New indicator of the circular economy – CONSUMPTION FOOTPRINT

21. December 2021

Nový indikátor obehového hospodárstva– SPOTREBNÁ STOPA


A study by the Joint Research Center (JRC) has developed an evaluation framework to monitor the development of the overall environmental footprint of production and consumption in the EU and in individual Member States. The consumption footprint and the consumer footprint are indicators that monitor progress towards the EU’s ambitions, such as the circular economy, zero pollution, sustainable food production and the protection of biodiversity.

The consumption footprint indicator monitors the overall environmental impacts of the consumption of goods and services in the EU and in individual Member States. The consumption footprint is assessed at the level of individual EU member states as well as at the level of the entire EU. It is used to monitor the development of negative environmental impacts over time and to monitor progress towards the separation of economic growth from negative environmental impacts (so-called decoupling). Data on the consumption footprint for Slovakia and the EU are published among the indicators of the circular economy in the section production and consumption.



How is Slovakia compared to the European Union average?

At the level of the Slovak Republic, there was an increase in the consumption footprint per capita between 2010 and 2012, followed by a decrease and from 2014 to 2018 the value of the consumption footprint did not change significantly. Compared to the average of the European Union, Slovakia’s consumption footprint per capita is lower. The only exception is 2012, when Slovakia’s consumption footprint was higher than the European Union average. At EU level, the per capita consumption per capita did not change significantly between 2010 and 2018.



Consumer footprint platform

A comprehensive visualization tool has been developed to visualize the various graphs, which is part of the European Platform on Life Cycle Assessment. On the platform, it is possible to compare the consumption footprint of individual member states of the European Union and the EU as a whole according to one or more indicators.



Consumer footprint calculator

Consumer footprint focuses on the impact of the average citizen on the environment, focusing on key elements of production and consumption as well as the lifestyle of consumers. Anyone interested can calculate their consumption footprint in an online calculator. The user can set the specific food and beverages he consumes, choose the mode of transport he uses, choose the appliances he uses and the daily consumption products he buys, and define the type and location of housing. Based on these five categories, the environmental footprint of a particular individual, or households.



How to reduce the environmental footprint in each category?

If, after entering your answers, the calculator has evaluated that the environmental impacts of your consumption exceed the so-called safe operating space for humanity, consider some of the tips below to possibly improve your results.

Food: reducing the amount of meat consumed, preventing food waste.

Transport: increased use of public transport instead of cars, use of vehicles with alternative propulsion (hybrid, electric, hydrogen, …).

Appliances: use of appliances with better energy efficiency, increased use of LED lighting, increased reuse of products.

Daily consumption products: reuse of products (second-hand shopping), use of textiles with recycled materials, purchase and use of products in accordance with the eco-labeling criteria of products.

Housing: reduction of heating temperature during the night, thermal insulation of buildings, use of a solar collector for water heating, production of electricity through a photovoltaic system.



More information:

Sala S., et al, 2019. Consumption and Consumer Footprint: methodology and results. [online]. Luxembourg. Publications Office of the European Union. Dostupné na internete: ISBN: 978-92-79-97256-0


Source: JRC;

Published by CVTI