The transformation should progress quickly and dynamically. This requires a series of preconditions and general conditions in terms of material, ideas and structures. They must be designed in such a way that they do not curb and hinder progress, but support and accelerate it.
A proactive and future-orientated perspective gives companies an information advantage and makes it possible to identify future growth areas. The potential offered by scientific insights and societal trends should be exploited and made accessible.
The resources for research and development available in the public and private sectors should be used in such a way that they provide optimal support to the initiatives for resource conservation. An innovative financial sector is also needed that supports investments in sustainable products and services and dedicated project partnerships between business and science.
Public sector as a model
The federal authorities, cantons and communes recognise that they are role models as employers, investors, owners and procurers. They increase the demand for environmentally and socially sustainable products and services through public procurement. They make their instruments and insights available for general use.
The federal, cantonal and communal parliaments, governments and administrations should predominantly use regulatory instruments that increase productivity and promote innovation. They should foster competition and be driven by results rather than measures. The regulator must select an intelligent mix of instruments and introduce them gradually and consistently. Regulations that inhibit the circular economy and innovation should be examined and updated if possible. To smooth the way to win-win situations between the economy and environment, the performance of active companies should be recognised.
The most effective form of information would be the complete internalisation of external costs. As long as this principle is not implemented, efforts must be made to close the gap, first through awareness-raising and the provision of information to economic actors and the public. The insights provided by behavioural psychology and economics must also be taken into account here. Existing platforms and instruments (e.g. life-cycle assessment, Ecoinvent database, ecological scarcity method) should be primarily used here. Examples of good practice should be made visible and accessible. Education and training ensure the dissemination of knowledge and its practical application.
Experimental spaces are needed in which business, science, society and the public sector can develop new models and test solutions. Such spaces can arise in cities and neighbourhoods, in sectoral clusters, and in research networks and innovation hubs.
Motivation and ambition
Negotiating the path to a resource-conserving approach to the economy and consumption requires ambitious changemakers who forge ahead with ideas and conviction. The transformation can and should also be fun. Positive visions should arouse interest and foster motivation.
Last modification 31.03.2017