Our Work

Mission and goals

SUSTINOVA is a not-for-profit Swiss association, based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Our mission is to promote the adoption of sustainability by individuals and organisations in a way that increases their positive, long-term impact on society, the environment and economy.

We work with different private and public stakeholders on related issues as a neutral and independent partner for dialogue or implementation. Our goals are to help building solutions for the community, strengthening the networking of stakeholders and the practical application of know-how.


We support the creation, funding and execution of projects that put sustainability principles in practise to solve concrete problems with a clear and transparent approach.


We work with both initiators and supporters to find possible partners and solutions for key issues, all with a higher level of quality, effectiveness and transparency.


We focus on solutions that take a system approach to issues, look for long-term change and consider the impacts on society, the environment and economy.


Our Role

Given SUSTINOVA’s role in-between different stakeholders and our diversified backgrounds and interests (read about our team here) there is a certain spread in what we do and the topics we seek to address (see below). What unites them is a strong interest in practical solutions and verifiable results.

Although our current focus is primarily on the NGO field, we look beyond the traditional Swiss NGO. In light of their importance for Switzerland and potential for impact, we try to bring into our work the contributions from other countries and areas such as the corporate, academic or entrepreneurial fields. In addition, we try to address the perspective and interests of different stakeholders, not just the initiators of projects.

Often, the starting signal for our involvement comes from one of the many bilateral conversations we conduct throughout the year. We focus on issues where we think that our skills and resources can be most effectively used, either by connecting existing actors or developing our own solution (ideally in a collaborative way). We see these efforts as exploratory, with an inherent risk of failure, so that we take a disciplined approach to judge where and how to be involved, what resources are needed and how to mitigate the risks.

What do we do?

We work primarily in the not-for profit sector with Swiss-based organisations and persons.
We position ourselves in-between project initiators and supporters: we listen to the needs of both sides and look for ways to improve this relationship and make the use of financial and non-financial support more efficient and transparent.

SUSTINOVA acts partly as a "doer" and partly as a "supporter" organisation, doing research on topics identified together with others in this area, developing specific ideas, promoting networking and collaborations with private and public stakeholders. In addition, we provide advisory and operational support based on our resources or those of our partners.

Our current activities:


Our Approach

Our aim is to provide a public benefit, but we are conscious that some of our activities may have a more limited set of beneficiaries. As such, some of these are provided for free while others are paid by the users, with a variable subsidy by SUSTINOVA tied to the size and type of beneficiary.

The work of the team and other collaborators is currently conducted pro bono, but a gradual change is planned. Our goal is to build the required financial viability into our activities and organisation. This should allow us, over time, to cover direct costs and cross-fund other activities and organisations to attain a broader reach.

Establishing a member base, partnerships and accepting donations also play a part in this, provided we can keep a good level of neutrality and independence in line with the principles below. This is one of the reasons why SUSTINOVA does not do fundraising on behalf of NGOs.

Our Principles

SUSTINOVA is guided by the principles of integrity, accountability and effectiveness. As a "gemeinnützige Verein", we are also bound by our statutes and other specific legal requirements. We work with various stakeholders, focusing on topics identified as being relevant to one or more of them and where we believe to be able to achieve a concrete impact as well as a broader societal benefit.

Part of our work involves enhancing the understanding between stakeholders on different sides of the same issue. To play a credible long-term role and maintain our legitimacy, we consider it necessary to ensure our neutrality and independence. As such, we seek to pursue a high level of transparency and actively avoid conflicts of interest in all our interactions and relationships.

Partnerships, Donations and Sponsoring

  • SUSTINOVA selects partners with a relevant role in the topics we address, a clear and aligned stance regarding transparency and ethics, and an interest in creating a broader benefit with their interventions.
  • The selection process for partners is generally informal. We do however strive for each partnership to:
  1. have a well-defined scope, agreed upon by all parties;
  2. receive approval from the entire SUSTINOVA team;
  3. not pose any conflicts of interest or otherwise infringe upon SUSTINOVA’s independence, neutrality, statutes or other legal provisions.
  • As part of its partnership and sponsoring framework, SUSTINOVA can accept unsolicited donations or actively procure sponsors for its initiatives.
  1. The type of sponsoring can be financial or non-financial, and may be directed towards SUSTINOVA itself or its partners. It should however be commensurate to the efforts and benefits of each of the involved parties.
  2. The source and purpose of any sponsoring action is to be reviewed by the management team of SUSTINOVA. It can be declined if its acceptance could lead to an actual or perceived conflict with SUSTINOVA’s interests, neutrality, independence, statutes or other legal provisions.
  • Certain details of established partnerships or sponsoring arrangements (such as type of partners involved, or scope of partnership) may be disclosed via our website and other relevant means, such as yearly reports. We encourage and in some cases require that our partners do the same.

Contact us

We look forward to hearing from you

For specific inquiries, please contact one of our team members directly.

For general requests, please use our contact form on the right side or send us an e-mail.

We will get back to you soon.