Milestone: SIPPO has developed 7 Guiding Principles for Sustainable Trade

Sustainability is one of the two core topics on which emphasis will be placed in the second phase of the SIPPO Programme from 2021-2025. Under the leadership of Jacqueline Salamí, Sustainability Lead in SIPPO’s Global Services Team, seven Guiding Principles for Sustainable Trade have been developed. The guidelines are contextualized to each of the six sectors in the SIPPO Programme. 

Sustainability Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles set the overall frame for the implementation of international responsible business conduct, ensuring that BSOs embed sustainable production practices and services delivery as integral part of their service provisions to companies. They guide the work of SIPPO staff, BSOs, consultants and other relevant partners.

Responding to relevant policy frameworks

The Guiding Principles are relating to the most relevant international policy frameworks, such as the UN Global Compact Principles, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goals 8 (decent work and economic growth), 17 (partnerships for the goals) and 12 (responsible consumption and production).

Comprehensive coverage of the most relevant topics

These newly developed Guiding Principles cover the following elements:

  1. Compliance with legal requirements for a specific sector
  2. Adherence to trade agreements and international conventions
  3. Promotion of products/services from sustainably managed sources
  4. Promotion of responsible supply chain management
  5. Facilitation of partnerships for sustainability
  6. Support of inclusiveness along the supply chain and within the BSO structure
  7. Promotion of green and socially driven business models

Response to important trends

Jacqueline Salamí and Clément Graf, Head of Programme: "With the Guiding Principles, we are setting the course for a successful future of the export promotion activities. After all, market trends in Europe and Switzerland are clearly moving in the direction of sustainability. The Guiding Principles provide our partners, the BSOs, with an excellent framework to address these trends."

Details about SIPPO’s Guiding Principles for Sustainable Trade

Principle 1: SIPPO requires compliance with legal requirements relevant for a specific sector

The SIPPO Programme shall not contribute to, nor support any BSO activity, or activity of BSO members, that do not comply with legal requirements - so that all exports indirectly supported by the Programme are compliant with the regulatory framework both at origin and destination markets (EU and Switzerland). These requirements shall be defined with the support of sector expertise and established in the MoUs with BSOs.

Principle 2: SIPPO encourages adherence to the commitments of trade agreements and international conventions

SIPPO supports BSOs to encourage their members to adhere to their country’s commitments and compliance with the requirements of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements between Europe and the partner countries, as well as to international conventions.

Principle 3: SIPPO fosters export promotion of products and services from sustainably- managed sources

SIPPO supports BSOs in export promotion activities of products and services that verifiably come from sustainably managed sources and strongly recommends, but does not limit the application of, Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) listed by the Standards Map (International Trade Centre).

Principle 4: SIPPO promotes responsible supply chain management

SIPPO supports BSOs in promoting responsible supply chains that are entirely managed according to the principles of transparency and due diligence and supports BSOs in enabling their members to apply these principles.

Principle 5: SIPPO facilitates partnerships for sustainability

SIPPO promotes multistakeholder partnerships, value chain partnerships with Swiss cooperation projects, and sector initiatives as important vehicles for mobilizing and sharing knowledge, expertise, and financial resources to support sustainable business practices within sectors in the SIPPO partner countries.

Principle 6: SIPPO supports inclusiveness along the supply chain and within the BSO structure

SIPPO actively supports inclusiveness and equity of opportunities, rights, and benefits to sector stakeholders, including market actors, partner BSOs and other institutions, in the full spectrum of Programme initiatives and activities.

Principle 7: SIPPO stimulates the promotion of green and socially driven business models

SIPPO stimulates BSOs to showcase green and socially driven business models in its Programme activities, to be used as role models that will contribute to sector transformation.

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