Switzerland will achieve a resource-conserving approach to the economy and consumption faster and more effectively if business, science, society and the public sector cooperate. Many companies have already improved their resource efficiency and are seeking to cooperate more with suppliers, competitors and customers and with the authorities and civil society actors. The aim is to make even better use of the potential offered by this trend.

© MEDIArt | Andreas Uher


A successful transformation requires open exchange and interaction between actors and results-driven and action-oriented cooperation. To ensure faster and more effective progress, what is needed is not new forums for the exchange of information and views, but the ingenious combination and better networking of existing platforms. Impact-oriented and thematically focused project partnerships have proved effective alongthe supply chain in the implementation of such cooperation (examples: WWF Seafood Group, Sustainable Construction Network Switzerland, Roundtableon Sustainable Palm Oil RSPO, SBB and Mobility, Better Gold Initiative) and could offer models for future initiatives.

Join-up thinking and action

A holistic and systematic perspective is required. The entire value creation chain must be taken into account and attention must be paid to the knock-on effects (‘rebound’). The inclusion of all affected actors is essential for this broad perspective. Good examples of this include the widely supported initiative “Proposals for a "Roadmap towards a Sustainable Financial System in Switzerland” in the financial sector and the Soy Network Switzerland.

Exploit Switzerland’s strengths

Switzerland provides a suitable model for a resource-conserving approach to the economy and consumption in some sectors. Our small country can provide impulses with a global reach in sectors in which it is already an international leader (e.g. the machinery industry, plant engineering, clean technology, the watch and luxury goods industry, the life sciences, banking and insurance). It assumes an important role in the setting of standards and in the early and transparent adoption of international standards (e.g. the Cement Sustainability Initiative, Roundtable on Responsible Soy, Better Gold Initiative etc). As a supplier of resource-conserving products, technologies and conceptual solutions, Switzerland can contribute to establishing sustainability abroad while also accessing new markets (e.g. waste incineration technology, hydropower, public transport, car sharing). As a globally leading research location, Switzerland provides intelligent solutions for the challenges of the future. In international negotiations, it acts in the tradition of good offices to support future-proof solutions in accordance with the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The performance of Swiss business and its contribution to increasing resource efficiency should be made visible.

Last modification 11.11.2016

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