Political mandate for a green economy

The successful transition to a green economy requires future-oriented state framework conditions and a strong voluntary commitment on the part of business, science and society. That is what the measures for the attainment of a green economy are designed to achieve.

Reporting and further development 2016-2019

The report "Grüne Wirtschaft - Massnahmen des Bundes für eine ressourcenschonende, zukunftsfähige Schweiz" ("Green Economy - Federal measures for a resource-conserving, future-proof Switzerland") assesses the implementation of the 2013 Green Economy Action Plan and presents the further development of the green economy on the existing legislative basis. The measures translate the cross-cutting strategies enshrined in the UN's sustainable development goals (SDG) and the Federal Council's Sustainable Development Strategy into concrete form. The focus here is on supporting the voluntary involvement of the targeted actors.

Bericht an den Bundesrat: Grüne Wirtschaft (PDF, 908 kB, 20.04.2016)Massnahmen des Bundes für eine ressourcenschonende, zukunftsfähige Schweiz

For the reporting in 2016, the measures are summarised in nine priority areas in three core areas:

  • Consumption and production
  • Waste and raw materials
  • Cross-cutting instruments

The majority of the measures currently being implemented are continued or further developed and some of them have been completed. New measures have also been added. The federal authorities will make additional efforts in the areas of sustainable public procurement, waste prevention, sustainable finance, and higher education.

It is the task of the DETEC (FOEN) to report every fours years on the status of the implementation of the measures, the progress achieved and the further development of the green economy. The next report is due at the end of 2019.

Revision of the EPA as an indirect counter-proposal to the green economy popular initiative

The Swiss popular initiative "For a sustainable and resource-efficient economy (green economy)" was submitted in September 2012. The Federal Council shares the view that the country's ecological footprint must be reduced to a sustainable level. In this sense, the initiative is going in the right direction. However, the target defined in the transitional provision - which states that the reduction to one Earth must be achieved by 2050 - appears almost impossible to attain from today's perspective.

Hence the Federal Council recommended that the Federal Parliament reject this initiative and submitted a dispatch for the revision of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) in February 2014. The aim of this revision was to modernise the legislation in a way that would make it possible to reduce the pressure on the environment to an acceptable level with the help of economically viable measures. The proposed legislative revision aimed to make consumption more sustainable, develop the recovery of recyclable materials, and provide information about the conservation and efficient use of resources. The draft legislation received almost unanimous support from the cantons, however it was narrowly rejected by parliament at the end of 2015. The need for action for greater resource efficiency is not disputed.

2013 Green Economy Action Plan

The Green Economy Action Plan was adopted by the Federal Council in March 2013. It provides information on the status of the implementation of six areas of action defined in 2010 and provides a basis for the continuation of the work being done in these areas. With a view to supporting the business sector in its efforts, the measures contained in the 2013 Green Economy Action Plan take effect where gaps still exist or where there is particularly extensive potential for conserving resources. The 27 measures aim to restructure the economy in the following four priority areas:

  • Consumption and production
  • Waste and raw materials
  • Cross-cutting instruments
  • Targets, monitoring, information, reporting

The federal authorities are improving the basis for a green economy in this way and supporting the commitment of business, science and society.

Further information

Last modification 18.08.2016

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