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Europe increases its 'resource productivity' - Eurostat report

07 July 2016, 16:22 CET
Europe increases its 'resource productivity' - Eurostat report

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(LUXEMBOURG) - Resource productivity increased to 2.00 EUR/kg in 2015 from 1.48 EUR/kg in 2000, an increase of 35.4% in real terms, according to new figures from Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency.

Resource productivity measures how efficiently natural resources are used by the economy and indicates whether economic growth is compatible with a more efficient use of the natural resources from the environment.

The amount of resources used by an economy plays a crucial role in the generation of environmental pressures, from the extraction of natural resources for production and consumption activities to materials released into the environment, e.g. disposal of waste and emissions to air and water. Moving towards a circular economy is at the heart of the resource efficiency agenda established under the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The Eurostat report shows that since 2008, resource productivity progressed in the EU both by increasing economic activity, as measured by GDP, and by reducing the extraction of materials, as measured by domestic material consumption (DMC). In the previous period between 2000 and 2008, GDP and domestic material consumption grew in parallel in the EU, leading to relatively constant resource productivity.

According to the new DMC estimates for 2015, 13.2 tonnes of crops, minerals and metals were consumed per inhabitant in the EU, compared with 15.5 tonnes in 2000. This reduction is equivalent to savings of 2.3 tonnes per person, meaning that in 2015 more than 6kg less was consumed per person and per day than in 2000.

Resource productivity levels vary widely between EU Member States, depending on countries' natural resources, the diversity of their industrial activities, the role played by the services sector and by construction activities, the scale and patterns of consumption and the different energy sources. Across Member States, the highest resource productivity in 2015 was recorded in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (both 3.44 ?/kg), ahead of Luxembourg (3.39 ?/kg) and Italy (3.04 ?/kg). At the opposite end of the scale, seven Member States registered resource productivity lower than 1 ?/kg: Bulgaria (0.28 ?/kg), Romania (0.31 ?/kg), Estonia and Latvia (both 0.50 ?/kg), Poland (0.64 ?/kg), Lithuania (0.80 ?/kg) and Hungary (0.88 ?/kg).

The figures also show that the largest growth in resource productivity was in Spain and Cyprus; while decreases were recorded in Romania, Estonia and Malta.

Full figures, Eurostat

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