What do we see?
In 2016 the material footprint was around 9,800kt or 1.5t of material consumption per Flanders resident. Compared to 2010, the footprint had decreased by 10%. Between 2010 and 2016, the impact of the production, maintenance and repair of cars on the material footprint continued to grow. By 2016 it already accounted for 48% of the total impact. The impact of other vehicles accounts for around 17%, so passenger cars have a bigger impact than other forms of transport. Finally, it is important to note that the lower material footprint could be the result of the lower number of new cars being produced.
What’s the aim?
In a circular economy, we aim to keep the material footprint of our mobility system as low as possible. Although mobility continues to have a large overall impact, the downward trend is encouraging. The consumption of fuel during the use phase has the biggest impact on the material footprint. By using other types of vehicle, like EVs and hybrids, we can lower the amount of fossil fuels required and in doing so reduce the footprint. However, this kind of change depends on infrastructure and the mix of electricity. Furthermore, the impact of electric vehicles is higher during the production phase. In order to lower the material footprint of the mobility system, we therefore need to reduce the number of passenger cars. This can be achieved on the one hand by using other modes of transport like public transport and active ways of getting around, and on the other hand by increasing the use intensity and efficiency of passenger cars.
What does this indicator measure?
This system indicator measures the material footprint of passenger transport in Flanders. The data for the indicator was provided by OVAM.