A hierarchical system of goals and objectives coordinates the implementation of sustainable development across Switzerland. This is an unweighted list that includes social, economic and environmental dimensions. These indicators provide a working basis for the VSS, which will eventually be supplemented or amended during the process of analysis of all existing standards.
By decision of the Executive Committee, sustainable development has become, as is the quality and safety, the third cross-cutting theme of the VSS. The objective of this project is to develop a standard analysis tool of VSS and research projects in terms of sustainable development, allowing adaptation to the strategic line defined by DETEC. This tool will take the form of a reminder list (check list), which lists the objectives of sustainable development.
This tool will support the technical committees and expert commissions in the review of existing standards in terms of sustainable development.
All existing standards will be critically analysed to identify those that exhibit total or partial incompatibility with the objectives of sustainable development. In addition, all new projects will have to conform to these objectives.
To avoid a detailed analysis of each standard, the evaluation will take place, initially, taking
into account only overall objectives.
Deficient standards that not comply with at least one of the overall objectives will be assessed in detail in a second step.
Conclusions of the project are :
· More than nine standards out of ten are concerned with sustainable development objectives;
very few of them totally comply with them.
· One standard out of five is in conflict with the main objectives.
· Almost four standards out of five are in conflict with some second-level objectives.
Based on the consolidated results, the SDTC has developed a guide specifying review recommendations for the Expert Committees and the Technical Committees, in order to improve or to amend the standards, as far as sustainable development is concerned. Check-lists have been proposed with examples of indicators as a working basis for the experts. Every Technical Committee, with the help of the SDTC, has to specify the corresponding indicators they have taken into account to assess their standards. Research and standardization processes will be made easier by using these check-lists.
The results will form the basis to improve the current standards and future standards in terms of sustainable development.