Green Economy Action Plan: priority areas

The 2013 Green Economy Action Plan and its further development over the period 2016-2019 is the centrepiece of the green economy in Switzerland. It contains various measures in the priority areas of consumption and production, waste and raw materials, and cross-cutting instruments. The aim of these measures is to conserve natural resources, make consumption more environmentally-friendly and strengthen the circular economy.

 1. Consumption and production

Current consumer behaviour and production methods use large quantities of natural resources and cause major environmental impacts. Increasing consumer awareness so that consumers can make more environmentally-friendly decisions when it comes to the purchase and use of products is important. To achieve this, transparency and standards relating to ecologically important raw materials and products must be improved and supported, and products must be manufactured in a way that is more environmentally friendly and conserves resources.

2. Waste and raw materials

The extraction of raw materials and disposal of products that are no longer in use can cause major environmental impacts. In addition, the incorrect management of waste can result in the loss of valuable raw materials. Given that annual per capita volumes of waste exceed 700 kg (200 kg above the OECD average), waste prevention is very important in Switzerland. Therefore, the Green Economy aims to achieve a more efficient use of raw materials and the closure of material cycles. With the enactment of the new waste ordinance (Abfallverordnung, VVEA), the Federal Council has given a high priority to the prevention and the improved recycling of waste. Waste is raw materials in the wrong place.

3. Cross-cutting instruments

When it comes to supporting and developing existing initiatives, the dialogue with business, science and society is crucial. Because a large proportion of Switzerland's environmental impact arises abroad, involvement at international level is very important. The consolidation of the knowledge base and sector-specific approaches for increasing efficiency are also needed, for example in the area of sustainable finance. To establish whether Switzerland is developing in the direction of a green economy, the progress already achieved requires comprehensive measurement.

Last modification 20.04.2016

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