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A CSR Model Molded From the Clay of Swiss Values
In 1953, in an article entitled “Social Responsibilities of the Businessman,” American economist Howard Bowen coined the term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Although the idea had been loosely taking root for more than a century, it’s more official entry into the modern lexicon occurred in the early 1970s when the United States’ Committee for Economic Development introduced it to the public.
Deemed as a ‘social contract’ between businesses and society, CSR (also known as corporate citizenship) was based on the idea that companies function and exist because of public consent, therefore, companies have an obligation to contribute to the needs of society. By the 1980s, this idea had evolved into a standard practice amongst large organizations.
Today, CSR is considered a self-regulating business model that helps companies be socially accountable to their workers, stakeholders and the public. When functioning to its optimal purpose, CSR policies give companies a framework whereby they can be conscious and intentional regarding the impact (or lack thereof) they have on all aspects of society, including economic, social and environmental. Said another away, the purpose of CSR policies is to ensure a company is operating in ways that enhance society and the environment, instead of negatively contributing to them. The policies should not just be general guidelines, but a way of being that everyone in the organization is mindfully embracing and demonstrating.
That’s why at Selexis, CSR is not just a superficial corporate mandate, but an agreement regarding the way we operate, exist, interact and serve our partners, customers and employees. Based on the values of honesty, collaboration, exceptional service and a responsibility for the overall betterment of society, our CSR policies are not simply mandates handed down by a Board of Directors, rather—they mirror the core values that are baked into the very fabric of Swiss society. This understanding forms the foundational belief that our CSR polices should not only contribute to society, but boost morale, forge a stronger bond between employees, and help our team members and their families feel more connected to the world around them.
What’s Location Got To Do With It?
Located at the crossroads of several outstanding European cultures, Switzerland boasts a balance of mountains and plateaus, while culturally its distinguished by its multilingual and ethnic diversity—the heritage of which is assembled in more than 600 museums. The natural outgrowth of this intersection of people, planet and reverence for that which came before us brings with it inclusion, an open exchange of ideas, and a love and respect for nature.
What this specifically means at Selexis is that we’re committed to empowering partners and bench scientists across the world with the means to cure diseases and improve global health. Said another way, we want to maximize results with minimum environmental impacts for the betterment of humankind. This axiom circles back to our operational principles that we contribute to the betterment of patients, populations, society and the environment. We accomplish this via the relentless pursuit of innovation and visionary contributions to health, science and society, as well as complimentary sustainable practices that have the lowest possible environmental impact. One example is our new facilities being built in Geneva.
Scheduled to be operational by mid-2021, the Selexis’ Geneva footprint will increase by 200%. The new space will include laboratory, office, health/wellness and employee common spaces. Throughout the expansion, Selexis has maintained its commitment to CSR via the investment in a Minergie-certified building (a Swiss building standard aimed at construction with above-average demands on quality, comfort and energy). This building will have an energy balance 20% better than Swiss recommendations for energy resource and conservation .
At Selexis, it’s our vision that we are the demonstration of innovation and leadership via the creation of a more inclusive, more healthy society and planet so that everyone has a chance to thrive and live life to their fullest.