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SCOPES – The Swiss Consumer Perception of Sustainability

In the new SCOPES report, produced by Prof. Judith Walls and Zsuzsa Borsa in collaboration with the  Institut für Marketing und Customer Insight,  Publicis and Grownate, we show how companies tackle the challenges of sustainability communication as well as how Swiss consumers perceive their actions.

The report covers three key topics:

  • A ranking of 100 Swiss companies based on 5555 consumers’ perception of their sustainability activities
  • A quantitative analysis of drivers of consumers’ perceptions of sustainability
  • A qualitative, multiple case-study analysis of the challenges facing – and approaches taken by- companies to sustainability communication

Our most important findings?

We were able to demonstrate that consumers often do not have a clear picture of company’s sustainability efforts.

Consumers’ perceptions of corporate sustainability are influenced by factors such as the company’s origin, or industry in which they operate, but also by key events and greenwashing accusations.

Protecting themselves from greenwashing is a challenging task for companies when communicating to consumers and other stakeholders.

While both branding and sustainability departments communicate on sustainability, their goals are often different when targeting consumers versus other stakeholders. For example, consumer communication needs a simple and clear message while sustainability communication to other stakeholders needs to be detailed and transparent. Companies adopt various strategies to overcome this gap, such as emphasizing partnerships with NGOs and external organizations that have strong sustainability reputations, to build credibility and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

The report is available for download at:

Author: Doris Hoevel

Date: 22. August 2023