Communiqué de presse 14/03/2018

Press release 03/14/2018


Fondation Guilé is donating its Domaine to Fondation Les Castors


Fondation Guilé reviews the positive work it has carried out over the past 10 years of shareholder engagement


After making a significant contribution over the last ten years to promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for sustainable economic development, Fondation Guilé will end its activities.

Fondation Guilé has achieved its philanthropic aspiration of contributing to the common good through the promotion of Corporate and Investor social responsibility, engaging in dialogues with stakeholders to foster best practice among market participants. For ten years, a number of investors have supported the actions of Fondation Guilé by investing in three engagement funds, giving the foundation the mandate to promote the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact among the invested companies.

To carry out this mission, Fondation Guilé designed in 2006 a methodology enabling the continuous improvement of CSR practices: the GuiléReportingAssessmentTM. Over the course of a decade, a hundred companies from these engagement funds have been evaluated on their level of integration of the Global Compact principles. During Fondation Guilé’s dialogues with senior representatives of the monitored companies, the assessment results were presented and improvement measures discussed. The impact of this engagement is described in a report published by the foundation, « 10 Years of Guilé Reporting Assessments – Developments, impacts and learnings » available on its website.

At the end of 2016, the foundation board observed that the CSR market place had matured and active shareholder ownership had become mainstream. The board came to the conclusion that the core objective of its initiative was successfully achieved. Therefore it has decided to cease the activities of Fondation Guilé.

Fondation Guilé warmly thanks the numerous contributors who have enabled the organisation to successfully lead ten years of shareholder engagement, and in particular BHP – Brugger and Partners for its commitment, entrepreneurial spirit and its contribution to the GuiléReportingAssessmentTM methodology. The Fondation thanks the members of its board and management, as well as all those who have worked with Fondation Guilé and the members of its network of consultants. Numerous partners in the Fondation Guilé ecoystem have helped the organisation to accomplish its objectives, including Baur Consulting, BHP – Brugger and Partners, BSD Consulting, Richard Dion, EthiFinance, Impact Partnership Advisory, Sigmalis and Sofies.


About Fondation Guilé

Fondation Guilé was created by Charles and Bernadette Burrus, a Swiss family of industrial entrepreneurs who have played for six generations a pioneering role in Corporate Social Responsibility in Switzerland.  

As a not-for-profit Swiss foundation recognised as a public-interest organisation, Fondation Guilé is guided by respect for human dignity and to promoting sustainable development, in particular within companies.


CONTACT: Régis Burrus, President of Fondation Guilé:













Word from the President

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As representative of the seventh generation of the Charles Burrus family, it was my immense pleasure and great honour to have taken up the reins of Fondation Guilé since 2011 with the aim to continue the tradition of the previous six generations to give back to society that we have received and to continue to play a pioneering role in Corporate Social Responsibility.

I have focused my attention on the universal principle of human dignity, rooted deep in the DNA of our family history and at the heart of our values.
Our goal was to capitalise during many years on the ten principles of the UN Global Compact in particular relating to corporate responsibility and business ethics. The foundation wanted to encourage and supporte leadership teams of the signatory companies to achieve sustainable growth by implementing these 10 principles. This approach opens the way to a much broader definition of the notion “creating shareholder value”. Our current environment in which we operate certainly shows that the approach of the Guile Foundation to promote human dignity with the universal values that are attached is still essential.

So after having assessed yearly a hundred companies on their level of integration of the UN Global Compact principles our team is proud to publish a report describing the Foundation‘s impacts  over the last 10 years. This report called « 10 Years of Guilé Reporting Assessments – Developments, impacts and learnings » describes the learning and outlook of continuous exchange with high-profile representatives of leading companies from different industries across the globe. 
As we could witness from close by, corporate sustainability reporting has matured considerably. I would like to thank the numerous contributors warmly who have enabled our organisation to successfully lead ten years of shareholder engagement.

With my most sincere thanks 

Régis Burrus

The founders

Leon and Marguerite Burrus, the founder’s parents, built the Domaine de Guilé in 1928 after two years of marriage. Leon made sure that their home was built to face France, where his wife had grown up. It is styled after the architecture in the Place des Vosges square in Paris.

After the family company was sold in 1996, Charles Burrus (1929-2011) and his wife Bernadette felt a need to give back to society. They created Fondation Guilé to continue their family heritage and provide entrepreneurs with the necessary strategies and tools to become ethically responsible players in today’s international markets.

The Domaine de Guilé has welcomed many personalities over the years; Kofi Annan paid a visit after Fondation Guilé signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN to promote the Global Compact.

The Charles Burrus couple inspired the foundation’s work towards peace and justice in order to give hope to future generations. Charles Burrus passed away on 9 May 2011. His spirit continued to live on for some years in the activities of Fondation Guilé.


Fondation Guilé wishes to thank the persons who contributed to its mission and have been part of the foundation’s impact over the last ten years.


Charles Burrus
President of the Board 1997-2010

Régis Burrus
President of the Board 2011-

Member of the Board 2005-2010

Yves Claude Aubert
Member of the Board 2015-20

Roland Burrus 
Member of the Board 2014-2017

Melchior de Muralt
Member of the Board 2005-2016

Walter Fust
Member of the Board 2009-2016

Bernadette Burrus
Member of the Board 2010-

Bénédicte Burrus
Member of the Board  2007 –

Hardouin Burrus
Member of the Board  2009 – 2013

Klaus Leisinger
Member of the Board 2013-2015


Doris Rochat Monnier
Managing Director 2013-2017

Barbara Rigassi
Managing Director 2006-2013

Sylvie Dupasquier
Director of operations 2016-2017

Ben Sapin
Director of operations 2015-2016

Paola Abdelnour
Assistant 2014-2017


Dr. Thomas Streiff  (Head)
Dr. Dorothea Baur
Andrea Gäumann
Pascal Lüthi
Véronique Veyrassat
David Rochat
Sébastien Marquet
Dr. Cornelis T. van der Lugt
Richard Dion
Jiang Shan
Stefan Schembera
Janka Ruzicka
Martin Dolinský
Mariana Branco
Silvia Zamborova



Martin Burrus moves to Boncourt in Canton Jura, where he starts out in tobacco manufacture. His son François-Joseph Burrus takes over the company and names it F.J.Burrus. The F.J.Burrus plant will remain in the family for nearly 200 years, over 6 generations.


As the first company to develop family allowances in Europe, health insurance and retirement plans (from 1936) for its employees, F.J.Burrus quickly becomes a precursor of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Switzerland.


Léon Burrus, one of Martin’s children, and his wife Marguerite (nicknamed Guigui) build a large house in 1930 named “Guilé”, which is a combination of their respective first names.


Léon’s eldest son Charles takes over management of the family business. F.J.Burrus is, at that time, the largest private sector employer in the Jura.


Following the sale of the family business, Charles Burrus and his wife Bernadette create Fondation Guilé to provide business leaders with the tools to become ethically engaged actors.


After Charles’s death, his son Régis, decided to carry on and developed  the Foundation’s activities.


After making a significant contribution over the last ten years to promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for sustainable economic development, Fondation GuiléTM will end its activities. The Board has achieved its aspiration of contributing to the common good through the promotion of Corporate and Investor social responsibility, engaging in dialogues with stakeholders to foster best practice among market participants.

The Charles Burrus family now wishes to focus its family philanthropy on the education and training of future generations in Switzerland. The decision-makers of tomorrow are an important lever for the transformation of society and are actors for change, just as powerful as responsible multinationals have been over the last ten years.