Talking to Patricia Röösli
Patricia Röösli, graduate of the CAS in Corporate Responsibility 2019, heads environment and social affairs at the Swiss Travel Association.
Where do you work and what are your responsibilities?
At the Swiss Travel Association, I am responsible for environmental and social affairs. We promote environmentally and socially compatible thinking and acting in tourism with training and information and support the efforts of our partners for global environmentally and socially compatible tourism. I am also a member of the Tourism and Development Board, which is behind the "fairunterwegs.org" travel platform. This is an independent, not-for-profit travel site with specific opportunities to safeguard the fair treatment of people and nature in the travel industry.
Why did you choose the CAS in Corporate Responsibility program at the ZHAW School of Management and Law?
In my previous working environment, the topic of sustainability was addressed in various areas, but it lacked a common thread and an overview of active measures and target groups. During the CAS program, I learned how to develop, implement, and sustain an effective sustainability strategy in a company and how to communicate it to the right stakeholders on a long-term basis. The bi-weekly teaching rhythm and the total duration of the program were just right. Nevertheless, after the last intensive seminar in December, I found myself regretting that the program was already over. I would have liked to explore many more practical cases because it is great to see how both young and established companies manage to function sustainably.
"The program not only expands your own know-how, but also your own network. This is made possible by the intensive professional exchange with speakers and participants."
What were your personal highlights during the program?
I found the diversity of the class extremely motivating as well as challenging since everyone’s understanding of sustainability is different. Thanks to the broad mix of sectors represented, we acquired interesting additional information from various companies and aid organizations. (The Saturday sandwiches from the Lebanese restaurant Al Mouchtar were of course also among the highlights.)
The CAS program finishes with a written thesis on a practical issue. What has this time-consuming part of the program given you?
The practical aspect of the written thesis allows you to engage with a selected topic in much greater depth and to apply the theories learned in the classroom. The effort required should not be underestimated, but this is done with the support of tutors and supervisors.
Which of the skills taught on the program can you specifically incorporate into your everyday working life?
The topic of sustainability is omnipresent in tourism and keywords such as "overtourism," "flight shame," or "voluntourism" run across the media landscape. Many tour operators and travel agencies are aware of their responsibility and are using our training. We will draw more attention to the importance of strategic anchoring and show how strategic corporate responsibility can contribute to corporate success.
How do you apply sustainable practices in your private life?
My ecological footprint still has great potential for improvement. Despite a far better understanding of the issues, implementing them on a personal level does not always come automatically. However, opportunities for discussions about sustainability in social circles have increased considerably – and that is very exciting.
Would you recommend the program to others?
If you have the opportunity to integrate and strengthen corporate responsibility in your own company or are looking for a career change and are interested in positions related to sustainable business, then this CAS program offers a firm foundation on which to build. Your professional network of contacts can also be expanded with speakers from companies, consultancies, and non-governmental organizations.
CAS Corporate Responsibility
The CAS in Corporate Responsibility provides participants with the tools they need to embed corporate responsibility and sustainability management as a strategic goal and thereby contribute to the success of a company. Specialists teach the content of this program with a balanced mix of current concepts and instruments as well as practical examples.