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 2019: 17.1279236531203 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2018: 16.8094755814279 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2017: 17.5271197364685 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2016: 17.580468614003 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2015: 17.3108325374532 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2014: 17.5227010953861 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2013: 17.5593254338104 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2012: 17.4870737075859 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2011: 18.394757947088 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2010: 17.6452022533659 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2009: 18.6959618784989 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2008: 18.6258220783819 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2007: 18.5538957043577 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2006: 18.3921214264048 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2005: 18.3439814529324 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2004: 18.2349676984906 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2003: 18.1434879036872 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2002: 18.8097826468101 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2001: 19.3129717864403 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2000: 18.6287238962365

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FSO: Environmental accounting, STATPOP
Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2019: 147.403476180233 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2018: 143.629017961352 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2017: 148.702362369764 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2016: 148.019634519029 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2015: 144.149483704273 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2014: 144.346159041624 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2013: 142.926429640131 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2012: 140.579634759705 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2011: 146.324082040899 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2010: 138.870106191091 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2009: 145.563132169388 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2008: 143.453399529318 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2007: 140.888895707666 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2006: 138.101639447181 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2005: 136.830105687049 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2004: 135.214145451013 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2003: 133.611330158963 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2002: 137.57198524072 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2001: 140.128221681201 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2000: 134.202351528302

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FSO: Environmental accounting
Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2019: 129.7719632496 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2018: 131.756752034191 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2017: 123.538823299065 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2016: 122.172423018584 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2015: 122.93821405991 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2014: 120.768642781741 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2013: 119.055176706937 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2012: 118.877102787583 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2011: 112.836738025106 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2010: 116.653090162914 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2009: 107.76740611029 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2008: 111.674738924057 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2007: 110.658276108188 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2006: 108.554131160336 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2005: 105.333744312403 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2004: 103.606013573233 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2003: 101.971721223372 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2002: 99.0824031211718 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2001: 97.2802864472223 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 43%, non-metallic minerals were the material category with the highest level of consumption between 2000 and 2019. They are mainly used in the construction industry (sand, gravel etc.).

Switzerland’s material footprint per capita fell by 1.5 tonnes between 2000 and 2019 and was approximately 17 tonnes in 2019. This places Switzerland above the European average and exceeds the planetary boundary, which 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. For this reason, the state is rated negatively. Although the trend is moving in the right direction, a reduction on the scale recorded up to now will not result in a level that is compatible with the planetary boundary by 2050. Thus the development is evaluated as insatisfactory.

The total value of the material footprint increased by 7% between 2000 and 2019 to reach 147 million tonnes in 2019.

Material efficiency, measured by dividing Switzerland’s gross domestic product and raw material consumption in tonnes, improved by 30% between 2000 and 2019: While the real gross domestic product grew by approximately 43% in the same period, the total material footprint increased significantly less, i.e. by about 10%.

International comparison

At approximately 17 tonnes per capita, Switzerland’s material footprint in 2018 was above the European average (EU-27) of around 14.6 tonnes per capita (eurostat 2021) .

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 on domestic raw material consumption are collected as part of the environmental accounting of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
The indicator is calculated based on a method developed by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat). This method can be used to convert the imports and exports of a country into raw material equivalents (RME). It involves a hybrid approach that combines environmentally extended input-output tables (IOT) with life cycle assessments (LCA).

The calculation of raw material equivalents is based on a model. As a result, it is subject to much more uncertainty than a calculation based on direct flows.

Consumption-related material efficiency is measured by dividing Switzerland’s gross domestic product (at 2015 prices) and raw material consumption (RMC) in tonnes.

Basis for assessment of the trend
Targeted trend Initial value Final value Deviation from theoretical path in% Observed trend Assessment
6.5 n 2050 2000 2019 32.56% Towards theoretical path unsatisfactory
 
Last updated on: 14.07.2021

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