Environmental best practices for Swiss economy showcased at green economy symposium
Opportunities for the Swiss economy to build on its strengths to become greener while maintaining competitiveness were the focus of discussions at the second Swiss Green Economy Symposium.
Following up the Rio+20 United Nations Conference, the event, which took place on 13 November in Winterthur, Switzerland, was organized by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Switzerland, economiesuisse, the United Nations Global Compact Switzerland and the LifeFair Forum organized.
The event addressed how a green economy can be concretely implemented in a globalized market and featuring best practice examples from Swiss companies and institutions including Schneider Electric, the Federal Office for the Environment, and Oerlikon.
Thomas Pletscher, Secretary General of ICC Switzerland, said: “For ICC, a green economy is embedded in a broader sustainable development concept. It is an economy in which economic growth and environmental responsibility work together in a mutually reinforcing fashion while supporting progress on societal development. It promotes trade, creates employment, a better distribution of income and is conducive to sustainable development.”
Business plays an essential role in this. For a green economy to become operational, it is essential to enable frameworks, and have open and competitive markets. Switzerland must not be an island, especially in this area.”
Andrea Bacher, ICC Policy Manager, showcased several opportunities and challenges for Switzerland based on findings ofthe ICC Green Economy Roadmap.
“To achieve a green, circular economy, market and policy frameworks should work hand in hand. This is best achieved through a combination of bottom up actions, local or national, as well as top down multilateral actions pursued simultaneously by governments and business.”
ICC formulates policy on green economy through the work of its Commission on Environment and Energy. The commission analyzes major policy issues of interest to world business, and works closely with major intergovernmental organizations to involve ICC member companies in environment- and energy-related debates. One of the commission’s flagship papers, the Green Economy Roadmap, is a guide for business, policymakers and society to advance economic growth and societal development while enhancing environmental protection.
ICC will lead a delegation of business representatives to provide input to the 20th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP20) taking place on 1-12 December in Lima.