Developing new resource efficiency metrics

Briefing Note:Resource Efficiency Metrics

The UK Government is targeting a doubling of resource productivity by 2050, whilst making deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Each year the supply chains that currently service UK final demand require over a billion tonnes of raw materials and are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions exceeding 800MtCO2e. Significant improvements in the carbon intensity and resource efficiency of industrial supply chains will be required to deliver our national climate targets. Developing effective strategies requires a deeper understanding of the link between resource use and carbon emissions and an improved set of metrics to monitor changes over time. In a new report to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, CIE-MAP explored this link by calculating the UK’s material and carbon footprints and developing new carbon-based metrics of resource efficiency. These metrics were used to explore the extent of decoupling of raw material consumption from economic activity and decomposed to enable comparisons across sectors of the economy.

A short summary of the work can be found in this Briefing Note. The full report is available from the DEFRA science and research projects website.