Sustainable methods of consumption and production
A third of environmental impact due to the Swiss population, both nationally and overseas, is attributed to food. As a result, the production of foodstuffs that preserve resources and respect the environment and the elimination of food waste are of prime importance.
Here are the major challenges Switzerland must take up in this regard between now and 2030:
The environmental impact of Swiss consumption exceeds what nature can withstand.
Today, Switzerland has already exceeded the planet’s capabilities in several areas.
The efficient use of resources has certainly improved in some areas, but in other significant areas it has solely slowed the increase in environmental impact in relation to that of economic performance. In particular, the increase in consumption, especially overseas, is putting growing pressure on the environment. Besides their environmental impact, the methods of production and consumption are having a massive influence on working conditions around the world, respect of human rights and the loyalty of the competition, consideration for consumer interests and the battle against corruption. As a result, the manufacturing and consumption of goods (products, services, works) must be redirected so as to meet the top level economic, ecological and social criteria throughout their entire lifecycle. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays a key role here: the companies are accountable by drawing up commercial strategies based on sustainable development, by developing sustainable products and production methods, or by applying norms and standards relating to social and environmental responsibility. It’s advisable in future to reinforce the principles of the CSR and also improve the exemplary service of the public authorities on the matter. To achieve this, it is imperative to combine and coordinate public action and private activities.
Consumers can make a significant contribution to sustainable development by acting on request.
This is why the information available with regards to the environmental impact and social consequences of the products must be improved on. Equally, the supply of consumer goods and services that respect the environment and the company must be developed in a targeted manner. Another important element is to inform and raise awareness among consumers so that they make sustainable purchasing decisions and adopt consumption behaviours that conserve resources.
Switzerland produces the most urban waste in Europe.
This waste must be reduced using preventative measures with regards to production, transport, distribution and consumption. In addition to the efficient use and recycling of consumer goods and capital equipment, a significant challenge from the conception stage consists of taking into consideration not just their manufacture and their use but also their management as waste. The protection of non-renewable resources (like rare soils), the efficient use of renewable resources and the recycling of raw materials (e.g. phosphate) are among the most urgent tasks.
Source Confédération Suisse, 27.01.2016 Strategy for sustainable development 2016-2019
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