Indicator Policy Factsheets: A Knowledge Brokerage Tool
2. Theoretical Background: Misty Indicators
3. Methodological Approach
4. The Development of the Indicator Policy Fact Sheets
|Name of Indicator/Index||Domestic Material Consumption (DMC)|
|Year||2001 (first methodological report)/annually/2013|
|created/frequency/last publication||Last report using DMC (sustainable development in the EU—2013 monitoring report of the EU sustainable development strategy) is available at http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/|
|Brief description||DMC is a measure of the use of natural resources. DMC is defined as the annual quantity of raw materials extracted from the domestic territory of an economy plus all physical imports minus all physical exports. DMC is used as a proxy for the indicator “raw material consumption” (RMC), which is currently under development (providing the most accurate picture on resource use because it “corrects” imports and exports of products with the equivalent amount of domestic extraction of raw materials that was needed to manufacture the respective traded good). Both DMC and RMC are measures of environmental pressures exerted by humans on the environment.|
|Country coverage||EU 27, plus Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, and many other countries, like Japan and the USA, and developing countries of South America and Asia|
|Method of presentation||Resource productivity in comparison to GDP and DMC, EU-27, 2000–2013, (index: year 2000 = 100). Source: Eurostat. |
The resource productivity (RP) is the ratio of the volume of gross domestic product (GDP) over DMC. RP in the EU rose almost continuously between 2000 and 2011 by about 20%. DMC may be presented in many other ways to reveal time development (trend), international comparison, per capita values, etc.
|Indicator factors from a policy perspective||Over the past 13 years, DMC was not often a topic of major newspaper articles; however, the interest of media has remarkably increased. |
DMC (similarly RMC) is a key indicator for the assessment of sustainable consumption and production (making consumption more sustainable means improving the quality of life, while using fewer natural resources, such as raw materials, energy, land and water). Besides the absolute reduction of consumption, all countries monitor their resource productivity (RP)—the amount of gross value added (measured as GDP) that an economy generates by using one unit of material (measured as DMC). RP (and thus DMC) is a leading indicator for the achievement of a “resource-efficient Europe” initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy.
The indicator may be readily used for target setting (some countries aim at absolute decoupling (GDP growth < RP growth; others stipulate that RP will increase by 60% by 2015, etc.)
|Indicator factors from a scientific perspective||DMC has a large analytical potential: it is used for trend analyses, international comparisons, efficiency calculations (decoupling analysis), etc. It has been combined with an input-output analysis and life cycle analysis to get information on the impact of our consumption. Recently, a more correct metric, RMC (based on the DMC method), for measuring an economy’s material throughput has been developed.|
Since 2001, in total, 54 scientific and expert publications devoted to DMC appeared:
|Indicator factors from a public perspective||DMC is an indicator that has been developed primarily for politicians (at all levels) and policy makers (together with other material flow analysis-based indicators), but other practitioners may be among its target group (mining industry, construction, metallurgy, etc.). So far, it has not been used much for communication with the public. However, if appropriately interpreted, it has great potential to contribute to public debate, e.g., on resource (energy and material) security, a hot topic particularly during global economic and political crises. Furthermore, decoupling analysis (“to do more with less”) is a comprehensible concept with a nice graphical presentation. |
Since 2001, in total, 22 scientific newspaper and expert publications devoted to DMC appeared:
5. Results: Indicator Policy Fact Sheets
5.1. General Categories
5.1.1. The “Brief Description” Category
5.1.2. The “Style of Presentation” Category
5.2. Analytical Categories
5.2.1. The “Indicator Factors from a Policy Perspective” Category
5.2.2. The “Indicator Factors from a Scientific Perspective” Category
5.2.3. The “Indicator Factors from a Public Perspective” Category
Conflicts of Interest
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Hák, T.; Janoušková, S.; Whitby, A.; Abdallah, S.; Kovanda, J. Indicator Policy Factsheets: A Knowledge Brokerage Tool. Sustainability 2015, 7, 3414-3429. https://doi.org/10.3390/su7033414
Hák T, Janoušková S, Whitby A, Abdallah S, Kovanda J. Indicator Policy Factsheets: A Knowledge Brokerage Tool. Sustainability. 2015; 7(3):3414-3429. https://doi.org/10.3390/su7033414Chicago/Turabian Style
Hák, Tomáš, Svatava Janoušková, Alistair Whitby, Saamah Abdallah, and Jan Kovanda. 2015. "Indicator Policy Factsheets: A Knowledge Brokerage Tool" Sustainability 7, no. 3: 3414-3429. https://doi.org/10.3390/su7033414