Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) of the Flemish economy

The Flemish material consumption or Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) shows how many materials are consumed within Flanders. This includes both short- and long-lived applications: food or packaging, for example, circulate very quickly, vehicles last for many years and buildings for several decades. The DMC shows the direct potential for the CE in Flanders, because without applying circular principles these materials will at some point be converted into waste and emissions.

164 million tonnes (24.7 t/cap)

  • Flemish material consumption fell by 11% between 2010 and 2021.
  • In 2021, consumption comprised mainly non-metallic minerals (10.2 t/cap) and fossil fuels (8.1 t/cap), followed by biomass (4.8 t/cap) and metals (1.4 t/cap).

What do we see?

Flemish material consumption has a declining trend in the period 2010-2016. From 2017 the material consumption increases, with the exception of the COVID year 2020. Over the whole time range, DMC has decreased by 11%, from 27.6 to 24.7 tonnes per inhabitant. Non-metallic minerals account for most of the DMC, followed by fossil fuels, biomass and metal ores.

What’s the aim?

In a circular economy, global material consumption decreases. The DMC includes only part of this consumption: a decrease in DMC can come from reduced consumption, but also from outsourcing material-intensive production steps abroad. The Flemish materials footprint captures the entire consumption by taking into account the indirect raw materials that were needed. The efficiency with which the Flemish economy handles materials is reflected through material productivity.

What does this indicator measure?

The Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) indicates the net amount of materials consumed by the Flemish economy. This figure is calculated using the formula below:

Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) = Direct Material Input (DMI) – physical exports (EXP)

In other words, we look at material input in Flanders and subtract the physical export of materials. These exports can be in the form of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products. It is calculated using economy-wide material flow accounts (EW-MFA). These are official statistics that each European Union member state is required to report to Eurostat. The numerical values may still change in subsequent updates due to usual adjustments in the underlying trade data. For Flanders, the DMC should be estimated based on those statistics.

Note: consumption in this definition is not to be understood as belonging to consumers. It covers both final household demand and consumption of materials in production processes to the extent that they serve the Flemish market, government spending and investment.

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