Sustainable economy

Risky business

The experiences of the last ten years have shown that the dominant logic of growth leads to exploitation and global destruction of the environment. 

A sustainable economy needs binding international rules and a shift away from a compulsion to achieve economic growth. In order for people to live in dignity, human rights and environmental standards must be respected. With a policy on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Switzerland can make an important contribution to sustainable development. 

Profit at the expense of workers’ wellbeing 

Today, powerful companies – many of which are headquartered in Switzerland – dominate global trade. At the same time, in the globalised economy, there are often dozens of subsidiaries and sub-contractors involved in the production of goods. The motto in the global supply chain is to strive for production to become ever faster and ever cheaper.

This ethos takes a major toll on workers in the Global South – workers who live near a factory that pollutes the local environment; who are forced to work endless overtime for meagre wages; who have no pension or health insurance; or who, due to extreme poverty, have to send their children to work on plantations or factories instead of sending them to school.  

People at a dump site outside Nairobi People at a dump site outside Nairobi

People search for recyclables at a waste dump in Kenya. © Reuters

Laws and public participation in debate

In the meantime, a wide range of sustainably produced goods are available in Switzerland. An increasing number of globally active companies recognise sustainability as part of their business model. However, this is not enough to achieve a turning point. 

Sustainable public procurement

Swiss municipalities alone procure goods worth CHF 16 billion annually; this means they have market power and act as a role model.

Solidar Suisse is using a rating to investigate whether Swiss municipalities are behaving in a manner that is sustainable and shows solidarity. Consumers can also act – by looking for social and environmental labels when making purchases and asking critical questions about companies’ activities.

Sustainable Cocoa

Sustainable agriculture secures the livelihood of farming families in Nicaragua.

Donate for a sustainable economy

With your donation you support sustainable business worldwide.

Your donation

Thanks to your donation, workers in Nicaragua, for example, will have better prospects. And you contribute to Swiss municipalities paying more attention to sustainability.

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