland can be said to have a long tradition of corporate social responsibility which dates back to industrialization in the nineteenth Century and the introduction of the Federal Factory Law on working conditions in 1877. Environmental legislation, on the other hand, only started to be enacted in the 1950s. On this basis, the concept of CSR as it is practiced today—predominantly referred to as ‘sustainability’—became established after the year 2000. The Swiss economy is based on the concept of a liberal economic system. This results in a policy of a minimalist state establishing the necessary framework—effective environmental legislation and protective social and labor laws—for the economy itself to follow. The state thus plays a minor role in regulating CSR, which is seen as business-driven. Compared to other European countries, the Swiss have fewer statutory requirements for CSR activities (e.g. reporting). However, the government promotes moderate CSR by providing guidelines and incentives for appropriate behavior (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs [SECO], 2009a). In addition, Switzerland’s economy is seen as highly globalized with a strong export orientation. Hence, most Swiss companies operate in an international context where they depend on, and at the same time profit from, globalized supply chains. According to the Swiss Corporate Sustainability Survey 2012 (Berger et al. (Swiss Corporate Sustainability Survey 2012. Nachhaltigkeit in Schweizer Unternehmen. ZHAW School of Management and Law, 2012)), Swiss companies are well aware of the importance of CSR and actively engage in CSR activities (Schaltegger et al. (International corporate sustainability barometer. A comparative analysis of 11 countries. CSM, Leuphana University Lüneburg, 2012)), although they may be reluctant to discuss them publicly. There seems to be a difference between large companies and SMEs in their commitment to CSR and their approach to CSR practices due to the availability of human and financial resources. Major CSR issues for Swiss companies include energy efficiency and the reduction of CO2 emissions (environmental), employee health, gender equality and human rights in the supply chain (social) as well as tax evasion and excessive executives’ salaries (governance).
Departement: School of Management and Law
Organisational Unit: Center for Corporate Responsibility (CCR)
Publication type: Book Part
DOI : 10.1007/978-3-319-13566-3_9
ISBN: 978-3-319-13565-6
978-3-319-13566-3
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/11178
Appears in Collections:Publikationen School of Management and Law

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