In a referendum, the Swiss voted against an initiative that should give the country one of the strictest supply chain laws in the world.
The submission had been rejected by a majority of the cantons and thus failed, the Swiss news agency SDA reported on Sunday.
A second initiative for a ban on investing money in the production of war weapons therefore also failed.
The "Group Responsibility Initiative" wanted to force companies based in Switzerland to guarantee compliance with human rights and environmental standards in all production steps worldwide, including their subsidiaries, suppliers and business partners abroad.
They could have been held responsible for failures in Swiss courts.
130 non-governmental organizations were behind the initiative;
it had supporters across the political spectrum, from trade unions to church groups.
According to the SDA, the initiative received support from 50.7 percent of voters.
However, for a referendum to be successful, a majority of the 23 Swiss cantons must also vote for the initiatives.
In three cantons, two half constituencies are counted.
Only in 8.5 cantons did voters vote in favor of the initiative, which clearly fell short of the majority.
46.7 percent of those entitled to vote cast their vote in this vote.
War business is not prohibited either
The parliament that rejected the initiative had presented a counter-proposal.
The proposal also provides for companies to be obliged to protect human rights and the environment around the world without making them legally responsible.
This proposal is now expected to come into force.
The Green politician and supporter of the supply chain initiative, Lisa Mazzone, was disappointed with the outcome.
Nevertheless, she is pleased that the whole country has had a broad debate "which raises the question of the values that we want to represent in a global economic community," she said.
The so-called War Deals Initiative was also put to the vote.
It would have been a special step even for the pacifist Alpine country: the national bank, foundations and institutions for state and occupational pension schemes were supposed to be prohibited from financing companies that manufacture war material.
In Switzerland it would then have been impossible to invest money in companies that generate more than five percent of their turnover from the production of war goods.
According to the SDA, only 42.5 percent of voters in 3.5 cantons voted for the proposal.
46.4 percent of the electorate voted on the war deals initiative.
The government and parliament had also rejected this proposal.
The narrow definition of arms manufacturers would also have prohibited investments in companies such as Boeing, Airbus and Rolls Royce.