Finland Times

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Home BUSINESSNeed for material downward
Sat, 19 Nov, 2016 12:10:21 AM
FTimes Report, Nov 19
Total material requirement by material group in 1970 to 2015. Source: Economy-wide material flow accounts 2015, Statistics Finland.
Altogether 277 million tonnes of material was extracted from the soil and vegetation of Finland in 2015, forty-four per cent of which was used domestically and 15 per cent exported.
The rest one-third was left unused in nature, according to Statistics Finland’s data.
In addition, some 54 million tonnes of products and raw materials were imported, which generated an estimated 208 million tonnes in hidden flows for the production countries.
All in all, Finns’ material extraction in 2015 amounted to 540 million tonnes. The amount is roughly the same as annual oil production in Russia, the statistics show.
Changes compared to 2014 were minor apart from ore extraction, which is on the rise again.
Both in Finland and throughout Europe, national economies try, in the spirit of circular economy, to lower their material intensity or their economy’s dependency on natural resources, or vice versa, to increase the productivity of their natural resources.
Material intensity of Finland's economy in 1975 to 2015. Source: Economy-wide material flow accounts 2015, Statistics Finland.
The dependency of Finland’s national economy on nature is significantly larger than in the EU, on average, the average material productivity in the EU was more than double compared to Finland.
Halving of direct natural resource inputs to produce one euro has taken 40 years in Finland.
At this rate, the country will reach the EU average in four to five decades.
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