Swiss Olympic: New sustainable procurement strategy respects living wages

Swiss Olympic developed a new sustainable procurement strategy (together with my University Institute), which it now tests for six months. I would regard this policy as “political CSR”. Swiss Olympic does not produce garments but rather buys stuff for its sport campaigns etc., thus the new strategy defines rules for the products being purchased, which is actually more similar to public procurement than to CSR. Doing this, the strategy looks for the most advanced standards.

For instance, the Swiss national olympic committee in future plans to purchase most of its clothes from companies that are member in an MSI and who have signed a living wage policy. Most of the cotton clothes purchased must be organic. While NGOs have usually been criticizing national olympic committees for not sufficiently respecting workers’ rights, Swiss NGOs very much praised the new sustainability strategy in a public hearing for being very advanced regarding its standards, transparency and stakeholder participation.

The policy is now in a test phase; time will now show, whether the quite ridgid policy works in practice, which depends on there being companies, who fulfill the standards required by Swiss Olympic, which is a particular challenge regarding the living wages.

On April, 14th, there will be a OEBU-apero in Berne at which the new policy will be presented. If anyone has questions about the strategy, you can contact me.



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