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Thematic Event: The Responsible Business Initiative (Konzernverantwortungsinitiative) – A Gamechanger For Sustainable Development, or Not?

November 10, 18:00 - 21:30


This event will happen as a face to face event and we will strictly follow our Covid-19 Schutzkonzept.

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On November 29th, 2020, the Responsible Business Initiative (Volksinitiative “Für verantwortungsvolle Unternehmen – zum Schutz von Mensch und Umwelt” or “Konzernverantwortungsinitiative”) will come to a vote in Switzerland. This popular initiative, first introduced on October 10th, 2016, aims to legally oblige international corporations headquartered in Switzerland to a mandatory set of rules when it comes to the enforcement of human rights and environmental protection in their activities abroad. The new due diligence system would make Swiss companies liable for damage caused abroad by companies under their control.

The Swiss government has rejected the initiative and published an indirect counter-proposal, which will enter into force if the initiative gets rejected. The counter-proposal contains no new liability rules, but does contain reporting obligations for companies when it comes to conflict minerals and child labour.

In light of the ongoing and sometimes polarising public debate surrounding the initiative, it is more necessary than ever to provide a neutral platform to facilitate the dialogue between opponents and proponents of the initiative. As a politically independent organization, GreenBuzz Zurich provides this platform and invites everyone to come to this event – regardless of their stance.

Join us for this Thematic Event to understand more about the upcoming vote and discuss its role for sustainable development and its impact on Swiss businesses. As we are a community of business professionals with the aim to make sustainability the new normal in business, the main focus of this event will be to outline and discuss the effects of the initiative on Swiss-based companies.

We will talk about questions, such as:

– How does the initiative relate to sustainable development?

– In what ways would the initiative impact Swiss-based companies?

– What are the differences between the initiative and the Swiss government’s counter-proposal?

Event Programme

Moderator: Simon Sudbury – British Swiss Chamber of Commerce

18:00 – 18:30 Registration

18:30 – 18:45 Welcome

18:45 – 19:35 Speaker Inputs

Samuel Schweizer –CEO, Ernst Schweizer AG

Regula Meng, Senior Manager Children’s Rights and Business, UNICEF Schweiz und Liechtenstein

– Isabelle Schluep – Head of Sustainable Impact, Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Zurich

Other speakers to be announced.

19:35 – 20:00 Q&A

20:00 – 20:10 Wrap up

20:10 – 21:30 Apero / Buzzing

Employees of our corporate partners can gain free tickets for this event. Please check here if your employer is a member of GreenBuzz and use your corporate discount code to register.

Due to the Covid-19, we will follow distancing guidance and protection measures. For more information about our protection measures, see our Covid-19 Schutzkonzept.

Discounted tickets for GreenBuzz members - Learn more!


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