Also referred to as clean technology, pertaining to renewable energies, energy efficiency, energy storage and mobility, cleantech refers to technologies which aim to protect and maintain natural resources and the environment. Clean technologies particularly deal with the development of environmentally sound products, the decrease in materials usage and waste, the reduction of energy consumption and And what you may not know is that Switzerland is today leading the development and marketing of cleantechn products and services in the global marketplace.
Words Rémi Dévé
An eco-friendly country where care for the environment has become part of everyday life, Switzerland has long been playing a leading role in environmentally sound technologies. The federal republic was among the first industrialized nations worldwide, with water power technologies being developed in various parts of the country, helping to set up industrial hubs. Today Switzerland’s cleantech cluster is very strong, boasting an outstanding record in a variety of fields from recycling and waste management to transport and landscape planning, and has long been committed to sustainable policies governing the use of natural resources.
With one of the most advanced and innovative environmental legislation, Switzerland provides a permanent incentive for corporations to be innovative in the cleantech sector – many of the companies most renowned for environmentally sound technologies are based in Switzerland. There is even a Swiss Cleantech Masterplan, currently being implemented, that was set up by the federal government in 2010, which came up with a vision and a series of objectives designed to strengthen the innovation capacities of cleantech companies and research institutions in Switzerland.
In this regard, Switzerland can really be considered as a cleantech pioneer. Some examples speak for themselves: the Valais alone accounts for about 30% of Switzerland’s hydroelectric power production; Swiss universities and institutions are at the forefront of the research in and the battle against climate change, depletion of natural resources and environmental pollution; and Zürich, Bern, and Geneva all rank among the world’s top-ten cities for quality of life – with environmental criteria a major factor.