Circular Economy Statusbericht 2024

On the basis of representative survey data, a report on the status of the circular economy in Switzerland is compiled, untapped potential is identified and possibilities for tapping this potential in the future are discussed.


  • Lead school Business School
  • Institute Institute for Sustainable Business
  • Strategic thematic field Thematic field "Sustainable Development"
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration (planned) 01.12.2023 - 30.09.2025
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Tobias Stucki
  • Head of project Prof. Dr. Tobias Stucki
  • Keywords circular economy, status report


The circular economy is becoming increasingly important for ecological, political and economic reasons. Switching to a circular economy makes a resource-poor country like Switzerland less dependent on global supply chains and is therefore key to the resilience of the economy. However, the circular economy is much more than just recycling. To map the circular economy, we therefore not only need information on recycling rates and waste volumes, but we also need to know what companies are doing to reduce waste volumes, or to produce, package and deliver in a more environmentally friendly way. In short, we need to better understand what drives companies to increase the circularity of their activities. Only then can the economic policy framework be improved in a targeted manner.

Course of action

This requires new data that focuses not only on waste volumes, but also explicitly on the activities and progress that reduce waste volumes: We need to capture circular economy activities in companies. BFH and ETH Zurich have jointly developed a concept for recording the circular economy at company level. Based on this concept, a data collection is to be carried out in 2024 using the KOF Business Panel. The panel comprises 9,300 Swiss companies and is based on a stratified random sample. With an expected response rate of 30%, representative statements on the development of the circular economy can be made for various sectors, regions and company size classes. The aim is to use this data to compile a report on the current status of the circular economy in Switzerland, identify untapped potential and discuss ways in which this potential can be exploited in the future. The report will also contain specific company portraits from the circular economy. This is because many positive examples show that a circular economy can be successfully implemented in practice. We therefore want to focus explicitly on progress at company level and not on the gap in relation to specific material flows.

Looking ahead

How has the CE transition developed since 2020, i.e. in which areas has significant progress been made and where not? Have economic policy initiatives increased the circularity of the Swiss economy? What impact did the energy price shock or COVID-19 have on companies' willingness to invest in circular activities? How were the individual sectors affected? Are there major regional differences in the circular transformation of the economy? These and similar questions are addressed and discussed in the new report. The 2020 survey makes Switzerland the first country in the world to have representative information on the state of the circular economy at company level. Media interest in the latest report was correspondingly high, with reports appearing in the Tages Anzeiger, Blick and NLZ, among others. Since the report was published, there have been a number of media inquiries, ZKB based an internal report on our study and an opinion piece was published in the NZZ. In addition, our findings were presented in various industry associations and also at the International Swiss Talent Forum and discussed with young talents from all over the world.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • 12: Responsible consumption and production