UNEP Launches “Hotspots” Tool to Reveal Unsustainable Consumption and Production


Leila Mead

13 March 2019: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a tool that enables countries to see “hotspots” of unsustainable consumption and production practices. The ‘Sustainable Consumption and Production Hotspots Analysis Tool’ is an online application that analyzes the environmental and socioeconomic performance of 171 countries over the past 25 years to provide scientific evidence of areas where improvement can be made.

The tool’s launch coincided with the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), which focused on innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production (SCP). The application is targeted towards policy experts, statisticians and the general public.

The tool builds on a national footprint calculator, which combines environmental and socioeconomic data with trade information. It enables the tracing of environmental pressures and impacts along the supply chain of goods and services consumed by particular countries, integrates data on raw material use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change, air pollution and health, land use and biodiversity loss, and provides national-level data and data for 26 sectors, including agriculture, fishing, mining, construction, transport, telecommunications, and wood and paper.

The tool provides three modules to analyze hotspot areas of SCP. Module 1 provides information regarding the environmental performance of countries in the context of SCP-related policy areas. Module 2 provides a range of SCP indicators to analyze hotspots of unsustainable consumption and production at the national and sectoral levels. Aimed at technical experts, Module 3 provides the option of inputting national data to receive more tailored results. It builds on global datasets on national and international trade, as well as on domestic environmental pressures and impacts, and different socioeconomic indicators. Data can be inserted for raw material extraction and GHG emissions in aggregated format. The user can choose the country, the environmental category and the time frame.

The app was tested by Argentina, Côte d’Ivoire and Kazakhstan during its development phase, and will be tested in Bhutan and Rwanda in 2019. It was developed by UNEP, the One Planet Network and the Life Cycle Initiative, in partnership with the International Resource Panel (IRP) and others. The European Commission and Norway provided financial support. [UNEP Press Release] [Sustainable Consumption and Production Hotspots Analysis Tool]






Leila Mead