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Material intensity

Last update of indicator 09.12.2021

Indicator definition

The indicator describes the development of resource productivity expressed as a ratio of GDP to Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) and the development of domestic material consumption by groups of materials. It points out whether the materials are used efficiently during their lifecycle.

Units

thous. t, EUR/kg

Metadata

Related policy documents and targets

The need to increase the efficiency of material converting into economic output and reducing the environmental load per unit of economic performance is highlighted in the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, the EU thematic strategy for the sustainable use of natural resources and Recommendation of the OECD Council on material flows and resource productivity. They are not currently included in any strategic documents of SR.

Key question

Has the efficiency of material conversion into economic output been increasing?

Key messages

  • Productivity of resources (GDP/DMC) in the SR economy in 2019 amounted to € 1.33/kg. Compared to 2005, it increased by 80.3%. Compared to the previous year, it recorded an increase of 12.5%. This increase indicates more efficient use of materials in the Slovak economy per the economic unit, and thus reducing pressure on the environment caused by the extraction and use of materials. However, despite this growth, the Slovak Republic lags significantly behind the average resource productivity in the EU countries, which in 2019 amounted to € 2.4/kg


 
Change since 2005 Change since 2015 Last year-on-year change
Pozitivny trend Pozitivny trend Pozitivny trend
Since 2005, resources productivity has increased. Since 2015, resources productivity has increased. Year on year, the productivity increased.

 

Summary assessment

Detailed assessment

The material, which is available in the economy of the country, may be either consumed in it (DMI - Domestic Material Input) or exported, either as raw materials or finished products. After deducting exports from direct material inputs (DMI), remaining materials represents domestic material consumption (DMC). In 2019 DMC in Slovakia was 67 022 thousand tons, which represents 12.3 tons per capita (13.3 tons per capita in the EU-28). In the period 2005-2019, there was the DMC decline by 12%. This development trend is- in terms of efficient use of natural resources- perceived as positive, as the development of material consumption presented as the sum of imported materials, extracted minerals and collected biomass obtained in Slovakia after subtracting the exported materials, does not record a major increase in the current economic growth, so when comparing to GDP growth, we can speak about relative separation of curves of material consumption and GDP.



An important predictive value is also the size of import share in the DMC. The bigger the share ratio, the more sensitive is the country economy to random fluctuations in foreign trade (lack of certain commodities, unexpected increase of their prices, etc.). The share of imports in DMC increased from 50.3% in 2005 to 67.3% in 2019, which means increasing rate of the Slovak economy dependence on imported raw materials.



The amount of materials available in the SR and their utilization (the relationship between domestic extraction, DMI, DMC, import and export), year 2019, tonnes/capita.

Source: Eurostat


A more detailed view at the composition of DMC provides an impression of the importance of various materials and their possible potential for their recovery. In 2019, DMC in Slovakia consisted mainly of non-metallic minerals (50.2%), followed by biomass with 27.4%, of fossil energy materials (18.5%) and metal ores with 3.9%.

International comparison

Contact

Ing. Katarína Škantárová, SAŽP, katarina.skantarova@sazp.sk

Related definitions:

Resource productivity represents the ratio of GDP (in constant prices) and domestic material consumption (Domestic Material Consumption - DMC).
 
Domestic material consumption measures the total amount of materials directly spent in the economy, excluding the hidden material flows. It is determined based on the Eurostat methodology (analysis of material flows at the macro level) and it represents the sum of domestic utilised extraction, i.e. the amount of extracted mineral resources (energy, mining, non-metallic and construction materials) and produced collected biomass (agricultural crops, logging, grazed biomass and so on) that were obtained in the territory of the given state per time unit. These materials from domestic environment are added with imports and deducted of exports (imports and exports of raw materials, biomass, semi-finished goods and final consumption products). The reduction of material consumption or increasing the resources productivity  leads to a reduction of total material demands of socio-economic system and to the reduction of environmental load.
 

Methodology:

Analysis of material flows at the macro level (Economy-wide material flow analysis - EW-MFA) is a descriptive tool, which aims to provide information on flows of materials and energy entering and leaving the economic sector of the society concerned. The purpose of the material flow evaluation (balance) is – using the indicators- to quantify the overall demands of the economic system for materials which are expressed as material inputs, their consumption or waste streams releasing back from the economic system to the environment. EW-MFA indicators are compiled based on Eurostat methodology, using data transmitted to Eurostat (for SR the data are sent by the SO SR) under the Regulation No. 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts.
 
Indicators of material flow are regarded to be a suitable tool for expressing the separation of environmental load and economy performance curves, as these are highly aggregated indicators of environmental load, arranged according to a fixed scheme. They quantify the total amount of materials consumed in human society, as well as the amount of materials released to the environment as the result of human activity. These indicators thus represent appropriate complement to the interdisciplinary structural balance in monetary or physical units which can be used for national economic analysis. If input indicators of material flows and consumption indicators are assigned with the indicators of national accounts, such as gross domestic product (GDP), the efficiency of the economic system is measured by converting materials into economic output. These indicators describe resource productivity (ratio of GDP and a respective indicator) or material intensity (the ratio of the indicator to GDP).
 

Data sources:

Eurostat

Related indicators:

Related international indicators:

Linked references: