METHODS & Data

methoDs

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.

The technical documentation explaining the applied methodologies can be found here. It also contains a section on changes made between different versions of SCP-HAT (“changelog”). As SCP-HAT is under constant development, please report any comment or feedback to fabienne.pierre@un.org.

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

DATA

DATA USED

The SCP-HAT tool incorporates four types of data: input-output tables linked via monetary trade information, “satellite accounts” containing data on environmental pressure, socio-economic data, and data on environmental impacts from life cycle impact assessments. To the extent possible the data are open source and retrieved from internationally recognised data sources.

Input-Output data

Name: Eora input–output data
Link:
http://worldmrio.com/
Definition: Input-output data are compiled by national statistical agencies based on national economic statistics. The Eora global supply chain database consists of a multi-region input-output (MRIO) database that provides a time series of high geographical resolution of input-output tables with matching environmental and social satellite accounts for 190 countries. For SCP-HAT we apply the homogenous 26×26 sector disaggregation available for all countries.

Modules/Sections: Country profile (Module 1): all sub-sections
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections
National data plot system (Module 3): all sub-sections

Environmental pressures

Name: UN Environment International Resource Panel Global Material Flows Database

Link: http://www.resourcepanel.org/global-material-flows-database

Definition: Raw material extraction is the exploitation of biomass, fossil fuels and minerals for the production of goods and services directly from the natural environment. This includes activities such as fishing, mining, harvesting, drilling, etc.

UN Environment International Resource Panel Global Material Flows Database presents direct and consumption-based material flow indicators for seven world regions and for individual countries. It covers for two different aggregations of material categories data on absolute extraction and consumption as well as per-capita and per- US%-values. For SCP-HAT the data on material extraction per country are used.

Modules/Sections:
Country Profile (Module 1): all sub-sections
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections
National data plot system (Module 3): all sub-sections

Name: PRIMAP-hist (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research).

Link: http://dataservices.gfz-potsdam.de/pik/showshort.php?id=escidoc:2086888

Definition: A greenhouse gas is any gas in the atmosphere, which absorbs and re-emits heat and keeps the planet’s atmosphere warmer than it otherwise would be. The Kyoto Protocol (Annex A) covers the following six greenhouse gases: Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrousoxide (N2O), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

PRIMAP-hist provides a data set, which combines several published datasets to create a comprehensive set of greenhouse gas emissions pathways for every country and the main greenhouse gases tackled by the Kyoto Protocol (all but SF6). It covers the years 1850 to 2015 and all member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and most of non-UNFCCC.

Modules/Sections:
Country Profile (Module 1): greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections
National data plot system (Module 3): all sub-sections

Name: EDGAR v4.3.2 database (JRC & Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)

Link: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=CO2ts1990-2014http://www.resourcepanel.org/global-material-flows-database

Definition: Emission shares describe the evolution of the emission inventories by key source and sink categories over time for all countries worldwide.
The Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) provides global past and present day anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants by country and on spatial grid. It provides time series data for the main categories of GHG emissions from 1990 to 2014 per region/ country. These time series report country-specific emission totals of fossil fuel use and industrial processes, which are allocated to the sectors covered in Eora.

Modules/Sections:
Country Profile (Module 1): greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections
National data plot system (Module 3): all sub-sections

Name: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAOSTAT / Global Forest Resources Assessment)

Link: http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data
http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4808e.pdf

Definition: Land use is the total of arrangements, activities, and inputs that people undertake in a certain land cover. SCP-HAT currently covers agricultural and forestry land use as well as built-up land. This land use relates only to land occupation in the context of Life Cycle Assessment.
The FAOSTAT Land Use domain includes categories of land primarily focusing on their use for agricultural and forestry activities. The data includes information for: land area (excluding area under inland water bodies), agricultural area, arable land, temporary crops, permanent crops, and permanent meadows and pastures. Data are available from 1961 onwards for more than 200 countries and territories. The FAOSTAT Land Use domain also contains data on planted forest area, which is combined with data on production and multiple-use forests from the FAO Global Forest Resource Assessments to derive the areas of extensive and intensive forest use. The Forest Resource Assessments provide data every five or ten years from 1990 for most countries.

Modules/Sections:
Country Profile (Module 1): sustainable land use
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections
National data plot system (Module 3): all sub-sections

Name: EDGAR v4.3.2 database (JRC & Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)

Link: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=CO2ts1990-2014

Definition: When harmful or excessive quantities of substances including gases, particulates, and biological molecules are introduced into Earth’s atmosphere, air pollution occurs. The EDGAR database covers five different pollution types: NH3, NOx, PM2.5, bio, PM2.5, fossil, SO2, which are used in SCP-HAT.

