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Biomass - as a material and as a source of energy - is optimally produced, processed and used with reference to the three aspects of sustainability: ecology, economy and social factors. The areas of land devoted to the cultivation of biomass will remain at least at the present level, both quantitatively and qualitatively. This is the vision of the Swiss biomass strategy.
Food, building materials and many other everyday products (e.g. clothing, hygiene products, paper and furniture) are produced from biomass. This produces large amounts of by-products and materials that can be recycled and/or used for energy.
The FOEN is committed to ensuring that the material and energy flows are optimised. The core elements of the Swiss biomass strategy, which has been adopted by the four federal agencies (ARE, FOEN, FOAG and SFOE), include sustainable production and use along the value chain (the cascade principle) and the return of the nutrients contained in the biomass into the cycle.
Biomass contains nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), organic matter, etc. It must therefore be utilised as far as possible in a way that conserves these valuable substances. In this way, it will also make a contribution to protecting non-renewable raw materials such as phosphate deposits; conserve fossil fuels (energy-intensive production of nitrogen fertilizers); and promote the long-term maintaining of soil fertility - via the discharge of organic matter onto arable land and the associated production of humus. Because of its properties, solid biomass (wood) is used in building and construction as well as in the pulp industry.
Renewable energy can be obtained from biomass in the form of heat, electricity or fuel, using various technologies. It can be used as a substitute for fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.
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