Responsible Business debate could cause ripple effects globally

A decision by the Swiss parliament this week on an initiative to hold companies accountable for their impacts on human rights and the environment could send a message on how far governments are willing to go. Set for Thursday in the House of Representatives, the debate will centre on a counter proposal to the Responsible Business Initiative. If adopted, it will put Switzerland at the forefront of a rapidly growing trend to embed corporate responsibility into national laws. The initiative has already been the subject of heated debate. Originally rejected by the Federal Council (executive body), a counter proposal has kept alive core tenets of the popular initiative, which was put forward in 2016 by the Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice, a group of more than 80 civil society organizations. If approved by the House, it will move to the Senate for a vote. If both chambers agree to adopt the counter proposal, it’s likely the initiative will be withdrawn. The aim of both the ...

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