Zurich – The Swiss Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CCRS) misses innovative approaches to implementation in the debate on the regulation of greenwashing. With esg2go, CCRS itself is making a proposal.
The Swiss government is planning regulations in the financial industry to curb greenwashing, although critics say implementation in practice is not getting enough attention. According to current statements by the Federal Department of Finance, a principles-based regulation is to be developed by the summer of 2024. In a statement, Philipp Aerni, director of the Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CCRS), says: “Regulation alone does nothing if there are no innovative solutions for implementation. Sustainability performance must become measurable and comparable, and assessment must be independent of consultation and verification.” In addition, it must be taken into account that innovative SMEs can be part of the solution in terms of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. CCRS has developed the esg2go rating tool with partners in academia, civil society, and business. Since 2022, it has allowed SMEs to measure their sustainability performance thanks to a calibrated benchmarking system and to compare it within the respective company size class and industry category.
Once an SME has entered its environmental, social and governance figures on esg2go, it receives a rating report that can be transcoded into a sustainability report that follows an established standard. For example, partially automated reporting in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or a climate report based on an integrated CO2 calculator in accordance with the rules of the Science Based Targets Initiative (SbTI) are possible. This has resulted in the greatest possible acceptance of esg2go as a sustainability credential in public and private tenders and supplier monitoring, it says.
For SMEs, he said, esg2go provides guidance on where they specifically stand and how they can cost-effectively improve in key areas over time. According to CCRS, the data entered and the rating belong to the respective SME, whereby CCRS is thus allowed to conduct sustainability research on a strictly anonymous level. As an associated institute of the Fribourg School of Economics (HEG-FR) and the operating arm of the Sustainability Center Foundation in Zurich, CCRS conducts interdisciplinary research on the role of the private sector in sustainable development.
In the meantime, almost a thousand Swiss companies already have an esg2go license. Industry solutions such as those in the hotel and graphic arts industries are under development. In addition, esg2go is supported at CCRS by major partners such as UBS and Zurich Insurance. ce/yvh