Title: Beyond Local Agenda 21: local implementation of sustainability - an inventory of organisational practices of sustainability approaches of Western Swiss municipalities

Authors: Gerhard Schneider; Clotilde Jenny; René Longet

Addresses: Department of Business Administration HEIG-VD, University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland HES-SO, Av. des Sports 20, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland ' Department of Business Administration HEIG-VD, University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland HES-SO, Av. des Sports 20, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland ' Chemin des Verjus 90B, 1212 Grand-Lancy, Switzerland

Abstract: In Switzerland, more than 200 municipalities have a sustainability approach. Governance and organisational processes can play a decisive part in its success or failure. The objective of the present analysis was to establish an inventory of practices, their achievements and the obstacles encountered with a sample of municipalities of Western Switzerland. Two different approaches could be detected - Local Agenda 21 and a transversal or horizontal sustainability approach. A majority of the municipalities consider Local Agenda 21 to be an inflexible listing of heterogeneous actions, showing difficulties to be introduced into operative management. A transversal approach seems to encounter fewer obstacles. Independently of the chosen approach, no controlling or evaluation of what had been achieved was carried out; at the same time all municipalities regret the lack of a standardised framework with criteria and indicators that allow controlling and evaluation. However, all municipalities of the sample want to continue on their way to a sustainable township. In our opinion, either approach (Local Agenda 21 or a transversal approach) can be successful - what seems to matter is integration into strategic and operative management.

Keywords: sustainability in municipalities; sustainability in local government; Local Agenda 21; integrating sustainability; embedding sustainability; Switzerland.

DOI: 10.1504/WREMSD.2018.10014582

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2018 Vol.14 No.4, pp.435 - 453

Received: 31 Jul 2015
Accepted: 31 Jul 2015

Published online: 30 Jul 2018 *

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