Press release

Monitoring of the 2030 Agenda sustainable development goals in Switzerland 2030 Agenda in Switzerland: an initial assessment using 85 sustainable development indicators

Neuchâtel, 10 July 2018 (FSO) - The monitoring of 2030 Agenda in Switzerland expresses contrasting and somewhat contradictory trends with regard to the goals pursued. Thirty nine indicators show a development in line with expectations, fourteen show a reverse trend while twelve do not show any marked change. These are the findings of the monitoring system published for the first time by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

This range of 85 indicators, broken down into the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda (SDGs), was developed to statistically monitor the implementation of these goals in Switzerland. Based on the baseline assessment of the situation of the SDGs implemented by the Federal Administration on behalf of the Federal Council (see box below), this range of indicators shows contrasting and somewhat contradictory trends with regard to the goals pursued.

Around twenty indicators cannot yet be assessed as the time series are too short. Almost every indicator benefits from being put into perspective with other indicators from the system, whether within the same goal or across several goals as illustrated by the following indicators that demonstrate the complexity involved in this process.

“Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth" SDG no. 8

The “per capita gross domestic product" indicator linked to this SDG shows a trend that is compliant with the goal pursued and is a sign of Switzerland's wealth and prosperity. This observation, however, may be offset by the “material footprint" indicator of the same SDG that considers, in addition to raw materials extracted in Switzerland, the total mass of raw materials used abroad in the production and transport processes of goods and services consumed in Switzerland. The development of this indicator shows that our consumption of resources is steadily increasing while the goal strives for the sparing use of natural resources in Switzerland and in the countries from which we import goods and services.

“Foster innovation" SDG no. 9

The Swiss economy remains innovative as demonstrated by the “expenditure on research and development" indicator that shows development that is compliant with SDG no. 9 to which it is linked. According to this SDG, technological progress is at the basis of efforts made to fulfil the environmental goals such as optimal use of resources and of energy. Innovation may therefore also contribute to the implementation of SDG no. 8 mentioned above. Nevertheless, it should be stated that not all research and development expenditure is necessarily relevant to sustainable development.

“End poverty" SDG no. 1

Switzerland is unfamiliar with extreme poverty. Nonetheless, in 2016, one person in thirteen in Switzerland lived below the poverty threshold. The “poverty rate" indicator does not show any marked change although a downward trend was targeted. This indicator may also bring an additional insight to SDG no. 8 cited above that calls for the sharing of wealth and completes SDG no. 10 that aims to reduce inequalities in countries.

Immediate use of the monitoring system

The 85 indicators of the monitoring system were integrated by way of a summary into Switzerland's country report “Switzerland implements the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" adopted by the Federal Council on 20 June 2018. This report will be presented during the UN's high-level political forum for sustainable development on 17 July in New York.

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2030 Agenda in Switzerland: an initial assessment using 85 sustainable development indicators
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Monitoring the Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Switzerland