CSR – the Swiss government takes it to the next level

Swiss Plan of Action for CSR -(2015-2019) The Swiss Federal Council has just adopted a document which defines their position with regards to the corporate social responsibility concerning Swiss business (CSR).

It is clear from this document that the Swiss government expects their economic actors to assume their responsibilities towards society. The government wants to reinforce the positioning of Swiss enterprises in terms not only of their competitiveness but also with regards to the role they play in society. Being responsible with regards to sustainable development and helping resolve social challenges is expected by the government according to this action plan. Continue reading

Good for Business, Good for the Community – The Irish Vision for CSR and the Economy

The Irish National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2014-2016  is an extremely important step for the Irish business community both locally and globally according to the Irish Government. With this plan, they wish to ensure that Ireland “be recognized as a modern, fair, socially inclusive and equal society supported by a productive and prosperous economy” and they feel that “this objective can be supported by embedding CSR more widely in organisations.”

Ireland wishes to be “a Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable business practices through the adoption and implementation of best practices in CSR in enterprises and organisations.“ Continue reading

Sustainable Finance in Switzerland

When I was living and working on my PhD in Scotland, I was pleased to know that I lived in one of the world’s hubs of Socially Responsible Investments [1] (SRI). At the time (early 2000s), the institutional investors (pension or life assurance companies) were key players and as you all know Edinburgh is the northern home of pension houses. Companies such as Standard Life, Scottish Widows, Baillie Gifford all had some form of SRI fund in their portfolios to keep their ethical investors happy. These included churches, university superannuation funds [2] and charitable trusts. These SRI funds generally were “ethical funds”, that is to say they used exclusion criteria. They excluded “sin stocks” such as tobacco, alcohol, gambling, nuclear energy, or weapons manufacturers from their portfolios. Continue reading