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Headline data

Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Geographical Area: United Kingdom

Unit of Measurement: Million metric tons, Tons per capita, Tons per GDP (£m), Kilograms per constant USD ($) expressed in 2019 prices

Footnote: The plot shows values to a precision of three significant figures rounded to the nearest 10. For more precise values please use the "Download Source csv" button

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.

Indicator available
Indicator description
Geographical coverage

United Kingdom

Unit of measurement

Million metric tons, Tons per capita, Tons per GDP (£m), Kilograms per constant USD ($) expressed in 2019 prices

Definitions

UK’s material footprint, or raw material consumption, captures the amount of domestic and foreign extraction of materials needed to produce the products used by households, governments and charities in the UK. Methodology for calculating material footprint is complex and the approach used can impact on the figures. These data give the latest estimates using a method developed by the University of Leeds, updating the time series where revised data are available, and including figures for 2018. Data are presented for the UK.

Previously, there were published estimates of the UK’s material footprint using the Eurostat approach, using a tool which is publicly available. The Eurostat method uses coefficients, which estimate the quantity of a raw material required for a given product in a given year. In the latest version of the tool, the coefficients were calculated for the EU27 (the UK was excluded). It has therefore not been possible to provide updated estimates for the UK material footprint using the Eurostat approach. More details on the method, and other available methods, can be found in the article Material footprint in the UK 2018.

Available disaggregations
Calculations

Material footprint is available in "thousands of tons" from the original source (see Source 1), but here it is displayed as "millions of tons" to reduce the digits on the y-axis of the plot. This is done by dividing the data from the original source by 1000.

Material footprint per capita is calculated as raw material consumption (material footprint)/UK population (calculated figures already provided in the original source).

Material footprint per GDP is calculated as raw material consumption (material footprint)/GDP (calculated figures for GBP (£ millions) already provided in the original source).

Conversion of material footprint per GDP from 'tons per GBP (£ millions)' to 'kilograms per constant USD ($)' was required for international comparison purposes. The conversion is done by multiplying the material footprint tons (thousandths) data from Source 1 by 1000 to obtain original tons units. This is then multiplied again by 1000 to obtain kilograms. The annual GDP (£ millions) figures (also available from Source 1) are then converted to constant USD using the OECD method, expressed in 2019 prices (the latest deflator at the time of conversion). The average annual coversion rate for GBP into USD, and the deflators necessary for the constant USD conversion can be obtained from Source 2. The converted GDP is multiplied by 1000,000 to obtain the baseline number for $, rather than $ in millions. Finally, the calculated kilograms are divided by the converted GDP in constant USD ($) to obtain the final figures shown here.

Other information

The choice of method used to calculate material footprint has an impact on the final estimates. In 2017, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) consulted extensively with the University of Leeds about developing further environmentally relevant metrics for material use and resource efficiency, particularly in carbon terms. As a result, the University of Leeds have developed a multi-regional input-output (MRIO) approach, using a specifically derived UK MRIO database to underpin calculations. Data follows the UN specification for this indicator. This indicator has been identified in collaboration with topic experts.

Data last updated 10 March 2022
Metadata last updated 10 March 2022

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name

Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP

Target name

Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10‐Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, with developed countries taking the lead

Global indicator description
UN designated tier

Tier II

UN custodian agency

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Link to UN metadata United Nations Sustainable Development Goals metadata for target 8.4 opens in a new window

Source 1

Organisation

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Periodicity

Annual

Earliest available data

1990

Geographical coverage

United Kingdom

Link to data source Material Footprint in the UK opens in a new window
Release date 10 May 2021
Next release

TBC

Statistical classification

Official Statistic

Contact details

environment.accounts@ons.gov.uk

Other information

Data produced by the University of Leeds for 1990 to 2018, using a Multi-Region Input-Output model.

Source 2

Organisation

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Periodicity

Annual

Earliest available data

1960

Geographical coverage

United Kingdom

Link to data source Development finance data opens in a new window
Release date 01 April 2021
Next release

See source link

Statistical classification

Official international

Contact details

dac.contact@oecd.org

Other information

Data tables section, tables “Deflators for Resource Flows from DAC Countries (2019=100).xls” and “Annual Exchange Rates for DAC Donor Countries from 1960 to 2020.xls”