The principles are a concrete expression of the term "sustainable development". As such, they provide a frame of reference for describing our society's progress towards sustainable development. From 2003 to 2019, the MONET system was based on these principles. Each indicator had to derive directly from at least one principle. They have been partially replaced in this function by the 2030 Agenda’s targets translated into the Swiss context. At present, only indicators relating to themes specific to Switzerland and not covered by the 2030 Agenda are linked to one of the principles. The construction of the principles, initially called postulates, is described in the document below.
The principles are organized according to the three qualitative objectives of "social solidarity", "economic efficiency" and "ecological responsibility", and divided into 20 areas.
2a Meeting needs
The basic needs of all individuals must be met over the long term. Individuals should be allowed reasonable leeway to meet material and non-material needs which extend beyond the basic needs.
2b Promoting health
Human health should be protected and promoted.
2c Fighting poverty
A life of dignity is free from poverty. Needy members of society should receive solidarity benefits.
4a Ban on discrimination
No-one shall be discriminated against on the basis of external or internal characteristics.
4b Equal opportunities and fair distribution of wealth
Each member of society should have equal rights and opportunities. Society should strive to achieve fairer access to resources and their equitable distribution.
4c Integration of the less fortunate
The integration of disadvantaged groups of the population and regions into economic, social, cultural and political life should be promoted.
5a Intercultural and interpersonal understanding
In recognition of the fact that the proper functioning of society and its ability to survive are largely based on the solidarity of its members, exchange and understanding between individuals, groups and people of different ages should be promoted.
5b Social and political participation
Social and political participation should be promoted.
6a Development cooperation
Equitable global development must be encouraged. This involves combating inequalities at global level. To that end, it is essential to fight poverty and to support disadvantaged countries, regions and population groups.
6b Promoting peace and democracy
Peaceful coexistence of peoples and nations, respect for human rights and democracy should be promoted.
6c Multilateral policy
Multilateral policy should encourage the preservation of natural resources and the observation of human rights.
8 Economic order in favour of the communal good
Economic activity should effectively and efficiently meet the needs of the individual and of society. The economic framework should be shaped in such a manner that it promotes personal initiative, thus putting self-interest to the service of the well-being of the present and future population.
9a Market as economic order
Goods allocation should primarily be by free market means. If the market fails or in the case of goods primarily in the public interest (merit goods), intervention in the free market is justified.
9b Genuine costs and principle of polluter-pays
Prices should reflect the scarcity of natural resources and sinks and include external costs. The "polluter pays" principle should be applied consistently.
9c Market intervention that conforms to the system
In the case of market intervention, market-economy tools should be chosen above all others.
10a Promotion of economic efficiency
The economic efficiency of a society must be at least maintained over time. The efficient use of natural resources and a future-oriented economic structure should be promoted.
10b Economic order that favours innovation and competition
The framework of the market system should be shaped in such a manner that innovation and knowledge transfer are encouraged and functional markets are maintained or improved. Competitivity and locational quality should be maintained and promoted.
10c Promotion of research
Research and development activities which support sustainable development should be promoted.
10d Long-term focus of public finances
The current use of public finances must not be allowed to jeopardise the capacity to meet the individual and social needs of future generations.
10e Maintaining produced capital
Existing produced capital, such as buildings, machinery or equipment should be maintained or renewed through investment or replaced by more sustainable alternatives.
11a Predictability of changes in the system
The framework of the market system should be shaped in such a manner that a long-term outlook is worthwhile and the social change necessary to adapt to future requirements is facilitated.
11b Socially compatible rate of change
The rapidity or slowness of changes in the framework of the economic system must not jeopardise social peace.
14a Environmentally and socially acceptable world trade
The multilateral trading system should encourage social equity as well as the careful management of natural resources and promote the transfer of technology required.
14b World trade from which all parties can profit
The multilateral trading system should assist in ensuring that one nation's individual and social needs are met without consequently compromising the ability of other nations to meet their own needs.
15a Preservation of natural resources
The natural foundations of life should be maintained in the long term and existing damage should be repaired.
15b Preservation of biodiversity
The dynamic diversity of nature must be preserved. Any damage to nature shall be compensated for so as to ensure the maintenance of biological diversity as well as the quality and interconnectivity of habitats.
17a Limits for degradable waste and toxins
Pollution of the environment with degradable waste and pollutants should be minimised. Contamination should not exceed the absorption capacity of the ecosystem.
17b Avoidance of non-degradable toxins
The emission of non-degradable pollutants into the environment should be prevented wherever possible.
18a Ecological compensation
Preventive or adaptive measures should be taken to protect people, their livelihoods and infrastructure from the effects of natural disasters.
18b Minimisation of ecological risks
Hazards caused by human activity that have a serious impact on people and the biosphere are only allowed if the damage they cause does not last longer than a generation.
18c Caution in the case of uncertainty
Severe or irreversible environmental damage should be prevented, even in the absence of absolute scientific certainty of the actual risk. This also means that preventive measures should be taken against climate change and its impact.
20 Decent natural and agricultural landscapes
Development of the natural habitat of humans must be guided by the concept of human rights. Human dignity requires a decent natural and agricultural landscape to which all people should have equal access.
Each MONET 2030 system indicator is accompanied by three symbols:
Targeted trends The first symbol describes the targeted trend according to the objectives of sustainable development. These objectives are the 2030 Agenda sustainable development goals (SDGs) and its targets adapted to the Swiss context, principles of sustainable development and quantified objectives with set deadlines.
Observed trends The second symbol describes the observed trend based on the trend calculated for the period under analysis, generally since 2000, or since the date of the first survey if it was conducted after 2000, as well as the last value available.
Assessment of the observed trend in relation to targeted trend The third symbol is derived from a comparison of the first two and makes it possible to assess the observed trend. The observed trend is positive if it corresponds to the targeted trend, negative if the opposite is the case and unchanged if the trend variation ranges between +3% and -3%.
Detailed explanations are available in PDF format below.