If we aim to systematically pursue sustainable development, it is imperative to take regular snapshots of how far we are towards reaching our goal, the progress we have made, and where a need for action still exists. This requires an appropriate set of metrics.
For this reason, the Federal Council requires the periodic production of sustainability indicators for the purpose of checking and implementing the constitutional sustainable development mandate.
Indicator systems should:
- Initiate debate between stakeholders in society about the goals of sustainable development;
- Measure the current status of sustainability, indicate trends over time and identify areas for action;
- Inform the public and political decision-makers about the status of sustainable development and thus enable potential problem areas to be identified at an early stage;
- Enable comparisons (benchmarking) and, as a result of the ensuing competition, motivate people to step up their efforts to achieve the goals.