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

10th November 2020, 18:00 - 20:15

Due to Covid, this event will happen as an interactive virtual event. We look forward to you joining via our interactive live zoom call, in which we will have a moderated Q&A session and discussion groups with the speakers. The event will also be available to stream after the event on our Youtube channel.


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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.

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 – 18:10 Welcome

18:10 – 18:20 Introduction to the Responsible Business Initiative and Introduction by Moderator

18:20 – 19:10 Speaker Inputs

Samuel Schweizer – CEO, Ernst Schweizer AG

Silvan Wildhaber – CEO Filtex Ltd.

– Sibylle Baumgartner – Director & Co-Founder, focusright ltd.

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

Manuel Rotzinger – Public Affairs Leader, IKEA Switzerland

19:15 – 20:10 Q&A and breakout groups for discussion

20:10 – 20:15 Wrap up


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.

Discounted tickets for GreenBuzz members - Learn more!