Facts: Switzerland does business and consumes at the cost of future generations.We consume around three times more resources per capita thancan be provided within the planetary boundaries in the long term. Business-as-usual is not an option – Switzerland must manage resources farmore efficiently in its own interest. The biggest drivers of this overconsumptionare food, living and mobility.
Theory: This situation represents both a huge challenge and an opportunity.The faster Switzerland recognises and seizes this opportunity, the morefreedom it will have to act and the greater the benefit to the economy.Insight: No actor can master this challenge alone. Business, science,society and the public sector must join forces and seek solutions throughdialogue, implement them, and achieve the desired effects in this way.
Process: For this reason, the Federal Office for the Environment FOENinvited individuals from business, science, society and the public sector toparticipate in a ‘Green Economy Dialogue Impulse Group’ for one year. Thepurpose of the group was to discuss how the transformation to a resource-conserving and efficient approach to the economy and consumptioncan be tackled expediently, and to identify particularly promising models,approaches and levers and the actors whose participation in this process isessential. The members of the impulse group did not primarily representtheir organisations but participated in the dialogue as individuals.
Vision: Based on the World Business Council on Sustainable Development’s‘Vision 2050’ and the Federal Council’s ‘Sustainable Development Strategy’,the impulse group quickly agreed that over nine billion people should beable to live well and within the planetary boundaries and that Switzerlandwould like to contribute to this transformation and should reduce itsexcessive resource consumption considerably. In the view of the impulsegroup, the sustainable development goals SDGs (see Annex), which theUnited Nations defined in autumn 2015, offer a practical and broad-basedreference framework.
Result: The result of the process is GO FOR IMPACT – an appealing modelwhich incites further dialogue and shows ways in which the challenge canbecome an opportunity. The model’s effectiveness is measured on thebasis of how many people it reaches, whether it is used in practice, andwhether it also generates IMPACT by inciting people to INTEGRATE andINNOVATE and adopt a focussed economic orientation. By impact we meanachieving a decrease in resource consumption while improving economicefficiency and social conditions.
Dissemination and application: GO FOR IMPACT will be presented to thepublic at the Swiss Green Economy Symposium in Winterthur on 14 November2016 and discussed for the first time at the conference. Thesymposium should be availed of as an opportunity to arouse the enthusiasmof those present for the model, facilitate the necessary exchange ofinformation for this, and set the dialogue in motion. Companies, science,societal actors and the public sector are invited to take on the impulse tonetwork and initiate new sustainable projects.