Housing is after nutrition and before mobility one of the areas of consumption and production with the greatest effects on the environment.


Two-thirds of the environmental impact of Switzerland (within its borders and outside) stems from nutrition, housing and mobility. Therefore, environmental policy needs to address these areas. However, there are no easy universal solutions. Instead, a differentiated view of the system, which takes into account the interaction of values, lifestyles, social structures, markets, technologies, products and infrastructures, is necessary.

In brief

Living, working and recreational activities place demands on settlement areas. These areas are constantly expanding and affect the environment. Construction activity and settlement structure affect mobility and raw material requirements. The latter is gaining in importance in relation to building use, whose life cycle assessment continues to improve thanks to new and adapted standards.

Impact on the environment

What impact does housing have on the environment in Switzerland? Effects of housing on soil, landscape, biodiversity, water, climate, tranquillity, waste and raw materials.


As the federal environment authority, the FOEN is constantly confronted with issue of settlement development. Accordingly, it is involved in the area of spatial planning. The Swiss federal and cantonal buildings programme is promoting the energy-efficient renovation of buildings and the optimisation of building services technology. To close more material cycles, the FOEN intends to increase the acceptance of secondary raw materials in the construction sector.
Wohnen, Logement, alloggio

Umwelt Schweiz: Heute anpacken für die Schweiz von morgen

Only available in german, french and italian. 

Last modification 30.11.2018

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