Total consumption of natural resources

Updated: 15 Nov 2018
Next update: 14 Nov 2019

The accounts comprise data on domestic and foreign material inputs into Finland's economy, on domestic and foreign hidden flows as well as on materials export.

Domestic direct inputs refer to materials extracted from domestic nature for further processing in the economy. Examples of these would be wood and minerals used as raw materials, earth materials used in construction, and plants and wild animals used as food for animals and humans.

Foreign direct inputs comprise imports of processed and raw materials. Correspondingly, exports comprise of raw and processed materials exported abroad.

Domestic hidden flows refer to the transfers and transformations of natural materials that are made in connection with their extraction from nature or with construction. Examples of these would be logging waste left in forests, and wall rock of ore mines. Hidden flows of imports are comprised of the direct inputs and hidden flows which are used abroad to produce imported goods but which do not show in the weight of imported raw materials or products.

The total material requirement calculated from these accounts is the sum of domestic and foreign direct inputs and hidden flows. Direct inputs represent the actual volume of material entering the Finnish economy and, together with domestic hidden flows, the material volume behind the burdening of the domestic environment. The total material requirement of our economy is obtained by adding to this the hidden flows of imports, i.e. the global ecological environmental burdening of our economy.


Use of domestic natural resources increased by 5 per cent in 2017

In 2017, Finland used 237 million tonnes of direct inputs, which was around 3.5 per cent more than in 2016. Direct inputs include both imported products as well as materials extracted from the soil and vegetation of Finland. The use of domestic direct inputs increased by five per cent, and amounted to 180 million tonnes. The growth was primarily caused by increased mineral excavation and use of soil materials.

Around one-fourth, or 57 million tonnes, of the use of direct inputs consisted of imported products. The use of domestic direct inputs increased by five per cent, and amounted to 180 million tonnes. In 2016, altogether 172 million tonnes of domestic natural resources were used. Of all direct inputs used in 2017, around one-third, or 81 million tonnes, were soil materials. Sixty-six million tonnes of minerals and 44 million tonnes of wood were used.

In 2017, the domestic material consumption (DMC) was 191 million tonnes, which was around five million tonnes more than in 2016. The growth was the result of increased use of domestic natural resources. Both the tonnage of exports and that of imports remained quite the same compared to the previous year.

In 2017, altogether 612 million tonnes of natural resources were used, which was three per cent more than in 2016. Total usage of natural resources includes unused extractions in forestry and mining and quarrying as well as hidden flows of imports. Unused extractions amounted to 145 million tonnes and hidden flows from imported products to 230 million tonnes in total.