Frequently asked questions



CRIF’s ESG score calculates the sustainability performance of a corporation (entered into the Swiss Commercial Register) on a rating scale ranging from A (very high) to E (very low).

A majority of Swiss businesses (approx. 80%) were assessed at C or better.

CRIF ESG Score Schweiz

In calculating the ESG score, we have used CRIF’s own data (e.g. composite of male/female company management / authorised signatories and website information on topics relevant to sustainability via web crawler) as well as other publicly-available data (e.g. average energy consumption for the sector based on size of business / turnover, information about the location, energy mix in Switzerland (no brown coal; extremely “green energy”) and followed the international guidelines to analyse the data. The European Banking Authority has published this type of recommendation, and we here at CRIF adhere to them, both in Switzerland and internationally.


The ESG score provides a first approximation for an assessment of your ESG performance, though statistical deviations cannot be excluded. The assessment process for the ESG score takes place once every year.

The CRIF ESG SCORE is methodically based on the requirements of the European Banking Authority and the CRIF Rating Agency and is made up of a number of different components - E (Environment), S (Social), G (Governance / Business management).

In its calculations, CRIF AG uses information already in the public domain (e.g. Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office, Open Street Map, Swiss National Bank, among many others) as well as CRIF’s own in-house information (e.g. for the composition of Boards of Directors, etc).

In addition, our web crawler also looks for any indications regarding sustainability on the companies’ websites (e.g. whether any sustainability reports have been published, or whether any relevant ISO certifications are available).

The ESG score for those companies listed in the commercial register that CRIF has assessed is sold by CRIF to businesses with a legitimate interest – e.g. at the procurement stage; when analysing the sustainability of suppliers; or to banks in the context of sustainable credit lending in corporate client transactions. For example, the ESG score has already been used for a long time for access to the capital market in other countries around Europe, where businesses often obtain loans from their banks only after  the presentation of a sustainability assessment. In Switzerland, we support companies to engage with the topic of sustainability at an early stage – even if they are not (yet) subject to any statutory obligations.


The CRIF ESG Score is based on the assessments and evaluations specified above. The available information can be adjusted or enhanced via CRIF’s Synesgy ESG Platform. This can be undertaken on a one-off basis at no cost using a Link to the Synesgy Plattform

By request, we will also refrain from publishing the ESG Score – please send an e-mail to the CRIF ESG Team if this is your preference.



ESG requirements vary, depending on the size of the business and the relevant regulatory obligations. However, even if your business is not currently subject to any obligations, you’ll still have to fulfil the sustainability duties relevant to your customer.

The sooner you tackle the subject of sustainability, the better prepared you’ll be – not just for your customer’s requirements, but also for any future regulations. Just think back to the stress caused by the introduction of GDPR.

Sustainability matters will cause a similar problem in Switzerland because the EU is already several steps ahead in this respect, and its regulations are significantly stricter. You can get yourself ready at leisure and avoid having to do everything at the last minute.

A glance at the EU regulations reveals what might be expected in Switzerland (Key phrase: Supply chain due diligence law in Germany will also apply to small businesses in future).

Quite apart from the fact that we (all of us) have to do something for the environment, you can find out for yourself and on behalf of your business about how the subject of sustainability will have to be tackled over the next few years.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make all the difference. For example, you can prepare a list of sustainability aspects that you want to put into practice, and you might also be inspired by our Synesgy questionnaire.

Some pointers are also available with regard to recommended activities (you can tackle these once you’ve submitted your questionnaire and received your certificate).

Do you know what level of CO2 emissions are produced by your company? What is the proportion of females in your management structure? What initiatives does your company support in your community?

Sustainability can produce an excellent competitive advantage for you. Drawing the right demarcation between you and your competitors is more important than ever these days, both in the context of the customer and in view of the shortage of specialist workers. The focus on sustainability and ESG could be the key criterion for you – after all, sustainability creates consciousness, confidence and an assurance that the environment is just as important to your business as fair pay, workforce equality and good company management. This gives your customers a good feeling when they buy from you, and creates a force of attraction between specialist staff and “Gen Z”.


Furthermore, major companies are becoming ever stricter in the requirements they specify in relation to their suppliers. With an ESG certificate, you’ll ensure that you can continue to be able to serve all your customers, regardless of any sustainability regulations that might be imposed. After all, you’ll be prepared.


Get certified now for a stable future.

Just click here.

Do you remember how large corporations were chased about by the media because they were “greenwashing“? They send unsold goods backwards and forwards across Europe, and finally dispose of them in a landfill site rather than recycling them, ostensibly because it’s not worth being sustainable. But is that true?

