The Ecoparc Association approach was rooted in the "Sustainable Management Network" promoted by the Jura Arc region (in Switzerland). Plus… The SMEs and other businesses and bodies taking part in the different workshops expressed the desire to see “a simple checklist developed which would allow businesses to position themselves and recognise their strengths / weaknesses in the area of sustainable development so as to know where improvements are needed.

The initial proposal became more clearly defined. The EcoEntreprise Programme® was launched, incorporating a checklist and certification scheme. It developed rapidly in response to the need of businesses for simple and practical self-evaluation, management and validation tools recognised by economic groups and the authorities. Plus… In order to offer an additional dimension to ISO type standards, emphasis was placed on outcomes and achievement rather than on the system and procedures. The EcoEntreprise certification scheme has become part and parcel of public tenders in French-speaking Switzerland.

As the project grew in scale, Ecoparc created <link contact>Globalite Management start-up to take care of management and development in the EcoEntreprise Programme® on a daily basis, though EcoEntreprise remains owned by Ecoparc, a non-profit, independent and non-partisan organisation. An initial partnership was launched with the Swiss Association for Standardisation SNV to meet the needs of businesses elsewhere in Switzerland. Plus… The EcoEntreprise Programme takes full advantage of the OKpilot Internet solution, giving access to a complete, ready-made management system and a wide range of evaluation / compliance checklists (ISO, sector solutions, etc.).

The ISO 26000 Guidelines on corporate social responsibility have been published by the ISO after a long legislative history. Plus… This document offered an invaluable benchmark for standards to consolidate the concepts of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. It joined the list of various other existing approaches (GRI, Global Compact,…) and inspired EcoEntreprise in the next stages of its development.

The International Rio+20 Conference focused on the theme "The green economy in the context of sustainable development", emphasising the incorporation of sustainable development into the economy. Plus… The EcoEntreprise Programme is at the forefront of solutions for facilitating this development by strengthening the competitiveness of model businesses and stimulating innovation and the attractiveness of more sustainable goods and services.

Following a complete revision process supported by many <link programme partenaires-institutionnels>partners and involving several rounds of consultation with a network of experts and organisations, the 2013 edition of the EcoEntreprise Programme (Checklist + Certification schemes) is available across Switzerland. It continues to adapt to the needs of various types of bodies, due particularly to its modular approach and its incorporation of corporate social responsibility. It is disseminated across German-speaking Switzerland and the Tessin by the <link contact>Swiss Association for Standardisation SNV and across French-speaking Switzerland by <link contact>Globalite Management.