Open assessment of Swiss economy and society


Goods and services that are produced and consumed in Switzerland on a daily basis have an ecological and social impact worldwide. In this project, we will determine, for the first time, how high these costs are and how they are distributed globally.

​Project description (ongoing research project)

In order to effectively shape Swiss resource and climate policy, detailed knowledge of the global consumption of materials and pollutant emissions of goods and services produced and consumed in Switzerland is required. We use current data and methods for a risk and criticality analysis of raw materials in order to prepare the most comprehensive and detailed assessment of the global impact on resources, the environment and society of the end use by all Swiss citizens. The results will be communicated in the form of footprints. In particular, the process database. “ecoinvent”, will be linked to the global multiregional input-output database, “EXIOBASE”, in order to achieve high product and regional resolution in the determination of consumer footprints.


Through the globalisation of value chains the environmental impact and resource requirements of consumer goods are being transferred to other national economies. Consumers and the politicians therefore bear a moral responsibility for the sustainable use of natural resources in the entire value chain and not just the local part of it. Quantitative indicators for the resource requirements of various goods and their geographic distribution (footprints) are the basis of sustainable consumer decisions and a corresponding resource policy.


The main objective of the project is to significantly improve the assessment of footprints for greenhouse gases and pollutants, natural resources, critical materials and the social consequences of Swiss end use. The process database, “ecoinvent”, will be linked to the global, multiregional input-output database, “EXIOBASE”, in order to map all products and production regions relevant for the determination of consumer footprints. Current methods for analysing the risk and criticality of raw materials will be applied.


The identified footprints will be presented to a broad public and decision makers in order to feed into the general debate on sustainable development. This requires, in particular, clear communication and provision of information on hotspots for environmental impacts, possible approaches/levers and cost-benefit analysis of various measures to reduce Switzerland’s global footprint. The resource dependencies of the most important Swiss industrial sectors identified in the project will be communicated.

Original title

OASES: Open Assessment of Swiss Economy and Society

Project leaders

Project leaders

  • Dr. Christopher Mutel, Paul Scherrer Institut
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Pauliuk, Fakultät für Umwelt und Natürliche Ressourcen, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg Deutschland​
  • Dr. Patrick Wäger, EMPA

Project partner

  • ​Stefan Giljum, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien



Further information on this content



Dr. Christopher Mutel Paul Scherrer Institut Technologie-Assessment / OHSA D22
Labor für Energiesystem-Analysen
5232 Villigen PSI +41 56 310 57 87

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