Both consumers and  skilled staff are increasingly turning away from the “commercial giants”, seeking out companies that handle resources responsibly and sustainably, and inspire confidence instead. Consumers and skilled workers trust the business because they believe they make a difference, and because they continue to appreciate their co-workers, customers and suppliers in the longer term, and supply good, sustainable goods.

Make a difference! Prove your credibility and your commitment to sustainability and gain important reputational stature thanks to ESG certification from CRIF.

The statutory requirements oblige capital lenders to adhere to a sustainable investment strategy. ESG is very popular in the financial sector and every borrower of capital will soon have to provide a good ESG assessment as well as a good credit score and good credit standing. This is already standard procedure across an extensive part of the EU.


So start today to prepare and benefit from your bank’s offers on ESG. An ESG certificate helps to build trust, simplify the relevant reporting requirements, and create cost benefits in the capital market. Don’t wait, start registering today on the Synesgy Platform.

The up-and-coming, younger generation in particular now demands a strong focus on the sustainability of the products and services they consume – and from their employers.

Get yourself ready to tap into these new target groups – with fresh products and a better service, with your commitment to the environment and, most of all, with your ESG certificate as proof that sustainability is important to you.

There are always potential improvements and fresh innovations that might be used to open up new markets. Do this sustainably, do it successfully – but do it with an ESG certificate!

Your investors also place a high value on security and long-term success. ESG certification enables you to convince them that sustainability is important to you, and that you care about important matters such as good business management, diversity, inclusion and equality of status.

Here in particular, there are some powerful competitive advantages.

Consumers are making their purchasing decisions increasingly consciously. Where do the products come from? How are they made? How many chemicals do they contain? How are things for the workers who produce these products? Is there a circular economy already?

Consumers are also often prepared to dig a little deeper into their pockets for sustainable products.

At the same time, newspapers have been writing about “Greenwashing scandals” and the atmosphere is very uncertain. Is everything with a “green” label actually green?

Support your customers by using a globally-recognised ESG certification scheme to provide transparency and security. Ensure that your reporting is honest and transparent, that your management is sustainable and that you improve from year to year. Start today with the CRIF ESG certificate! Register by clicking the button directly above.

Sustainability, environmental protection, diversity & inclusion and good business management should form the cornerstones of corporate success for your Board of Directors / Management Team.

Of course, you can do even more and measure your performance by international standards – because ESG is not a compulsory “check-the-box“ exercise but rather a sustainable insight into management.

It is important to do business economically and achieve long-term profits, while simultaneously taking care of your ESG criteria – and yes, it is possible to do BOTH.

Start with ESG certification and improve your ESG strategy from year to year. We will be happy to support you in these efforts.


If you’d like to move ahead quickly and you’re looking directly for video instructions – you’re in exactly the right place.

Check out our tutorials.


Once you’ve registered on the platform, you’ll receive an e-mail containing all your log-in details. This will include all the information you need to log in. Save this e-mail in a safe place so that you can find it again if necessary.

We’ve also recorded a Tutorial with further details.

If you’ve forgotten your password, you can apply for a new one through the Login page

If you’ve forgotten your password, you can apply for a new one through the Login page.

You’ll receive your Synesgy certificate by registering on the Platform

Your log-in details will be sent to you (please check your spam folder too). Then log in to Synesgy as instructed in the e-mail. From there, you’ll be able to fill in the questionnaire and submit it once it’s complete.

Then you can download the certificate.

You’ll find questions about filling in the questionnaire under the heading “Questions about Synesgy – General”.


The questionnaire is divided into 5 sections: these are questions about the business process, the environment, social matters, the management of the business and industry-specific matters.

There are several different types of questions: questions containing optional fields (circles), where you can choose one answer; questions containing check boxes (small squares with ticks) , where you can choose more than one answer; entry fields for numbers or text; and fields into which documents should be uploaded.

The questions marked with * are mandatory questions: these MUST be completed. All the other questions are voluntary. However, we STRONGLY recommend that you complete the voluntary questions too. These aid the management of sustainability and help your business partners to identify important information.

Once you have fully completed the questionnaire, all the results are automatically evaluated in accordance with the instructions issued by CRIF Ratings (our rating agency) and your ESG score is identified. This will lie between A (for very good) and E. In addition, an individual score will also be worked out for each of the five sub-sections. Finally, this will indicate your performance in the individual sections of the questionnaire in the PDF associated with the questionnaire, and in the "score" field.

You can download all the information about the score (scroll all the way to the bottom of your questionnaire and click on the relevant button). You can choose whether you just want to download your certificate (or use a code to place it on your website), or to download the entire questionnaire, including the assessment.

