Cylad Consulting: 70% of Swiss companies working on ESG initiatives

06 April 2023 2 min. read

The incorporation of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) targets into a company’s fundamental strategy has become increasingly widespread in recent years. In Switzerland, seven out of ten companies surveyed have already begun ESG initiatives, according to a survey by Cylad Consulting.

The push for ESG implementation is a significant shift in transforming the notion of performance and revolutionising operational procedures. With sustainability at the top of many agendas, strong ESG factors can indicate to stakeholders that a company has more potential for growth.

International management consulting firm Cylad Consulting recently carried out a survey that analyzed the adoption of ESG measures in 76 Swiss companies in the industrial and services industries. The survey found that 70% of companies have already adopted ESG initiatives – on different scales and with differing levels of intensity.

ESG initiatives foreseen to be launched within the next two years

Over the course of the next two years, the ESG strategies of Swiss companies are forecast to prioritize the environmental impact of their products and external social issues above other issues. The companies surveyed listed these two areas as higher priority than governance, for example, which a majority of those surveyed said was lower priority.

Most ESG initiatives originate from top management, according to the survey. CEOs are responsible for ESG criteria 67% of the time, with the next major initiators of sustainability reforms being the board of directors, at 35%.

It is not just in Switzerland that top leadership understands the importance of environmental and social responsibility. Three quarters of CEOs in the United Kingdom put ESG at the same level of importance as profits, according to a study released earlier this year.

Responsible for ESG criteria

Though a clear majority of Swiss companies are working to implement ESG initiatives, a majority of companies at the same time acknowledge that more needs to be done. The survey showed 58% of companies were not completely satisfied with the environmental impact of their businesses.

Amidst the immense push for more sustainability in business, there has been some concern over ‘greenwashing’, or the dishonest use of language associated with sustainability for products or services that may not actually be green. The European Commission recently proposed a new directive aimed at penalizing the practice and setting common rules for EU companies.