Lifestyle changes for greenhouse gas emission reduction in Switzerland

Newly hired Quantis consultant, Sophie Chalumeau, tackled the question: “What are the best actions to take as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint?” as part of her EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) master’s thesis. The objective of the project was to assess how much greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided through the choices and actions of individuals in the context of Switzerland.

Key learnings include:

  1. The highest potential for GHG emission reduction is investing one’s money in sustainable funds.
  1. Mobility has significant potential for reduction, followed by housing. After come food actions with a medium impact, and a difficult implementation from a social and psychological point of view.
  1. There are important variations among the population for the GHG reduction potential for investments and mobility actions, but low variability for food actions.
  1. Most actions assessed can be put in place in the short term already, with barriers to implementation being mostly psychological and social.
    Step-by-step implementation can be a solution to lower the psychological and social barrier.