The National Research Programme “Sustainable Economy: resource-conserving, future-proof, innovative” (NFP 73) aims to develop scientific findings on a sustainable economy with careful use of natural resources, more welfare and increased competitiveness of Switzerland as a business location.

The first NFP 73 projects have completed their research. Starting in September 2022, podcasts will be published on a regular basis. With kind permission, these podcasts will now also be published at Business Sustainability Today.

“Public Procurement Can Promote Environmental and Social Sustainability,” with Prof. Dr. Peter Seele and Dr. Matthias Stürmer (in German)

Every year, over 40 billion Swiss francs are spent on public procurement at federal, cantonal and municipal level in Switzerland. Procurement bodies can already specify ecological and social requirements by means of suitable criteria. In the future, sustainability criteria are to be taken into account even more according to new international and national law and international treaties. In this podcast episode, Barbara Dubach talks to Peter Seele and Matthias Stürmer.

“All hospitals can optimize their operating processes in terms of sustainability,” with Matthias Stucki and Regula Keller (In German)

Healthcare has the fourth largest ecological footprint after food, mobility and housing. Nevertheless, there have hardly been any comprehensive sustainability analyses to date. Which processes in a hospital are particularly harmful to the environment and how can they be made more sustainable without sacrificing healthcare? Findings from this research project have already been put into practice and integrated into a parliamentary motion of the Grand Council of the Canton of Bern. Barbara Dubach talks to Matthias Stucki and Regula Keller about win-wins, vegetarian menus and optimized purchase intervals in hospitals.

“Investments in the processing of construction waste and secondary raw materials must be worthwhile for companies,” with Dr. Susanne Kytzia (In German)

Switzerland is not a country rich in raw materials. The most important raw materials extracted domestically are mineral building materials such as gravel. At the same time, large quantities of mineral raw materials are stored in our buildings, roads and other structures. Today, construction, waste and the excavated material from new buildings are responsible for the vast majority of waste. This raises the question of how to close the loop in the construction industry. Barbara Dubach talks to Susanne Kytzia about the interplay between business and politics, how construction waste can compete with primary raw materials, and an early recycling fee.

“A sustainable water supply needs decentralized and modular solutions”, with Prof. Dr. Bernhard Truffer and Dr. Eva Lieberherr (In German)

The comprehensive introduction of sustainable water supply often faces considerable regulatory and operational challenges. The extent to which such infrastructures can become part of future water supply and sanitation was examined with a view to settlement water and the strategic implications for Switzerland. Barbara Dubach talks to Bernhard Truffer and Eva Lieberherr about the costs of settlement construction, integrated approaches and the keyword blue economy.

“To achieve net zero by 2050, the transport sector must be transformed,” with Martin Peter and Vanessa Angst (In German)

Swiss transport is responsible for 40% of national CO2 emissions. In order to achieve Switzerland’s net zero target, the greenhouse gas emissions of the Swiss transport system must be substantially reduced. For this purpose, a basic distinction is made between the three approaches “improve”, “avoid”, and “shift”. Barbara Dubach talks to Martin Peter and Vanessa Angst about different scenarios for reducing greenhouse gases in transport, why e-mobility alone is not enough, and what we can do to achieve net zero by 2050.

“Sustainable housing should integrate the needs of tenants in its design”, with Prof. Dr. Claudia Binder and Dr. Anna Pagani

Housing is the second largest contributor to Swiss energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Since 1990, the population of Switzerland has grown by 23%, while living space has increased by 35%. The size of dwellings is a key factor in determining the consumption of resources and energy in housing. In this episode Barbara Dubach speaks with Claudia Binder and Anna Pagani about what’s behind this growing trend for bigger homes, and how we can make housing more environmentally sustainable without compromising our standard of living.

“Voluntary environmental initiatives by the private sector are paying off”, with Prof. Dr. Thomas Bernauer (In German)

Progress toward a sustainable economy requires major changes on both the producer and the consumer side. To what extent do voluntary environmental protection measures by companies support this change and how are they perceived by the Swiss population? Barbara Dubach talks to Thomas Bernauer about the positive effects of voluntary measures and what else one should strive for besides environmental protection measures. The Sustainable Economy series is a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) podcast that provides access to the findings of the National Research Programme “Sustainable Economy: resource-efficient, sustainable, innovative” (NRP 73). In each episode, Barbara Dubach, Head of Knowledge Transfer for NRP 73, speaks with renowned researchers who have worked on one of 29 research projects. In less than 20 minutes, listeners thus receive evidence-based, actionable facts for the shift toward a sustainable economy.