MatCH - Material- and energy resources and associated environmental impacts in Switzerland

Our industrial and consumer society is hungry for raw materials, products, services and energy. Switzerland's domestic consumption of materials per inhabitant is approximately 11.9 tons. In addition, around 26.6 tons abroad and around 6.6 tons at home are needed to provide this quantity, which does not reach the end consumer. This means that approximately 45.0 tons of material are consumed per inhabitant. 2.4 tons are exported annually.

The turnover of the materials and the operation of the entire infrastructure require energy. Per inhabitant, approx. 21,000 kWh of fuel and combustibles and approx. 7,000 kWh of electricity are required annually.

The extraction of raw materials, their use as materials in goods, products, indirectly as services, as well as their recycling and disposal cause in part high environmental pollution. In order to reduce the environmental impact caused by the high and constantly increasing consumption of materials throughout their entire life cycle, measures for sustainable materials management must be developed and implemented.

In the "MatCH - Material and energy resources and associated environmental impacts in Switzerland" project, Empa is assessing the material flows triggered by the Swiss economy. MatCH thus determines the consumption, storage and disposal of material resources that are currently needed to maintain the Swiss standard of living. The current waste management of the materials to be disposed of helps to reduce the demand for primary resources through energy recovery and material recycling.

In order to show the efficiency of the consumption of material and energy resources, the material and energy flows into the Swiss economy are to be evaluated and presented in detail at the level of construction, mobility and consumption. This should create a basis for assessing material and energy efficiency over a period of time and for estimating future developments by means of scenarios. The project is carried out on behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).



Marcel Gauch

Technology & Society Laboratory
Lerchenfeldstrasse 5
CH-9014 St. Gallen
Tel.: +41 58 765 78 54

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