The Roadmap's approach to resource efficiency indicators
Annex 6 of the Resource Efficiency Roadmap set out a provisional indicator set organised in a 3 layer approach:
- One headline indicator,
- a dashboard of complementary macro indicators, and
- a set of theme specific indicators to measure progress towards the specific objectives and actions.
First layer / lead indicator: focus on resource productivity
Measured by GDP divided by Domestic Material Consumption (euro/tonne) the Commission proposed to continue to use 'resource productivity', as the lead indicator.
However, even though this indicator is felt to be the most appropriate indicator available, it still has some considerable shortcomings:
- GDP/DMC as an indicator takes a national production perspective, which implies that it is insensitive to changes in environmental pressures that occur outside the national borders.
- DMC measures resources by weight, which impedes telling the full story of resources' scarcity and economic value and the environmental impact of their use.
Second layer / dashboard: focus on resource and its environmental impacts
The Commission chose to complement the lead indicator with a concise dashboard of macro consumption and production indicators on materials, water, land and carbon. This dashboard of indicators – in conjunction with the lead indicator – has the advantage that it focuses on clear stocks or flows of main resources. As such it can be easily understood, measured and communicated.
Third layer: thematic indicators to monitor policy effectiveness
To measure performance on the actions and milestones proposed in the Roadmap the Commission proposed a wide range of thematic indicators. Here the approach was to limit the number of indicators to one relevant indicator per theme.