Accountabilities and implementation

The Federal Council has supreme political responsibility for Switzerland's sustainability policy, and has given the Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE) the task of coordinating the implementation of a sustainability strategy (controlling implementation as well as performing monitoring and evaluation tasks) at federal level and also in collaboration with cantons, municipalities and other stakeholders.

Graphic: Collaboration of the confederation with cantons, towns and cities in the field of sustainable development

The most important body at federal level is the Interdepartmental Sustainable Development Committee (ISDC), headed by ARE. This committee furthers the Confederation's sustainable development policy, and serves as a platform for sharing information on the Confederation's numerous sustainability activities. Around 35 Swiss government agencies affiliated to ISDC perform tasks relevant to sustainable development.

In the context of the Sustainable Development Forum, ARE works closely with cantons and municipalities and promotes sustainability processes at cantonal, regional and local level. In Switzerland's federal political system, many areas of relevance to sustainability fall under the responsibility of individual cantons and municipalities. ARE supports innovative implementation projects in cantons and municipalities (Sustainable Development Promotion Programme) and promotes the application of instruments for measuring and evaluating sustainable development (for instance, the Cercle Indicateurs, a core indicators platform, and sustainability assessment methods).