What do we see?
As a general rule, large amounts of raw materials are required to fulfil the need for consumer goods. The categories of textiles, EEE (electrical and electronic equipment) and furniture together account for more than 50% of the carbon footprint of the consumer goods need system. More specifically, in 2010 the need for consumer goods accounted for around 12% of the total carbon footprint of Flemish households. Up until 2014, the material footprint had been increasing steadily over the years. After that, the trend was reversed with a decrease in 2015 and 2016. This shift could be related to an increase in the efficiency of industrial processes and their lower associated emissions.
In 2016, the carbon footprint of consumer goods in Flemish households reached 7,801.05 kt CO2 equivalents. 12% of the total emissions came from furniture, 12% from EEE, 33% from textiles and 43% from other consumer goods.
What’s the aim?
A circular economy aims to minimise the carbon footprint of consumer goods throughout their lifecycle. This can be achieved by manufacturing and using products in smarter ways, such as by increasing the manufacturing efficiency and the use efficiency and intensity of products. Products as a service and reuse of products are good options for reducing the number of products needed and increasing their use intensity. Only when reuse and repair are no longer an option should products be recycled into secondary materials.
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator measures the total CO2 emissions associated with the total primary material use that is needed to fulfil the final demand for consumer goods by Flemish households. It is expressed in CO2 equivalents per year and the data for this system-level indicator comes from OVAM.