News

Our activities and the Swiss Triple Impact program

Read more about our activities and the launch of our Swiss Triple Impact program.

In 2015, the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were explicitly designed to engage all stakeholders (policy makers, civil society and private companies) in addressing the most pressing challenges facing our planet, such as the climate crisis and wealth inequalities. In a globalised world and as an industrialised country, Switzerland is not immune to these challenges and their consequences on society, the environment and the economy, both within and outside its borders. Indeed, as Ambassador Thomas Gass supported at the annual conference of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation on the 21rst June, “with our economic strength, we have a responsibility to reduce this social and ecological footprint internally to prevent the rest of the world from paying the development bill”.

It is in this context that the Swiss branch of the NGO B Lab was founded in 2014 by Jonathan Normand, Executive Director, to develop these four pillars on a national scale:

1. B Impact Assessment (BIA) & B Corp Certification Management:
The free and confidential BIA analysis tool allows companies to assess their societal, environmental and economic impact. From a score of 80 points out of 200, a company obtains the B Corp. certification. B Lab Suisse supports them in this process. Currently, 25 Swiss companies from different sectors and sizes are certified by B Corp.
2. B Academy – B Leaders:
B Lab supports university teaching and research on impact measurement methods, and helps to train the leaders of tomorrow.
3. Legal innovations:
B Lab connects the actors of the legal world to develop legal innovations such as the legal form of benefit corporation currently in force in three countries and 34 States in the United States.
4. Engagement programs:
B Lab activates companies in a region to encourage them to assess and improve their social and environmental performance through the BIA. It offers workshops, conferences, and coaching to ensure that participants get the most out of the program.

Best for Geneva is B Lab Switzerland’s pilot engagement program launched in 2018. It has successfully engaged more than 340 public and private organizations to measure their impacts and improve their societal and environmental practices. The continuation of this program is being launched nationally this year and is called the Swiss Triple Impact. Its aim is to encourage all Swiss companies to measure their social and environmental performance. Indeed, this makes it possible to take stock of the operational practices of Swiss companies relating to the environment, local authorities, employees and customers and, in a second step, to identify practices to be improved. This program will ideally be initiated in partnership with the federal government, civil society and private companies. Together this will form a powerful force to meet Switzerland’s Agenda 2030 of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Today, rethinking the way the economy works while offering opportunities to solve the challenges of the millennium is a matter of course. It is commonly accepted that an inclusive economy creates more resilient and viable businesses under these new conditions, in order to achieve shared and sustainable prosperity.

.

B Lab is a non-profit organization serving a global movement of people who use business as a force for the public interest. Its vision is that all companies will compete to be the best for the world and, as a result, society will enjoy more shared and sustainable prosperity.

Thanks to a global network established in 60 countries, B Lab is ideally positioned to accelerate this cultural change.

 

 

The program Best for Geneva was launched in 2018 by B Lab Switzerland, with the support of the Republic and the Canton of Geneva, as well as 30 partners of the Geneva area. For a year, this regional engagement program has invited companies to participate in meetings, workshops and conferences to provide them with the necessary tools to develop, or to pursue, a sustainable development approach.

Today, we are pleased to share the results of this pilot program in this short version of our report (full version available in French, just head to the French page of the website). How many companies got involved in the program? How do they evolve regarding their governance and workers, the community they work with and the environment? What are the key learnings we collectively learned from this program? The answers are right here, in our report. Good reading!

Best for Geneva report

Swiss B Corps to use capital markets for good

The B Corp community is composed of businesses that are committed and invested in achieving the SDGs. Pioneers such as Globalance Bank, Lombard Odier Group, Raiffeisen (Genève-Rhône region), ONE CREATION Cooperative, CONINCO Explorers in finance and Conser contribute to financing the SDGs.

This shows that the social and environmental measures taken by such businesses can indeed be strongly aligned with success. All together, they are working on promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, reducing inequalities and defining internal policies to tackle climate change. Their values and practices highlight a shared vision of the future, and reflect the SDGs’ contributive approach and philosophy.

By becoming B Corporations, these companies reinforce their credibility towards the world. In fact, certified B Corps not only consider the notion of the “greater-good” in their values and mission, but in their actions too. The B Corp certification is rigorous and multi-sectoral. It confirms how seriously involved and reliable this cluster of businesses is.

Globalance Bank has been a “Best for the World” Honoree for a few years now, being particularly proactive with investment criteria and promoting public benefit through their products and services.

Lombard Odier Group and Raiffeisen (Genève-Rhône region) scored high in their B Impact Assessment (BIA) regarding how they engaged with their community and manage their investments. Conser, a pioneer in the systematic approach of ESG issues within the finance industry as well as CONINCO Explorers in finance have also proven their involvement, as they were awarded “Best for the World”  for their impact driven business model. Finally, just last year, ONE CREATION, an investment cooperative was awarded “Best for the World” in the field of governance.

