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.

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.

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: GLORIA (Global Resource Input Output Assessment) database
Link:
https://ielab.info/analyse/GLORIA
Definition: Input-output data are compiled by national statistical agencies based on national economic statistics. The Global Resource Input Output (GLORIA) database is 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 164 countries and a homogenous 97×97 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)

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): Sustainable use of raw materials
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections
National data plot system (Module 3)

Name: EDGAR v.6.0 database (Joint Research Centre & Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)

Link: https://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/dataset_ghg60

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).

The Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) 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 (CO2, CH4, and N2O). It covers the years 1970 to 2018 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)

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

Link: http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data
https://fra-data.fao.org/WO/fra2020/home/

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 broad categories of land for agricultural and forestry activities such as arable land, permanent crops and pastures. The FAOSTAT Crop Production domain includes annual land use for a large number of individual crops (annual and permanent. The two datasets are combined to determine land use for each of the IRP sectors, while ensuring that aggregates add up to the Land Use domain data. 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

Name: EDGAR v5.0 database (Joint Research Centre & Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)

Link: https://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/dataset_ap50

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 four different pollution types: NH3, NOx, PM2.5, SO2, which are used in SCP-HAT.

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

Name: ETH water footprint data based on Pfister and Bayer 2011, WaterGAP data (Flörke et al., 2013)

Link: High resolution data: https://data.mendeley.com/datasets/brn4xm47jk/3; Time series: https://zenodo.org/record/3994795

Definition: SCP-HAT presents data on blue water consumption per country. Blue water is defined as water stemming from surface water sources (e.g. rivers or lakes) or groundwater bodies. Water consumption is defined as the difference between overall water withdrawals and direct return flows. Blue water consumption hence encompasses water withdrawn from surface water sources or groundwater bodies that is either incorporated into products or evaporated during the growth period of a crop or the production process of a good. The data from Pfister et al. (2011) representing production patterns in the year 2000 were matched to country and sector resolution in the same way as described in Lutter et al. 2016. Time series are developed based on a regionalized EXIOBASE 3 version (Cabernard et al., 2020).

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

Name: International Energy Agency

Link: https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/data-product/world-energy-balances

Definition: SCP-HAT includes data on the production of primary energy from a wide range of energy carriers. 21 different energy products were selected and allocated to specific sectors in the global input-output table. The products were then grouped into six groups, in order to allow easier communication in SCP-HAT: (1) Coal and peat, (2) Oil and natural gas, (3) Nuclear, (4) Solid biofuels, (5) Captured energy (e.g. Hydro, Geothermal, Solar), and (6) Heat.

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

Name: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAOSTAT)

Link: http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data

Definition: Marine environments can be impacted by overabundance of nitrogen, which is deposited in oceans from the air, via direct run-off or via rivers. Emissions to air of NH3 and NOx contribute to marine eutrophication, as well as flows of nitrogen and nitrates that leach or run off from agricultural systems. The air emissions are the same as those used for the air pollution data set. The leached nitrogen is derived from the FAO data for the Climate change emissions domain, which includes data on nitrogen use and nitrogen leaching

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

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): Air pollution and health impacts
Hotspots identification (Module 2): all sub-sections

Name: Available WAter Remaining (AWARE)

Link: https://wulca-waterlca.org/aware/what-is-aware/

Definition: AWARE is a midpoint indicator representing the relative Available WAter REmaining per area in a watershed, after the demand of humans and aquatic ecosystems has been met. It builds on the assumption that the less water remaining available per area, the more likely another user will be deprived. The indicator is available on watershed and monthly level, as well as on country level averaged for agricultural water use and non-agricultural water use (reflecting typical consumption patterns and locations of the sectors within a country). For crop production the watershed indicator was applied on the high spatial resolution water consumption in SCP-HAT, while the other sectors used the country-specific coefficients.

Modules/Sections:
Country Profile (Module 1): Water consumption and scarcity
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: Eutrophication is the effect that an overabundance of particular nutrients has on aquatic environments. If the input of such nutrients to an aquatic system exceeds the capacity of that system to assimilate those nutrients, ecosystem structure and functioning may change. Nitrogen flows impact marine environments and lead to so-called eutrophication – where N-loads result in excessive algal bloom. This process can lead to ecological degradation and species loss due to oxygen depletion of the water body after the bacterial degradation of the algae. The indicator reflects the severity of marine eutrophication potential in nitrogen-equivalents.

Modules/Sections:
Country Profile (Module 1): Water pollution and related impacts
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): all sub-sections
Hotspots identification (Module 2): National performance – Sustainability trends

Name: INFORM Global Risk Index (GRI)

Link: https://drmkc.jrc.ec.europa.eu/inform-index

Definition: The INFORM Risk Index is a global, open-source risk assessment for humanitarian crises and disasters. It can support decisions about prevention, preparedness and response. In SCP-HAT we apply the sub-index “socio-economic vulnerability”. It tries to measure the (in)ability of individuals or households to afford safe and resilient livelihood conditions and well-being. It is independent from specific hazards and can be set into relation with prevailing environmental pressures and impacts or unsustainable consumption and production in general.

Modules/Sections:
Country Profile (Module 1): all sub-sections
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: GLORIA (Global Resource Input Output Assessment) database

Link: https://ielab.info/analyse/GLORIA

Definition: Value added is obtained from the primary inputs matrices provided in GLORIA (Global Resource Input Output Assessment) database. 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

Identifying SCP hotspots for policy action​