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Methods and Data 2


how do we analyse hotspots?

The Hotspot Analysis Tool for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP-HAT) combines in a single framework national environmental and social data (i.e. territorial accounts) with trade information for the estimation of supply-wide environmental pressure and impact indicators (i.e. footprints).

For the estimation of footprint-type indicators, two approaches are applied: Environmentally extended multi-regional input-output (EE-MRIO) analysis and Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA).

Domestic data on pressures (e.g. material extraction) and impacts (e.g. deforestation) expressed in physical units (also called ‘satellite accounts’) are linked to monetary data on transactions among economic sectors and final consumers of different countries.

This approach allows tracing all the pressures and impacts occurring at the different stages of even very complex supply chains and allocating them to the country of final consumption, or sectoral production. This type of analysis is used to identify hotspots of unsustainable consumption and production.

Using the same methodology and homogenous datasets for all countries in the world allows to compare different environmental categories, pressures and impacts, domestic and footprint perspectives and countries among each other. Note that due to methodological differences and data harmonisation reported results may differ from results reported by statistical institutions.

For guidance on how to use the SCP-HAT use our explanatory videos or the User Handbook. For more information on methods and data, check out the technical documentation.

Concept figure: The SCP-HAT tracks the flows of goods and services, linking domestic pressures (occurring in the national environment) with foreign consumption (in countries A to K), as well as national consumption with pressures on the environment abroad.

To analyse hotspots of (un)sustainable consumption and production, two analytical perspectives are applied by the SCP-HAT – domestic production (“territorial approach”) and consumption footprint (“footprint approach”).

For the domestic production perspective, environmental pressures and impacts are illustrated for the country where they physically occur. For example, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced or raw materials extracted in the domestic economy.

In the consumption footprint perspective, environmental pressures and impacts are allocated to the country where the final consumption of products and services occurs. The consumption footprint looks across the whole supply chain of these goods, including all activities occurring in- and outside the country. For example, land used within and beyond national borders to produce food products consumed in a certain country.


SCP-HAT at a glance

State-of-the-art methodology

For the estimation of domestic as well as supply-wide environmental pressures and impacts(i.e. footprints), SCP-HAT combines in a single framework environmentally extended multi-regional input-output (EE-MRIO) analysis and Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA).

4 pressure indicators

In Module 2, users can choose between four environmental pressure indicators. Raw material use, land use, primary energy and blue water consumption. To learn more about the data used to calculate the specific indicators, see the section ‘Data Used’.

2 modules

Module 1 provides key information on a country’s SCP performance by means of background information, graphs and visualisations. Module 2 provides visualisations of a wide range of SCP indicators for hotspot analysis at country and sector levels.

164 Countries

The SCP-HAT aspires to provide data for as many countries as possible. The database underlying the SCP-HAT (Global Resource Input Output Assessment - GLORIA) currently covers 164 countries.

8 impact indicators

Mineral / fossil fuels depletion, short-/ long-term climate change impacts, potential species loss from land use, Air pollution (human health), water scarcity and marine eutrophication. To learn more about the data used see the section ‘Data Used’.

3 Standard reports

‘Country at a glance’, ‘Sector profile’ and ‘GHG emission hotspots’ facilitate the use of SCP-HAT and provide support with the interpretation of the data. The reports build on visualisations that are available in the tool and relevant for the pre-defined topic.

97 Sectors

The sector detail of the database underlying the SCP-HAT (Global Resource Input Output Assessment - GLORIA) enables to identify hotspot sectors. T. However, for countries with limited data quality, an aggregated data set covering 26 sectors is used.

Production & consumption

The domestic production perspective accounts for the environmental pressures and impacts occurring in a country. The consumption footprint perspective accounts for pressures and impacts occurring along the supply chains of the goods consumed in a country.

Many analytical options

Options to assess the SCP performance of countries include the possibility to adjust the detail of analysis to up to 97 different economic sectors but also to carry out comparisons between countries, regions and perspectives as well as analyse trade patterns.


SCP-HAT is covering almost three decades – 1990-2019 -, which is the coverage of the Global Resource Input Output Assessment (GLORIA) database underlying the tool. This long time series allows to track progress of the SCP performance of countries and sectors.

Open source data

To the extent possible data used are open source and retrieved from internationally recognised sources like UN IRP, FAOSTAT, etc. Due to methodological differences and harmonisation reported data may differ from results reported by statistical institutions.

SDG Linkages

Through the various indicators and analytical options, the SCP-HAT provides information related to several UN SDGs, e.g. SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate action), and SDG 15 (Life on land).