Strengthening sustainable development is one of the priority goals included in the 2023-2026 legislative program. In order to take better account of this goal, the Canton of Bern's location promotion department is integrating sustainability principles into the criteria for awarding support services to companies.
The Bern Economic Development Agency has developed a self-assessment questionnaire that allows companies to take stock of their commitments and actions in the areas of governance, society and the environment. This questionnaire is used in two ways:
- Mandatory for companies applying for financial support based on the Economic Development Act (with the exception of startups).
- Voluntary for all companies that wish to make a brief inventory before carrying out a more detailed analysis or applying to specialized organizations for an award/certification.
A personal questionnaire is provided for companies applying for financial support. Other companies can fill in the questionnaire voluntarily at the following link: to the sustainability self-assessment questionnaire.
A circular economy is a closed-loop system in which all production materials are used as technical or biological “nutrients”, keeping them all in circulation for as long as possible. The aim is to keep material flows circulating constantly at a high quality level in terms of their properties, functions, and range of uses.
Besides permanently reprocessing products and components, the circular economy system also involves extending their life span, for example through sharing, leasing, reuse, repair, refurbishment, and recycling.
Study on the circular economy and innovation in Bern
A recently published report (Kreislaufwirtschaft. Innovationen der Berner Wirtschaft im europäischen Kontext 2021 – The Circular Economy – Innovations in the Bernese Economy in the European Context in 2021, Reuter transferpilots.ch) analyzes the circular economy in the Canton of Bern in the context of European and Swiss activities for the first time. The analysis describes what circular economy activities Bernese businesses are currently undertaking and highlights the fact that the Canton of Bern is home to many pioneering companies that are committed to the principles of the circular economy and have developed innovative products and services.
- The report can be downloaded free at : www.transferpilots.ch/themen
New opportunities for businesses
The circular economy is an important investment in the future. It is all about using sustainable use of raw materials and enabling businesses to remain competitive by:
- providing access to new markets and new sources of funding
- generating value through new, circular products and services and creating new jobs in growth areas
- enabling sustainable businesses to play a pioneering role in a globally growing market for circular solutions.
The Bern Economic Development Agency supports innovative, circular business projects in the Canton of Bern.