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We will keep you up to date by providing you with information in a nutshell - three times a year (only in German).

Impact Study Geological Repositories

News, Space, Environment and Climate, Economy | Nov. 18, 2014

Deep geological repositories (and their surface facilities respectively) have economic, ecological and social impacts on a siting region. These need to be identified objectively and as early as possible. It is with these objectives in mind that the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) commissioned a socioeconomic and ecological study in 2011 for all the six potential siting regions. INFRAS, together with Rütter Soceco and Ecosens, carried out the expert study. Now the final report of the study is available containing the following results:Economy: The more the construction and civil engineering as well as the metalworking sectors are represented in a region, the more added value, employment and, as a consequence, tax income are to be expected when a deep geological repository is constructed. Regions with a comparatively high proportion of sensitive sectors (tourism and agriculture), however, suffer a potentially negative impact from the presence of a deep geological repository. Environment: The highest impact concerning surface facilities arise in regard to consumption of land, crop rotation areas, excavated material as well as wildlife corridors. There is a low or no impact at all in regard to protected areas and ground water protection zones as these areas have been excluded on the basis of the site location process already. Society: The more the settlement area is dense, the aspired settlement growth is high and the surface facilities are well visible, the more a site is appraised as being negative. However, if there is industry and commerce represented in the vicinity of the site already the appraisal is less negative.All documents: www.bfe.admin.ch/soew

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Participation in Transport Projects

News, Space, Transport | Nov. 5, 2014


© KEYSTONE/Laurent Gillieron

Participation means being able to contribute and taking part in shaping and decision-making. Participation is a very common formula in our democratic system and it has also become considerably more important in the realisation of transport projects. As part of the research project SVI 2004/005 of the Swiss Association of Traffic Engineers SVI, INFRAS, together with ecoptima and kcw have developed a manual «Participation in Transport Projects».

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Green products in Germany

News, Environment and Climate, Economy | Aug. 7, 2014

Sustainable consumption has become a significant trend in the last years. How is this positive trend reflected in sales of environmentally friendly products? Do we observe spectacular growth rates in niche markets or a 'greening of mass markets'? Do green products replace standard products or not? Those questions are addressed in a study on the market development of green products conducted by INFRAS on behalf of the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA). The results reveal that sales of 'green' products are on the steady rise, but remain in niches in most areas of consumption. However, there is a willingness from the consumers for an increased demand of environmentally friendly products that were sustainably produced.

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External costs of transport in Switzerland

News, Transport | July 1, 2014

The study calculates the external and social environmental, accident and health-related effects of transport in Switzerland in 2010. In doing so, previous calculations are subject to a methodological review, and recalculated using fully updated data sources. The external costs of air and waterborne transport as well as non-motorised transport (pedestrian and cycle traffic) are calculated for the first time.Aggregated across the four modes of transport, total external costs come to over CHF 9,400 million for 2010. At CHF 5,500 million, private motorised road transport is the main originator of these external costs, followed by road freight transport at CHF 1,000 million. Air transport resulted in external costs of CHF 920 million, while rail transport accounts for CHF 740 million and waterborne transport generated external costs of CHF 57 million. In addition to external costs of CHF 900 million, non-motorised transport generates external health benefits worth CHF 1,300 million.

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Sustainable development in the Swiss hotel industry

News, Society | May 26, 2014

The sustainable development in the Swiss hotel industry shows a diverse picture. While the fields of economy and society have suffered under the economic development of the last years, the efforts towards a better environmental protection have headed in a positive direction.This is the conclusion of the first monitoring of the Swiss hotel industry. The monitoring presents a comprehensive overview regarding the sustainability within the Swiss hotel industry and how it has developed during the last years.The study pays special attention to the subjects of mobility and procurement, considering these as two key aspects of a sustainable development in the Swiss hotel industry. The study provides tips for a sustainable shaping of hotel operations and also presents practice examples of how different hotels are active regarding mobility and sustainable procurement.

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Benchmarking Energy Suppliers

News, Energy | May 23, 2014

The energy policy of the Swiss Federal Council intends to strengthen renewable energies and energy efficiency with energy suppliers in order to guide the demand in this direction. For this purpose, INFRAS and the Association for Environmentally Sound Energy (VUE) have developed a benchmarking on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BFE). The benchmarking examines the efforts of the energy suppliers in the areas energy efficiency and renewable energies on the basis of practice-related criteria from seven fields of action (strategy, production, service/products). The results show considerable differences between the energy suppliers, there are, however, signs visible for the energy turnaround. There are noticeable efforts in the right direction by the energy suppliers in all the action fields, in particular in the field of the energy services. However, in principle, there is still a potential for improvement, especially concerning the rehabilitation of hydropower plants and concerning the supply mixture.

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Influences of vehicle properties on road traffic accidents

News, Transport | May 19, 2014

Based on a newly created pool containing data of the Road Traffic Accident Register, other registers of the Swiss Federal Roads Office as well as from various other data sources, the influence of vehicle properties on road accidents are being examined: Passenger cars are involved in an accident every 900'000 km on average and take part in the vast majority of all accidents on Swiss roads. Trams show a comperatively high accident rate, however, they are mostly operating in heavy traffic in urban areas where interactions with other road users are frequent. Trams are very rarely identified as the responsible party in accidents. Also high accident rates are observed with e-bikes (pedelecs). Compared to conventional bicycles their accident rates are considerably higher. The accident rates of motorcycles are more than twice as high as the ones of passenger cars.

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Guidance on Survey and Determination on Energy Specific Data in the Canton St. Gallen

News, Environment and Climate | April 2, 2014

The guidance document summarizes the procedures required in order to gather and process data needed to prepare the energy statistic of the canton St. Gallen. The energy statistic aims at recording all existing energy related processes including the production, transformation and consumption of energy. Furthermore the annual total amount of energy consumed in the canton of St. Gallen will be revealed. The guidance provides instructions on how data on disaggregated level should be measured or collected. Where data is not available, the guidance further highlights realistic assumptions and methods for estimating the energy consumption for each energy related sector.

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Overview of Carbon Offset Programs

News, Environment and Climate | April 2, 2014

This technical note for the Worldbank is a mapping exercise of key elements and design features of offset programs (e.g. CDM, JCM and GS) and highlights differences and similarities between them. It identifies main elements and design features of eight different offset programs and discusses how these programs address key issues such as efficiency, environmental integrity, applicability, and transaction costs. It elaborates on the program's principles and goals, their operationalized principles, the respective governance structure, registration procedures and MRV and credit issuance procedures. 

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Long-Distance Mobility - Current Trends and Future Perspectives

News, Space, Transport | March 27, 2014

While in the recent years the mobility in the context of everyday life has almost stagnated in Central Europe, long-distance mobility continues to grow substantially. Against this background, the study at hand presents a lay of the land with regard to current trends and future perspectives of long-distance mobility in Central Europe, with a particular focus on Germany. In speaking of long-distance mobility, the study refers to all trips of more than 100 km (one-way).The segment of long trips to very distant destinations is dominated by holiday travel which accounts for a third of the long-distance passenger mileage. However, in the last ten years little has changed in this segment with regard to the number of trips, the average trip distance, and the use of transport modes.The segments of long-distance mobility which are currently growing most substantially and will continue to do so in the mid-term future are business trips and long trips in the context of everyday life, e.g. long-distance commuting. Important driving factors for this development are the demographic development and the evolution of settlement patterns, both of which also promote multi-local lifestyles.

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