A resource-conserving and efficient approach to the economy and consumption is both a challenge and an opportunity. It is a stimulus for innovation in the economy and science, which, in turn, provide the basis for resource-conserving and socially-acceptable growth and prosperity. An openness to the innovations and trends that arise in other areas and have hidden potential for resource conservation (e.g. digitisation, sharing economy, dematerialisation) is also required.

Promote new forms of consumption

There is considerable potential for conserving resources in the area of consumption. This potential can often be exploited without incurring any major losses in terms of comfort and convenience (e.g. avoidance of food waste). Goods are also required that are durable, can be repaired and are recyclable. The corresponding awareness must be fostered among consumers.

Create prototypes and pilot projects

Prototypes and pilot projects offer promising test grounds for an effective transformation. To achieve results that are visible from an early stage, sustainable business models and social and technical innovations should be tested using prototypes. Pilot projects pave the way to subsequent broad-based implementation. They must be set up in such a way that, if successful, they can be implemented in practice and scaled-up quickly (regulatory requirements, licensing, finance, organisation). Good successful examples act as an inspiration for further innovation.

Put the circular economy into practice

Switzerland’s high level of resource consumption requires new businessmodels that aim to implement the principle of the circular economy: models involving use instead of ownership and the sharing, repairing and exchanging of goods conserve natural resources, do not cost much to implement, and generate the same added value for the customer and consumer as traditional business models. In terms of production, the circular economy means that companies take the closure of material cycles into account in the design of their products, and in this way attain greater added value using significantly fewer resources. If existing regulations stand in the way of these efforts, they should be examined and adapted if necessary.

Give companies space to take initiative

Companies often aim to achieve greater efficiency for economic reasons.They are creative, innovative and avail of the leeway available to them. This initiative should be supported through favourable and stable regulatory conditions.

Last modification 11.11.2016

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