• Responsible Trading Research Project

    Aspiring to shed light on the underlying dynamics of the recent discussion of the Swiss commodity traders and their responsibilities, the Responsible Trading project's goal is to understand how the public perceives the commodity business while creating the foundation for changing the sector in the direction of greater responsible business conduct.

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  • DR. Rushmore’s Research

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Identifying Networks of Actors

How did particular (networks of) actors challenge the Swiss Commodity Sector by translating individual concerns and divergent interests and beliefs into broader concerns?

Assessing Common Principles

Which higher common principles did the (networks of) actors draw on to justify particular allegations and demands and how do commodity firms react in response?

Matching Practice with Responsibility

To what extent do the justifications and practical reactions of commodity firms measure up to cutting edge academic debates about the corporate responsibility of international business?

Why Commodity Trading?

Switzerland is one of the leading commodity trading hubs worldwide, both in regard to minerals and metals as well as to soft commodities, representing for some 15-25 percent of the global commodities trading volume. Accounting for around 4.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 (SECO), the commodity sector has come under scrutiny and criticism for its lack of transparency with regard to adverse impacts on the enviroment and human rights in commodity-producing countries in the global south. As commodity trading is majorly a business-to-business relationship, the public debate has until a decade ago not paid much attention to it. Recent reports of ongoing environmental and human rights concerns linked to the sector and associated media coverage have raised ethical and legal questionsabout commodity trading.  

Latest News

The UNGPs as standard of conduct for responsible commodity business

The recent developments around human rights due diligence measures in the run up to the referendum on the Swiss Responsible Business…

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Helvetisches Rohstoff-Eldorado – Welche Verantwortung tragen der Handelsplatz Schweiz und seine Unternehmen?

Mindestens ein Drittel des Handels mit genannten Rohstoffen wird heute über die Schweiz abgewickelt (wobei die meisten Rohstoffe nie Schweizer…

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