Switzerland is renowned worldwide for its mountains, lakes and green landscapes. In March 2017, an annual survey published by the magazine US News & World Report in association with Y&R’s BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, listed Switzerland as the best country in the world based on criteria of peace, safety and prosperity. Thus, Geneva takes the preservation of this unique environment very seriously!
In 2010, Geneva received the Cité de l’Energie – European Energy Award®GOLD, which rewards city councils who have begun a quality management process relating to the introduction of an energy policy on their territory.
In Geneva, 20% of the territory is made up of greenery and there are no less than 50 green areas that provide peace and greenery in the city centre. Geneva is proud of its 310 hectares of parks and 428,000 plants, including 40,000 rose bushes and 40,000 trees in the public domain. Green areas in the city meet various needs, acting as sports fields, tourist attractions, place to walk or picnic areas. In this regard, Geneva’s Botanical Conservatories and Gardens are certified 100% organic, becoming the first Swiss public authority to get that certification.
Geneva derives 80% of its drinking water from Lake Geneva and 20% from groundwater tables. This water is used both for drinking and household, agricultural, industrial and hospital use.
Moreover, Geneva is a major research, development and planning centre with regards to ecology and environmental protection. In addition to recognised universities and laboratories, innovative companies, international organisations and numerous NGOs such as UNEP, WIPO and WMO have their headquarters or main offices in Geneva. For more information, please refer to the website of the Directorate General for Economic Development, Research and Innovation (DG DERI).
The Agenda 21 – Sustainable City Department is in charge of the city’s policy in terms of sustainable development. Its activities focus on five core areas:
• Geneva sustainable city: Implements, monitors and communicates the city’s sustainable development policy and serves as secretariat for the “G’innove” programme.
• Economy and employment: Promotes the local economic fabric and showcases social and solidarity economy as well as the city’s “Nourrir la ville” (Feed the City) programme. The city’s socio-professional integration policy is realised through the “Fonds chômage” (unemployment fund).
• Equality and diversity: Promotes equality among all residents, regardless of gender, sexual preference or origin. The department also promotes the integration of all communities that are present in Geneva.
• La ville est à vous: Coordinates local events that promote exchange and sustainable development and foster resident participation in local life.
• Délégation Genève Ville Solidaire: Active collaboration with international cooperation stakeholders to finance development and humanitarian aid projects.
Moreover, the department is in charge of assessing the city’s sustainability through the Cercle Indicateurs and organises various projects, events and campaigns to promote sustainable development in Geneva.
For more information, please refer to the website of the City of Geneva.
The Canton of Geneva’s Agenda 21 meets the commitments made by Switzerland in Rio in 1992 and 2012 during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development as well as Article 10 of Geneva’s constitution which upholds sustainable development as a guiding principle for public action.
In March 2001, the Canton of Geneva was the first in Switzerland to introduce legislation for sustainable development-related public action.
In November 2015, the Canton of Geneva adopted the first part of the Plan Climat Cantonal, with the two following objectives:
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
• Anticipating and managing the impact of climate change on the canton
For more information, please refer to the website of the Canton of Geneva.