Corporate Sustainability and Reporting for Competitive Business - CSRCB Phase II

Phase II of the 'Corporate Sustainability and Reporting for Competitive Business' Programme (CSRCB) aims at promoting the integration of SMEs into global value chains by improving their sustainability reporting and performance. The programme is implemented by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and targets six developing countries.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Africa
Sustainable trade
01.09.2016 - 31.08.2020
CHF 5'539'000
Background The globalization of supply chains provides SMEs in developing countries with vast opportunities to access new markets and to contribute to sustainable growth. However, these companies often struggle to meet the increasingly stringent global demands for sustainable business conduct. Growing numbers of companies and multinational enterprises request sustainability information from their suppliers. Being able to respond to these request has thus become a critical competitive differentiator. Yet many SMEs in developing countries do not have the know-how or capacity to provide the necessary information on their sustainability performance.
Objectives The objective of CSRCB Phase II is to contribute to a better integration of SMEs into GVCs through more and sector-specific sustainability reporting, resulting in more jobs and income opportunities in the target countries (Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, South Africa and Vietnam). The programme promotes sustainability reporting in view of its importance and potential benefits for the competitiveness and market access of SMEs in the target countries. It will particularly focus on building capacities in SMEs to start or improve their sustainability reporting. For this purpose a SME-specific reporting standard will be developed in order to account for limited resources of SMEs and to respond to their specific needs. Furthermore, the programme aims at improving the policy environment for sustainability reporting and supports the users of sustainability reports in order to push the demand for qualitative sustainability reporting.
Medium-term outcomes Increased sustainability reporting in the value chain through enhanced capacity of SMEs to report on their sector specific sustainability impactsEnhanced conducive environment for SMEs to start and continue sustainability reportingGreater demand for increased transparency and accountability on sustainability impacts in the value chain, contributing to increased sustainability reporting

Expected results:   SME-specific sustainability reporting tool developed and contextualizedTraining of trainers with scaling agents completed and trainers prepared for capacity-building in SMEsSMEs reached and trained through scaling agents and their trainersWeb-based SME Community platform, events and roundtables for knowledge-sharing among SMEs and other stakeholdersStrengthened conducive environment through engaged key global policy actors and local policy makers/regulators on sustainability reportingData users sensitized on the value of transparency and accountability in the value chainData users trained on how to use sustainability reports for decision-making

Results from previous phases:   Phase I of the CSRCB programme run from 2012-15. It focused on fostering local networks and dialogue in the target countries in order to raise awareness about the benefits of sustainability reporting and prepare the ground for promoting broader use of sustainability reporting. Furthermore, it provided practical guidance on how to manage a business in a responsible way and report on it effectively, including a component that was specifically tailored to SMEs. Finally, Phase I also created a program to ensure participation of stakeholders from the target countries in the GRI standards development process. Phase I resulted in a substantial increase in numbers of companies reporting on sustainability. It established a strong local support structure in two of the target countries (Colombia and South Africa) and organized regional and local dialogues and workshops in all target countries, including a training programme with a total of 120 events and reaching 6100 beneficiaries.

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
  • Global Reporting Initiative

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   5'539'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   45'584'000
Project phases Phase 1 01.09.2016 - 31.08.2020   (Current phase)