Total consumption of natural resources

Updated: 14 Nov 2019
Next update: 3 Dec 2020

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.


Domestic material consumption 191 million tonnes in 2018

Domestic material consumption remained unchanged at 191 million tonnes. The use of wood increased by five million tonnes amounting to 49 million tonnes in 2018.

The use of domestic direct inputs remained unchanged at 180 million tonnes in 2018. Use of domestic direct inputs refers to the use of domestic natural resources, including materials extracted from nature for further processing.

When imports are added to and exports subtracted from domestic direct inputs, the result is domestic material consumption (DMC indicator). Compared to the previous year, both imports and exports grew by four million tonnes, thus, domestic material consumption remained unchanged at 191 million tonnes.

The use of wood increased by five million tonnes amounting to 49 million tonnes in 2018. In 2018, altogether 20 per cent of used direct inputs were wood. Sixty-one million tonnes of minerals and 84 million tonnes of soil materials were used. Direct inputs include domestic direct inputs and imports.

In 2018, altogether 642 million tonnes of natural resources were used, which was close on five per cent more than in 2017. 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 165 million tonnes and hidden flows from imported products to 237 million tonnes in total.