Indicator Economy and Consumption

Material footprint per capita

The material footprint (raw material consumption, RMC) indicates the total quantity of raw materials that are required in Switzerland or abroad to cover Swiss demand for goods and services. All materials that are consumed in the product life cycle are included in this indicator. The extraction, transport, use and disposal of material pollute the environment due to land use and emissions. A reduction of the material footprint is therefore important.

Assessment of the state
poor poor
Assessment of the trend
unsatisfactory unsatisfactory
Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2021: 15.8398207001487 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2020: 16.5141089024451 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2019: 17.4648775566796 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2018: 17.2772731334725 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2017: 17.8982513240116 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2016: 18.2145120769574 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2015: 17.8584337401269 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2014: 17.7124423362466 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2013: 18.3813130632559 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2012: 18.0765299398187 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2011: 18.6943757781987 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2010: 18.0804717946472 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2009: 19.7640840958365 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2008: 19.8701894585505 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2007: 19.8811891957131 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2006: 19.6058833366547 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2005: 19.4331292485285 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2004: 19.3430143866787 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2003: 19.2813710675435 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2002: 19.9784080126777 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2001: 20.4880887420416 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2000: 19.7660645606606

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FSO: Environmental accounting, STATPOP
Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2021: 138.420882576073 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2020: 143.18227841687 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2019: 150.303312593744 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2018: 147.62612677533 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2017: 151.851091005586 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2016: 153.357995157547 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2015: 148.709427916688 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2014: 145.909184010259 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2013: 149.617105630383 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2012: 145.318308777999 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2011: 148.707440616558 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2010: 142.295735807094 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2009: 153.879324537868 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2008: 153.037337902474 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2007: 150.967690870512 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2006: 147.215460839389 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2005: 144.954198505318 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2004: 143.43042466469 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2003: 141.990870184308 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2002: 146.119139378747 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2001: 148.654462545461 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2000: 142.39581622855

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FSO: Environmental accounting
Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2021: 147.588901504644 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2020: 136.901379239324 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2019: 133.588784683921 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2018: 134.475715831046 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2017: 127.098601416542 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2016: 124.157702786729 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2015: 125.44375584499 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2014: 125.782578559635 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2013: 119.849031816399 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2012: 121.22192651314 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2011: 117.078552839982 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2010: 120.1750918253 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2009: 107.637546646718 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2008: 110.774659880777 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2007: 109.226237461618 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2006: 107.788783869614 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2005: 105.185408896319 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2004: 103.458089782612 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2003: 101.757785649404 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2002: 98.9148941039642 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2001: 97.2991261049199 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2000: 100

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FSO: Environmental accounting, National accounts
Comment

At an average rate of around 45%, non-metallic minerals were the material category with the highest level of consumption between 2000 and 2021. They are mainly used in the construction industry (sand, gravel etc.).

Switzerland’s material footprint per capita fell by 3.9 tonnes between 2000 and 2021 and was approximately 15.8 tonnes in 2021. This reduction since 2019 is primarily attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The value is above the European average (EU 27).

The planetary boundary is estimated to be around 5 to 8 tonnes per capita (UBA 2015), although the varying relevance of different raw materials for the environment must be taken into account. In the 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy, the federal government’s aim is a considerable reduction in the per capita material footprint in line with Paris Climate Agreement target of keeping global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Although the trend is moving in the right direction, a reduction on the scale recorded up to now will still not achieve the target values. The trend is thus classed as unsatisfactory and the state as poor.

The total value of the material footprint decreased by 2.8% between 2000 and 2021 to reach 138.4 million tonnes in 2021.

Material efficiency, measured by dividing Switzerland’s gross domestic product and raw material consumption in tonnes, improved by 48% between 2000 and 2021. 

International comparison

Switzerland's material footprint in 2021 was above the European average (EU-27, Eurostat 2024) and the global average  (SCP Hotspot Analysis).

Method

This indicator describes the raw material consumption caused by domestic final demand. Raw materials are also used abroad to produce, transport, use and dispose of goods and services consumed in Switzerland. The indicator includes both resource consumption that occurs abroad and the percentage of domestic extraction that is used to cover Swiss final demand. All materials extracted from nature, with the exception of water and air, are taken into account.

The data concerning domestic raw material consumption are collected as part of the environmental accounts compiled by the Federal Statistical Office, which are satellite accounts of the national accounts. The environmental accounts are in line with the UN’s System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). The data presented in this indicator are based on an adaptation of the Eurostat method, which involves converting a country’s imports and exports into raw material equivalents (RME). RME indicators are the result of modelling and entail greater uncertainty than direct flow indicators. They should therefore be considered as estimates.

Domestic final demand is calculated according to the national accounts and corresponds to the total final consumption expenditure of households and public administrations, gross fixed capital formation and changes in inventories.

Basis for assessment of the trend
Targeted trend Initial value Final value Approach to the theoretical path in % Observed trend Assessment
6.5 n 2050 2000 2021 70.47% Towards theoretical path unsatisfactory
 
Last updated on: 14.06.2024

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