A major challenge in financing the 2030 Agenda will be attracting and directing public and private investments to areas that support the achievement of the SDGs.  Financing for sustainable development, guided by the SDGs, including SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals), and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda will require action by a diverse set of actors. Governments are to foster enabling environments for financing and investment; private sector is to engage in long-term investments; and champions of innovation are to continue developing new solutions for financing the SDGs.  More information about financing for sustainable development can be found here.

Open Letter to Governments of the G20 Nations

Open Letter to Governments of the G20 Nations

“Business urge G20 leaders to lead change to a global impact economy”.

Today, more than ten years since the global financial meltdown, a  group of business leaders, purpose-driven entrepreneurs and impact investors are coming together to call on the G20 countries to help build an economic system that serves people and planet.

Opening of registration for the program Best for Geneva 2018

Best For Geneva was announced on November 22nd 2017 at the event GE=Ci² organized by the Department of Security and Economy (DSE). This ambitious program is the first of its kind in Europe and has been developed and brought to you by B Lab (Switzerland), the Swiss chapter of the internationally renowned nonprofit organization B Lab.

Best for Geneva is a transversal program enjoying the support of the State of Geneva and co-created with over thirty further partners of the canton’s economic fabric, including academic stakeholders, businesses, business support organizations, autonomous entities of public law and umbrella organizations. (Please find the list here.)

The program represents a challenge open to all businesses based in Geneva, irrespective of size, industry, and sector, which are interested in developing and/or improving their social and environmental practices. The participation in Best for Geneva is entirely free of charge and provides participating companies with holistic support, its main objective being to develop a sustainability strategy directly integrated into economic activities. The need to act for future generations is widely acknowledged, and this program offers a unique opportunity to collectively install business practices that make a difference.

Together with its network of partners, Best for the Geneva helps to educate, equip and celebrate all of the canton’s businesses wishing to be part of an inclusive economic system that incorporates sustainable growth, while preserving the environment. The program is designed to leverage a sustainable creation and promotion of high-quality jobs and closer ties between businesses and the local community.

Measuring the impact of business practices is today’s economic asset guaranteeing strong public recognition, whichever company size. Best for Geneva suggests a wide range of customized operational practices, which can be implemented in the short-term, as well as pragmatic recommendations improving business models in the mid-to long-term. This is a direct response to the Agenda 2030 with regards to the involvement of the private sector on a national level in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as defined by the United Nations.

Best for Geneva 2018 will take place over the 12 coming months and is based on the following elements, which are all free of charge:

  • Assessment of the participating companies’ impact through an online tool consisting in 60 questions;
  • Thirty workshops and trainings, aiming at improving business practices as well as at creating forums for discussion. These events are co-created and animated by actors composing the local economic fabric;
  • Four inspiring events designed as a platform to share and enhance experiences of economic actors in the field of sustainable development, thereby facilitating exchanges of views on the opportunities and of expertise present in the canton, and encouraging other businesses to take part in the program;
  • Celebration of participating companies linked with the presentation of results of Best for Geneva 2018.

With over 167 companies already pre-registered for the program, Best for Geneva is off to a promising start. The program still has a few surprises in store. These will be revealed during the first event, which will take place on March 13th 2018. Please find more information on the website: www.bestforgeneva.ch

Press Contact :
Jonathan Normand, Program Leader & Executif Director B Lab (Switzerland)
022 510 26 80 | 079 174 54 14 | jnormand@blab-switzerland.ch

BCorp gathering in Zurich – 17th October 2017 0

Froriep is pleased to invite you to a presentation on:

“The B Corp Certification”

We will welcome Jonathan Normand, Executive Director of B Lab (Switzerland) who will present the B Corp certification. Julie Wynne, partner of Froriep and Board member of B Lab (Switzerland), will also provide you some information on the legal requirements for Swiss companies willing to apply for the certification.

The B Corp certification is a certification for for-profit companies which meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 2’260 Certified B Corps from 51 countries and over 130 industries. A growing number of multinational companies are interested in engaging with the B Corp movement; Danone and Unilever are already pursuing the status. B Lab launched its activities in Switzerland in September 2014 and B Lab (Switzerland) was incorporated during the Summer of 2017. There are currently 20 Swiss corporations certified as B Corps, which include Globalance Bank, Loyco, Heidi.com, Abhati and Impact Hub Geneva, and 60 that are in the process.

The value of meeting the legal requirement for B Corp certification is that it imprints sustainability into the DNA of the company as it grows, brings in outside capital, or plans succession, ensuring that their mission can better survive new management, new investors, or new ownership.

The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

DETAILS:

Your participation is free of charge but we would appreciate your registration by email to Julie Wynne until Friday, 13 October 2017.