The questionnaire covers the most important requirements of the international standards (the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative, together with other national and international requirements). Some detailed questions are also necessary in order to ensure international recognition by the UN Global Compact and the GRI.

We’re aware that the questionnaire is rather challenging for smaller businesses in particular – you can read here about why it nevertheless provides added value: Click here.

If you’re finding the questionnaire difficult, or if you need some help, we can offer you a range of different resources:

    Tutorials and video instructions: If you prefer fast, visual instructions, Synesgy tutorials and video instructions might be most suitable for you. You’ll find these on the Synesgy platform via this link: Tutorials and video instructions.


    Online library: Synesgy is currently working to provide a comprehensive online library, with videos, short courses and other important information. You can carry out a targeted search for solutions to your questions through this library.


    Direct support: you can also approach the Synesgy support team directly to get help. You can send an e-mail to the support team by clicking on the following link: Send a support enquiry.


    Consulting services: Should you need any further help with your ESG strategy or to improve your ESG score, CRIF also offers consulting services. Further information is available under the heading “Questions about additional ESG services from CRIF".


Please bear in mind that it’s completely normal to find the questionnaire challenging, especially when you’re at the beginning of your sustainability journey. The important thing is that you are tackling this issue and are making an effort to improve your sustainability performance. Synesgy and CRIF are here to support you on this journey.

The questionnaire covers the key requirements of international standards, including the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and other national and international requirements. The precise legal bases in each case are set out beside the questions that refer to the abbreviations GRI and SDG, or the relevant standard to which they refer.

The normal price for the certificate and for the use of the Synesgy platform is 180 CHF net per year. Discounts are available for a variety of associations, e.g. for members of the Schweizer KMU Verband, SKV (an association for Swiss business managers). Please ask your branch association for more information.

Soon after you’ve registered with Synesgy, you’ll receive an invoice. Please settle this invoice promptly. Once payment has been made, you’ll be able to use the Synesgy platform and the Synesgy ESG certificate, and arrange downloads as often as you wish. The certificate will be renewed annually and you will automatically receive an invoice once a year. Of course, you will also be able to cancel the agreement at any time by sending us an e-mail to that effect.

First of all, take a deep breath. We’re not at school here. For a start, your ESG assessment doesn’t say anything about you and your business. It simply shows how well you adhere to the international sustainability standards. These standards are still relatively new, and they’re mainly aimed at major corporations. It’s quite possible that you’re just at the beginning of your sustainability journey – that you’ve only gathered together a few details so far, and that you only meet a small number of the statutory requirements in the area of sustainability. After all, you’ve only just begun to tackle the topic of sustainability.

It’s therefore completely fine to get a poor assessment at first. What’s important is that you’ve made a start. You’ve decided to fill out the questionnaire – and that shows your commitment to sustainability. You’ve taken the first step, and you’ll improve continuously from now on.

The Synesgy platform provides you with an action plan that demonstrates potential areas for improvement (you can find this plan on the platform, alongside the questionnaire and your score, under “recommendations for action”). The questionnaire itself offers further tips for possible improvements via the response options.

CRIF also offers consultancy services in connection with ESG strategies and improvement of the score. Further information on this topic is provided under “Questions about additional ESG services from CRIF ".

We’ll stand by your side as a strong and supportive partner! Start to take advantage of the Synesgy certificate right away. This certificate is the proof that you’ve started to make an effort towards greater sustainability. The assessment itself is not so very important at first. It’s like when you go to the gym – you’re going there to improve your body, not just turning up for the first time when you’ve already achieved your fitness goal. In any event, we congratulate you on joining Synesgy and getting to grips with sustainability. You should feel proud of yourself and simply keep going. We’ll be happy to help!

You can improve your result when you re-certify next year by following the recommendations in the action plan. Think about what the long term ESG strategy of your business might look like. This might seem challenging at first but we are here to support you. Our ESG advisory team is here to provide you with specific support. You can find more information about our support under the heading “Questions about additional ESG services from CRIF".


You can download your questionnaire and your certificate very easily by clicking on the appropriate button at the end of the questionnaire. Your certificate will look like this if you’ve been awarded an ESG score between A and C:

(image will follow)


For an assessment of D or E, you’ll currently receive a certificate without the assessment, which you will also be able to use.


The Synesgy platform can also be used to assess your suppliers. You have the option to invite your suppliers onto the platform and to evaluate your supplier portfolio. We would be happy to provide you with a suitable quotation. Look under the heading ESG Services for the information you need, and for instructions on how to contact us directly.

Look under the heading ESG Services for the information you need, or contact us directly. 


Please get in touch with the Synesgy Support Team by e-mail by Clicking here.