Modules: Country Profile (Module 1): all sub-sections
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections

Socio-economic indicators

Name: The World Bank Group

Link: http://databank.worldbank.org/data/home.aspx

Definition: Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship – except for refugees who are not permanently settled.

Modules/Sections: Country Profile (Module 1): all sub-sections
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections

Name: The World Bank Group

Link: http://databank.worldbank.org/data/home.aspx

Definition: Gross Domestic Product is an inflation-adjusted measure that reflects the value of services and goods produced by an economy in a particular year. It is referred to as “constant-price” using 2010 official exchange rates.

Modules/Sections: Country Profile (Module 1): all sub-sections
Hotspots identification (Module 2): national performance – sustainability trends

Name: United Nations Development Programme

Link: http://hdr.undp.org/en/data

Definition: The Human Development Index is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living.  The Human Development Index was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone.

Modules/Sections: Country Profile (Module 1): sustainable use of raw materials, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
Hotspots identification (Module 2): national performance – sustainability trends

Name: International Labour Organization

Link: http://www.ilo.org/ilostat/faces/ilostat-home/home?_adf.ctrl

Definition: Persons in employment are defined as all those of working age who, during a short reference period, were engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services for pay or profit. They comprise employed persons “at work”, i.e. who worked in a job for at least one hour; and employed persons “not at work” due to temporary absence from a job, or to working-time arrangements (such as shift work, flextime and compensatory leave for overtime). SCP-HAT covers data on employment by gender.

Modules/Sections: Hotspots identification (Module 2): Sectoral performance – trends by sector, sector comparison

Name: Eora database

Link: http://worldmrio.com/ 

Definition: Value added is obtained from the primary inputs matrices provided in the Eora MRIO dataset. In developing Eora, these matrices are first gathered from national statistics offices and then balanced with the rest of components of the MRIO system (intermediate and final outputs and trade data).

Modules/Sections: Hotspots identification (Module 2): National performance – Environmental trends, Comparative analysis,
Sectoral performance – trends by sector, Sector comparison

Environmental impacts (LCIA factors)

Name: ReCiPe (RIVM, CML, PRé Consultants and Radboud University Nijmegen)

Link: https://www.rivm.nl/en/Topics/L/Life_Cycle_Assessment_LCA/Downloads

Definition: ReCiPe is a a harmonised life cycle impact assessment method at midpoint and endpoint level, which translates emissions and resource extractions into a limited number of environmental impacts scores by means of so-called characterization factors. The method contributes to a better understanding of the environmental impact of goods, services, and process and quantifying life cycle impacts on human health, ecosystem services, and natural resources.
The midpoint characterization factor for mineral resource scarcity is Surplus Ore Potential (SOP). It expresses the average extra amount of ore to be produced in the future due to the extraction of 1 kg of a mineral resource x, considering all future production (R) of that mineral resource relative to the average extra amount of ore produced in the future. The indicator is expressed relative to copper in units of kg Cu-equivalent.

Modules/Sections: Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections

Name: Global guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment indicators, UNEP Life Cycle Initiative

Link: https://www.lifecycleinitiative.org/applying-lca/lcia-cf/

Definition: Anthropogenic emissions contribute to climate change. Climate change, at the same time, has an impact on human beings.
Two impact categories are used to better reflect the complexity of climate change: (1) Shorter-term environmental and human health consequences from the rate of temperature change (e.g lack of human and ecosystem adaptation, with Global Warming Potential (GWP) within 100 years; (2) effect of long-term temperature rise (e.g temperature rise, sea level rise), with Global Temperature Potential (GTP) within 100 years as indicator.

Modules/Sections: Country Profile (Module 1): greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections

Name: Global guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment indicators, UNEP Life Cycle Initiative

Link: https://www.lifecycleinitiative.org/applying-lca/lcia-cf/

Definition: Biodiversity impacts are described by the indicator potential species loss due to land use. It is estimated applying characterization factors in combination with land use data with the unit level of damage categories “Potentially Disappeared Fraction of Species” (PDF) for one year. The characterization factors currently applied are country-level average factors for global species loss.

Modules/Sections: Country Profile (Module 1): sustainable land use
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections

Name: ReCiPe (RIVM, CML, PRé Consultants and Radboud University Nijmegen)

Link: https://www.rivm.nl/en/Topics/L/Life_Cycle_Assessment_LCA/Downloads

Definition: Human health impacts are covered in life cycle impact assessment by means of estimating health impacts caused by respiratory inorganics (particulate matter). Human health impacts are appropriately defined at the population level, i.e. not in relation to individuals or susceptible sub-populations. The metric is Disability – Adjusted Life years (DALY) at endpoint. Average characterization factors for each country are used.

Modules/Sections: Country Profile (Module 1): pollution and health impacts
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections

Identifying SCP hotspots for policy action​