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You are here: Home / Publications / The Concept of Environmental Space - Implications for Policies, Environmental Reporting and Assessments / Appendix to Chapter 3: Overview of suggested indicators and data availability

Appendix to Chapter 3: Overview of suggested indicators and data availability

Appendix to Chapter 3: Overview of suggested indicators and data availability

Below is an overview of the performance and background indicators on resource consumption suggested in sections 3.4 and 3.5, together with comments on data requirements and current availability.

An asterisk * indicates that the indicator is already the subject of regular statistical reporting at the EU level or in at least several EU countries (even if coverage may be more limited or definitions differ slightly from those we have suggested).

A double asterisk ** shows that the indicator (subject to the same qualifica-tions) is included in the Dobris Assessment, or can be easily arithmetically derived from indicators included there. (E.g., the indicator suggested may be a per capita figure, whereas the Dobris Assessment presents national aggregates only).

In reporting, all performance indicators (including key indicators) should be presented together with both trends and targets. This could be realised graphically, e.g. by diagrams comparing actual trends with trajectories leading to compliance with environmental space. In addition, world average figures for per capita resource consumption could be included for comparison. Most of the relevant data are available from UN sources.

For key indicators, the targets suggested in "Towards Sustainable Europe" are mentioned where applicable.

Key indicators: Comments:
Land
**Built-up land per capita (m2)
TSE Target: No increase from 1990
value (EU: 0,051 ha)
Some EU countries have good data today, but usually updated only at 5- to 10-year intervals. In others, data are lacking or of poor quality.

Percentage of agricultural area organically farmed
TSE target: 100% (2010)
Data are currently collated for EU countries by IFOAM (the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), but the quality of data at the national level is very variable. There are few official statistics, but government support and/or certification schemes are likely to improve the position.

Percentage of agricultural area subject to organic or integrated farming practices
(alternative to previous indicator)
Not available today. Presupposes agreed definition of integrated farming practices.

Percentage of forest area naturally regenerated and exploited by selective felling, or subject to otherwise agreed sustainable management practices
TSE target for natural regeneration
+ selective felling: 100%
Not available today

**Protected area (IUCN Cat. I-II)
as % of total land area
TSE Target: 10% (2010)
Data available today.

Net appropriation of arable/agricultural land in other continents, per capita (ha)
TSE Target: 0
Can be calculated from trade statistics and FAO yield figures. Conversion factors are needed for animal foods and processed agricultural products.

Ratio of arable land consumption per capita to global average availability
(alternative to previous indicator)
As above
Materials
Material input per capita (tons)
TSE Target: for EU, c. 10% of
1990 value (2050).
Requires statistics on domestic extraction of raw materials (includings aggregates) and estimation of "rucksacks". Imports and exports of finished products, semis and raw materials must be converted to raw equivalent (taking account of estimated percentages of recycled materials) and rucksacks estimated. Import/export and production figures for major materials (except aggregates) are available in most EU countries; in some, A problem especially in smaller countries is that staistics on certain materials may be suppressed where there are only 1-2 producers, importers or exporters.

Composite index of non-renewable materials consumption (tons) per capita As above, except for calculation of rucksacks and conversion to raw equivalent. A selection of representative/critical materials on which to base the index must be identified.

Timber consumption, m3 per capita
TSE target: 0.56
Statistics on extraction and visible trade available in most countries, though complete figures on extraction are still lacking in some. To arrive at real consumption figures, imports and exports of pulp, paper, board and other products must be converted to roundwood equ
Energy
Real primary energy consumption per capita (GJ)
TSE target: for EU, 60 GJ (2050)
Apparent consumption available from EUROSTAT. Requires in addition estimates of energy "content" of imported and exported goods and services.

*(*) Percentage of apparent energy consumption derived from renewable sources (Dobris data on electricity only)
TSE target: 60% (2050)
EUROSTAT and IEA statistics available and reliable for all countries for hydro and geothermal electricity. Coverage and reliability of statistics on other renewable energy sources very variable but improving.
Other performance indicators:
Land
**Land use by category (overview) Data generally available today, with some exceptions for built-up land

**Apparent consumption of fertilizers (kg/ha agricultural land) and pesticides (kg/ha arable land) Data generally available today
Materials
* Apparent consumption of specific major materials - total and estimated amount derivedd from virgin raw materials (tons or m3, kg per capita) Generally available from production and trade statistics, with some exceptions for aggregates, timber and materials on which statistics are suppressed

