What is cleantech?

Cleantech refers to the technologies, techniques and services that enable us to exploit natural resources in more efficient ways. It involves an extremely diverse range of products, services and processes developed not just to provide superior performance at lower cost but also to reduce – or even eliminate – their negative impact on the environment. And all this must of course be achieved while consuming our planet’s natural resources in a more responsible way. It is important to realise that cleantech is about much more than simply using technology. It also encompasses all those activities and services that raise awareness of environmental and energy issues and bring about direct action to safeguard the environment and preserve natural resources. Societal and behavioural aspects are therefore playing an increasingly important role, supported by digital technology, mobile apps, IoT and AI that facilitate access to and the processing and distribution of specific data.

The Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) refer to a set of 17 objectives established by the member states of the United Nations. These SDGs constitute the reference framework for sustainable development on a global scale. They follow on from the Millennium Goals established in the previous period. These goals come under the 2030 Agenda, an action plan adopted by the UN in September 2015 following two years of negotiations involving governments and civil society.

The 2030 Agenda defines the targets set by the SDGs that must be reached by 2030.

The SDGs and their 169 targets (sub-goals) form the cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda. They apply to everyone (governments, civil society, businesses, science and every individual citizen) and take into account in equal measure.

the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

Switzerland and Swiss business are of course formally committed to meeting these goals. And this is where cleantech comes in. It can help meet some of these goals more quickly, more effectively and more cheaply.