Physical accounts of raw material stock and flow information service

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the transition to a low-carbon and circular economy, realising resource-efficiency, and ensuring resource supply security are now core goals for most countries in the world. These ambitions require transformations with regard to the economies’ use of natural resources, and the resulting emissions and waste. For these goals to be realized there is a need for a robust information base regarding the current and future demands the economy has for natural resources. Ideally such an information system links physical and economic information about industry sectors, product flows and stocks, and material flows and stocks, all a coherent classification that allows using this information in forward looking models. Such an information system would allow for forecasting resource demand, economic implications of resource supply problems, and provide a deep understanding of the societal metabolism of products and materials, including the structure of urban mines.

Project Objectives

  • There is a clear need to map the full materials chain, and not only to have data on primary and secondary raw materials. The content of specific materials in stocks and flows over the full value chain (intermediates, products, urban mine) must become transparent. The added value / GDP created and number of jobs per step in this chain should be available.
  • In relation, better access to supply chain information is needed. Ideally such supply chains should be geographically specified, in order to address supply chain issues relevant for the EU.
  • Trade of materials, secondary products, and relevant intermediates both nationally and internationally should be specified
  • Such supply chain information should inform material users including designers, if such supply chains are sound and transparent (absence of conflict minerals, EHS problems, and child labor).

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