MONET – Material consumption

Material and energy flows must be optimised so that natural resources can be maintained in the long run

One of the main goals of sustainable development is to lessen the environmental impact of economic and other human activities. The economy's performance must be maintained or improved while reducing material consumption. Raw material consumption (RMC), also called material footprint, considers the total mass of materials that a country consumes every year in raw material equivalents. Material intensity is calculated by dividing the RMC by the real GDP at the previous year's prices.

Material intensity is decreasing
  • Between 2000 and 2016, material intensity decreased.
  • However, the decoupling between the consumption of raw materials and the GDP is relative with both having increased by 12% and 32% respectively.
  • In 2016, the material footprint was estimated at 152 million tonnes or 18 tonnes per capita.



Federal Statistical Office Section Environment, Sustainable Development, Territory
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel



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