In conjunction with the Swiss Digital Days 2020, the Ethos Foundation publishes an "Engagement Paper" which summarises its expectations in terms of digital corporate responsibility. At a time of galloping digitalisation of the economy, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ethos considers that companies must be more transparent and responsible in the way they manage the many challenges related to digitalisation.
While digitalisation has offered considerable economic development opportunity to companies in recent years, it also exposes them and their shareholders to new risks. Whether it is cybercrime, the processing of personal data or the automation of the economy, new ethical, legal, social, ecological and financial issues have emerged. In addition reputational risks threaten any company that is a victim of cybercrime or that misuses its customers' personal data.
"The digitalisation of the economy is one of the major societal challenges of the beginning of the 21st century, along with climate change and growing inequalities," said Vincent Kaufmann, CEO of the Ethos Foundation. In view of its impact on society as a whole, we consider that the digital responsibility of companies is now an integral part of good governance and of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria that responsible investors must take into account in their investment decisions. "
The Ethos Foundation has therefore identified the best practices in digital responsibility and drafted a document for the attention of large listed companies in Switzerland. This "Engagement Paper," which will be sent to the chairmen of these companies, lists Ethos’s seven expectations for digital responsibility. Expectations include the establishment of a digital responsibility code, an ethical code for artificial intelligence, use of measures allowing a fair and responsible social transition for employees who are digitalisation "victims" as well as compliance with the highest standards in terms of data processing and protection.
The Ethos Foundation has also organised a conference-debate on this topic on 3 November 2020, with the aim of presenting and discussing issues related to digitalization for companies but also for shareholders. The replay of this conference, which was part of the Swiss Digital Days 2020, is now available right here: