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 2015: 16.6345493383925 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2014: 16.8366387385074 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2013: 16.7895155797327 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2012: 16.5141959567066 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2011: 17.3933017953314 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2010: 16.9284081183641 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2009: 17.5960545917341 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2008: 17.3362376142799 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2007: 17.2041464021043 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2006: 17.5270350981917 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2005: 17.5103377459458 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2004: 17.3055407264757 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2003: 17.418052098532 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2002: 17.8920538233899 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2001: 18.4194187024655 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2000: 17.6461061302533

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FSO: Material flow accounts in environmental accounting
Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2015: 138.517988294011 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2014: 138.694606490485 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2013: 136.660461487775 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2012: 132.758612147722 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2011: 138.357836845855 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2010: 133.125204583713 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2009: 136.999467416651 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2008: 133.521205686967 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2007: 130.6395824795 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2006: 131.605931996161 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2005: 130.611850570241 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2004: 128.322349651972 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2003: 128.2691135253 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2002: 130.859851532362 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2001: 133.6449105668 Raw material consumption (RMC) based on domestic consumption 2000: 127.123519098182

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FSO: Material flows in environmental accounting
Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2015: 120 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2014: 117.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2013: 117.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2012: 117.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2011: 112.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2010: 115 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2009: 107.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2008: 112.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2007: 112.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2006: 107.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2005: 105 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2004: 102.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2003: 100 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2002: 97.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2001: 97.5 Changes in consumption-related material efficiency (GDP/RMC) 2000: 100

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FSO: Material flow accounts in environmental accounting, gross domestic product
Comment

At an average rate of 43%, non-metallic minerals were the material category with the highest level of consumption between 2000 and 2015. They are mainly used in the construction industry (sand, gravel etc.).

Switzerland’s material footprint per capita fell by one tonne between 2000 and 2015 and was approximately 17 tonnes in 2015. This places Switzerland above the European average and exceeds the planetary boundary, which is estimated to be around 5 to 8 tonnes (UBA 2015). 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 9% between 2000 and 2015 to reach 139 million tonnes in 2015.

Material efficiency, measured by dividing Switzerland’s gross domestic product and raw material consumption in tonnes, improved by 20% between 2000 and 2015: While the gross domestic product grew by approximately 29% in the same period, the total material footprint increased significantly less, i.e. by about 9%.

International comparison

At approximately 17 tonnes per capita, Switzerland’s material footprint in 2015 was above the European average of around 14 tonnes per capita (EU-27).

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 2010 prices) and raw material consumption (RMC) in tonnes.

 
Last updated on: 07.02.2019

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