public policy corporate responsibility
A small firm offering highly specialized services to business, governments and civil society, big and small, North and South.
identifying and proposing professional and pragmatic solutions to political and social challenges.
using and developing innovative expertise and insight for anyone interested in what is right to do rather than what is easy to execute.
What we do
We help everyone from business, government, international organizations and civil society develop a deeper understanding of the political and social challenges of the global economy and to contribute to responsible decision making on critical management and policy issues.
We work across groups, geographies, sectors, industries with anyone who shares our goals and excites our interests to make informed choices, mitigate risk, maximize opportunities and grow responsibly in the process. We bring passion and pragmatism. And we love a good challenge.
We design overarching corporate responsibility or public policy strategy and craft relevant goals, policies and programs.
We advise your organization on global best practices with respect to corporate responsibility and produce and influence the development of high quality strategic documents and operational plans.
We support the strength of your strategic approach through constructive challenge of your choices, ensuring that areas of under performance are tackled in strategies and plans.
We help you build strategic alliances and coalitions with key constituency groups (local, national and international political, social, and environmental leaders).
We help you maintain strong, transparent relationships with investors.
We operate with others to maximize stakeholder engagement for your organization.
We work effectively with the internal and external public relations and communications teams to advance your organization’s positioning with respect to corporate responsibility.
We help you detect and respond appropriately to emerging trends or changes in the socio-political environment which may then crystallize into an “issue”.
We actively look for, anticipate, and respond to shifting stakeholder expectations and perceptions likely to have important consequences for your organization to address any problems that occur over the course of a project or within an organization as quickly as possible to limit the negative impact.
we assist your organization in assessing the societal and political risks and opportunities in your operations, relations and partnerships.
we help you prioritize, monitor and address potential challenges and risks.
we elevate emerging issues where appropriate and support your organization in diverse complex and high- profile situations globally when appropriate.
We develop corporate responsibility and public policy capabilities within the organization.
We educate and link different groups and functions.
We drive the development and execution of policies and programs in collaboration with key internal stakeholders.
We support the coordination of corporate responsibility programs, initiatives, and related activities and support the day-to-day management of corporate responsibility processes and programs.
Who we are
Pluto & Associates is a strategic advisory firm that provides solutions to public policy and corporate responsibility challenges to public and private organisations.
Pluto was founded and is led by Gerald Pachoud and works through a worldwide network of experts.
Gerald is a recognized global public policy expert who has worked at the center of several major developments in the fields of corporate responsibility and sustainable investment, from initiatives such as "who cares wins" which paved the way to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment to driving the successful effort to secure the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Always moving from policy to practice, his professional background spanning multiple organizations has led him to work with various corporations, governments, international organizations and CSOs directly and through the various positions he has held in the United Nations and the Swiss administration.
Before the founding of Pluto in late 2015, Gerald notably initiated and led the program on business and human security in the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
From 2005 to 2011, Gerald had the honour and the pleasure of serving as the Special Adviser to the Secretary General's Special Representative on business and human rights, Professor John Ruggie. In this role, he was closely involved in the conceptual, political and operational developments and in the drafting of the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights. He also worked in the Executive Office of the Secretary General at the UN Headquarters in New York from 2011 to 2015, first leading the development of innovative programs to forge new relationships and synergies with the private sector in fragile contexts, including conflict zones, and then serving as Strategic Planning Principal Officer, focusing on formulating strategy and advising the senior leadership on UN partnerships and overall engagement with the private sector, including in particular in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. Gerald left the public service in 2011 to start Pluto.
Gerald is also Professor of Practice at SOAS School of Law in London and a senior advisor to the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, a business-led initiative of major corporations headquartered in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. He sits on advisory boards of various organizations and companies such as the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative, bringing together the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry to define, implement, and champion responsible supply chain practices and BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world. He also served until recently on the SRI advisory board of Candriam, a leading European asset management company and on the Governing Board of ACCESS Facility, a global non-profit organization that seeks to promote non-judicial grievance mechanisms to prevent and resolve conflicts between companies and communities.
Some contributions on the issues that matter most approaching global challenges and opportunities ahead.
In Memory of John G. Ruggie
Pluto would have never existed without Professor John G. Ruggie who sadly passed away on September 16, 2021.
The world will miss a brilliant mind, a pioneering academic and an outstanding policy maker. Like many others, I will miss a mentor, a friend, and a constant inspiration to do better.
Throughout his career, John was a tireless advocate for social justice and, in his words, the need to combat the emergence of ugly “isms”, securing respect for human rights as a central aim of governance at all levels, from the local to the global, and in the private sector no less than in the public domain.
As UN Assistant Secretary-General, he was one of the architects of the United Nations Global Compact and the precursors of the SDGs, the Millennium Development Goals. More than many within and outside the United Nations, John best understood the importance of human rights to peace and economic development. At a time when multilateralism and basic shared understanding of what human dignity is face severe challenges, his voice and wisdom will be missed.
Always championing his principled pragmatism approach - “an unflinching commitment to the principle of strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights as it relates to business, coupled with a pragmatic attachment to what works best in creating change where it matters most-in the daily lives of people”- John will always be remembered for what became known as “the Ruggie Principles” in which he made it clear that the need to respect human rights encompasses, differently but equally, States and business.
I was fortunate to join him in 2005 at the very beginning of the amazing journey that was his mandate as Special Representative of the Secretary General on Business and Human Rights - in the glory days of his team of one at the time. It was a transition period in a field of business and human rights that did not yet really exist, as we moved from the rigor and frustration of stalled debates to the elegance and apparent simplicity of a corporate responsibility to respect all human rights all the time.
The adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights marked the end of the mandate and only the beginning of the end of curbing corporate abuses, but these Principles have since concretely touched the lives of many people, which was John’s overarching objective. They are maybe also one of the best examples of John’s most striking quality: to articulate complex and sometimes truly revolutionary concepts in such an obvious and clear manner that they get accepted without (much) debate and, more importantly, they get acted upon. As he told me once, he had seen enough suffering in his life not to do everything he could to improve the situation as much as he could. And that he did.
John’s brilliance in this field and more broadly in global governance is well-known and will be rightly celebrated. Less widely known is that he was also an amazingly generous human being, gracious to those who worked with him, treating us as members of an extended family. Working together was more than being a colleague, it was a life-long connection with John and Mary, his beloved wife of more than five decades. And sometimes also a marathon, as they would start dancing late in the evening after a long day of work somewhere in the world.
In the conclusion to his tribute to his favorite boss Kofi Annan in 2018, John wrote “Kofi had the ability to inspire those of us who worked closely with him to achieve things we never thought we could. Sadly, he has passed. But his inspiration lives on—as do the many legacies he bequeathed to us all.”
Ditto, my friend, ditto.