Real consumption of specific major materials - total and estimated amount derived from virgin raw materials (tons or m3, kg per capita) See above. In addition, this indicator requires estimates of materials consumption behind imports and exports of finished prodducts and of percentages derived from recycling. For imports , world-average ddata could be used for the latter (available e.g. for some metals from Metallgesellschaft AG)
Energy
Apparent energy consumption by source (PJ, %) Available in principle from EUROSTAT. Coverage and quality of statistics on renewable sources other than hydro very variable but improving.
Water
Total abstractions, m3 per capita and as percentage of availability Data availability and coverage currently very variable, quality often poor. Need for regional (sub-national) data.
Seafood
Consumption of animal seafoods and feed, round weight equivalent (tons, kg per capita) Statistics on catch, imports and exports generally available. Conversion factors needed for imports and exports of processed products.
Background indicators:
Sectoral resource consumption
**Energy Available from EUROSTAT and IEA

*Built-up land Sectoral statistics available in some EU countries, but groupings and definitions vary widely

**Water Sectoral statistics available in some EU countries, but groupings and definitions vary; some sectors may be omitted altogether

Materials Not available today. Split of materials consumption by secondary sub-sectors requires I-O analysis, probably supported by more data on physical flows.
Level and mix of consumption and investments
Aggregate consumption and investments (ECU) Available today

Mix of consumption (percentage shares, ECU) Available today

Sustainability of consumption index In addition to data on mix of consumption, requires further analysis of resource loads of consumption

categories

Physical-unit data on consumption and investments
Building space, m2 and m2 per capita (dwellings and service sector specified) Data on dwellings becoming available for most EU countries from EUROSTAT. Coverage of other buildings variable. New construction often better covered than building stock.

**Motorized passenger transport work, pkm and pkm/capita Data available for most (not all) EU countries, but not corrected to take account of foreign travel by residents or travel within country by non-residents. The former leads to a significant net underestimation of air travel in almost all countries. Some countries still do not estimate pkm of private car travel.

**Goods transport work, pkm and pkm/capita Data available from EUROSTAT (excluding international shipping)

Consumption of other goods, physical units per capita. Data on selected goods (esp. appliances etc.) published by a few national statistical agencies only. Estimates can often be made from production, import and export statistics or provided by national associations of wholesalers or retailers.
Technological efficiency
Energy intensity in

- Residential sector, MJ/m2 Energy consumption figures available; calculation depends upon availability of building space (see above).

-Service sector, MJ/m2 As above.

-Secondary sector, MJ/ECU Basic data available

-Transport sector Energy consumption figures available, but split between goods and passenger transport must be estimated. Transport work, see above.

-Energy sector, MJ/MJ Basic data available from EUROSTAT and IEA

Materials intensity:

- Consumption of specific materials per unit of secondary sector output (t/ECU) Output data available. Input requires conversion factors for imported semis and parts. Suppression of trade and/or production statistics for some materials in some countries may be a problem.

- Materials intensity index (composite of several branches and corresponding materials) Output data available. Calculating materials consumption by specific branches requires new data collection from enterprises or I-O analysis, the latter also dependent on solution of problems as for the previous indicator.

- "Material input" per unit of secondary sector output Output data available. Re input, see "material input" under key indicators.

- Trends in product lifetime Not available today, except retrospectively for vehicles. Lifteime for some product categories can be roughly estimated retrospectively from available data. Prospective estimates of durability require new testing and assessment procedures, which will not be applicable to all product categories.

- Trends in product weight Not available today. Basic data to construct the indicator generally available only in the case of vehicles. For other products, new procedures (sampling or reporting by producers/importers) will be required, in addition to information on market shares.

- *(*)Recycling rates Data published in many EU countries today for some materials, most commonly paper, glass and/or aluminium. Published data relate recovered quantities either to apparent consumption or to domestic production. In order to relate them to real consumption, the latter must be estimated, cf. performance indicators. Data on steel scrap recovery are also available from EUROSTAT. For other materials, new data collection or estimation procedures will be required in most countries.
Factors affecting driving forces
Factors affecting aggregate demand Data on some are available in most countries.

Price trends for products with different resource loads Data available today (CPIs).
This is sufficient to construct indicators in the case of directly comparable products whose resource load can be compared against a common physical denominator.
For other product categories, further study of resource load per ECU may be required (cf. sustainability of consumption index).
Policy responses
Consumer-level taxes on selected products/product categories with high and low resource loads Basic data available. In the case of energy goods, collated by EUROSTAT. Determination of resource loads per ECU of pre-tax prices may require further study for some products, cf. above.

(*)Taxes on labour and natural resources Basic data available. Energy taxes collated by EUROSTAT. Average taxes on labour (for appropriate economic sectors) may need to be calculated for the purpose by national agencies.

Government support for resource-conserving measures Basic data available from budget documents, except where combined with other outlays under common headings. Major problem is securing common definitions across countries.

Geographic coverage

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