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Corinne Nacht

Corinne Nacht is an associate in Baker McKenzie's Dispute Resolution and Compliance & Investigations practice groups in Zurich. She graduated from the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in 2015. Subsequently, Corinne worked as a trainee lawyer for Baker McKenzie Zurich and for a smaller law firm in the Canton of Thurgau. She was admitted to the bar and rejoined the Firm in 2019.

On 1 January 2022, Switzerland introduced due diligence and reporting requirements to address risks in the supply chains of Switzerland-based businesses related to child labor and so-called conflict minerals. On 24 May 2024, the European Council adopted the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D), which imposes EU-level due diligence requirements in the value chain (i.e., upstream and downstream), on top of existing regulations in this area at the EU member state level.
In this update, we provide an overview of the evolving regulatory landscape of supply chain due diligence requirements in Switzerland and the EU, as well as their practical implications, and we suggest action items for Swiss businesses with respect to supply chain governance and compliance programs. In doing so, we refer to further materials prepared by our environmental, social and governance (ESG) team across our EU offices.

The European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) has ruled on a case brought against Switzerland by the Swiss association KlimaSeniorinnen on behalf of its members and four individual women of the association. The ECtHR found that Switzerland has violated Art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to take timely and sufficient action to adopt and implement relevant legislation and measures to mitigate climate change. The ECtHR also held that, from a procedural perspective, Switzerland failed to grant effective access to court to challenge the insufficient implementation of mitigation measures. In this contribution, we summarize the background of the case and the ECtHR’s decision and analyze its possible impacts.

In this update, we set out the extent to which new Swiss ESG reporting, disclosure and due diligence requirements apply to Swiss companies and foreign companies operating in Switzerland. We also provide further details about the due diligence requirements in relation to conflict minerals and child labor, and give an overview of developments outside of Switzerland that are relevant for Swiss companies doing business abroad, including the recently proposed EU Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence and the German Supply Chain Act. Finally, we share some of the key points senior leadership should consider as extended ESG reporting and due diligence obligations take shape in Switzerland and abroad.

On 29 November 2020, Swiss voters opted for the introduction of EU-style ESG reporting and due diligence requirements and against the so-called Responsible Business Initiative. While the initiative would have added teeth to the civil liability regime for the violation of international human rights and environmental standards across the supply chain, the substantive requirements regarding ESG reporting and due diligence across the extended enterprise are not any lighter under the chosen approach. We expect that affected companies will have to apply the new requirements in financial year 2023.