Material footprint of housing

The materials footprint describes the raw materials needed directly and indirectly, via the domestic and international supply chains, for final consumption within the housing domain.

5 t/cap

  • Two thirds are in investments in housing units.
  • Energy consumption accounts for about 14% of the footprint.

What do we see?

In 2021, investments in residential units, which includes renovations, accounted for about two-thirds of the footprint. In absolute terms, this value was higher between 2016 and 2018. The footprint of energy consumption accounted for about 14% of the total in 2021. This value fluctuates and was about 10% lower in absolute terms in 2021 compared to 2015. Per capita, the total footprint in 2021 is 5 tonnes per capita, about 10% lower than in 2015.

What’s the aim?

The material footprint ideally captures the consumption of materials inside and outside Flanders for meeting housing-related needs. Associated with this consumption are environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions or emissions related to waste. The Flemish Government has adopted an overarching target for the total materials footprint: it should be reduced by 30% by 2030 and 75% by 2050.

What does this indicator measure?

The figures show the direct and indirect material consumption linked to consumption within Flanders within the domains of housing and investments in housing units. The figures were obtained through a methodology based on input-output analysis. Based on the interregional model for the data year 2015, a time series was modelled for a number of more recent years, using annual statistics on the Flemish and Belgian economies. In this way, it is possible to analyse a macroeconomic time series of the materials footprint and break down the total footprint according to consumption domains and activities. The methodology is different from the one used to calculate the RMC.

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14,662 kt CO₂-eq.

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