Survey | Sustainability: Where do Swiss SMEs stand?

Mazars and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) have investigated how Swiss SMEs are implementing the trend towards more transparency in sustainability. Do the companies have a clear sustainability strategy, is this communicated externally and is this done according to a standard or set of rules?

Swiss SMEs consider sustainability issues important, but only a few have clear strategies or report on them. Only about 18% of the companies questioned report on sustainability. Around 26% of the companies are currently preparing a sustainability report, while around 56% are not currently planning any sustainability reporting. Almost all companies surveyed assume that sustainability reporting will gain in importance in the future.

Download the study sustainably (available in German)

  • 18

    % produce a sustainability report
  • 26

    % are currently working on the preparation of a sustainability report
  • 56

    % are currently not planning any sustainability reporting

The methodology of this study is based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative surveys. 500 companies in Switzerland were surveyed. In addition, ten interviews were conducted with experts in the field.  

  • 18% of the companies surveyed already produce a sustainability report on an annual basis, the majority of which are larger companies.
  • 70% of the companies that prepare a sustainability report predominantly apply the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.
  • 26% of the companies surveyed that have not yet prepared a sustainability report plan to do so for the first time within the next three years.
  • At 56%, the majority of the companies surveyed state that they do not currently produce a sustainability report.
  • The main reasons given for not producing a sustainability report are the lack of requirements on the part of the stakeholders and the lack of human resources.
  • The companies see the lack of or insufficient know-how, as well as the difficult availability of data material, as the greatest challenges in the implementation of sustainability reporting.