Global Material Flows Database

This global database on material flows and resource productivity was produced as part of a collaborative effort by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia, the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna), Austria, the Institute of Social Ecology Vienna (SEC), Austria, the University of Nagoya, Japan, and University of Sydney’s Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA), Australia, for the UN Environment International Resource Panel.

The global database is based on international data sources, and the most recent methodologies for establishing material flow accounts. Please refer to the technical annex for a detailed description of data sources and methods used.

Material flows and resource productivity indicators are among the most important indicators available for monitoring changes in the patterns and rates of resource use as economies grow. They are used for reporting progress towards SDG targets 8.4 ‘Resource Productivity’ and 12.2 ‘Sustainable Use of Natural Resources’. The database is intended to help governments, policy researchers and all interested stakeholders to:

  1. develop a better understanding of how economic growth patterns influence resource use;
  2. evaluate the impacts of policies that have been adopted in the past;
  3. develop effective strategies to minimize future resource use through targeted sustainable consumption and production policies and actions.

The database covers the period 1970-2017 and 150 countries and reports material extraction, trade, material footprints and material intensity.

Note: as some of the underlying data sets used in the construction of the material flows accounts terminate as early as 2012, data from that year on will contain an increasing portion of projected data, such that by 2017 the data is entirely based on projection from earlier years. This point is important for those users intending to use this data to establish statistical relationships, i.e. the last year which should be used for regression analyses and similar is 2012.

If more disaggregated data for material extraction is required please send your request to the secretariat of the IRP Data handling may incur a small fee which we will quote when we have received your request.

Your details

We ask that you provide some contact details for access to the database, please fill in the form below, we will contact you when the database is available.


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UN Environment
Secretariat of the International Resource Panel

Data experts

Dr James West

WU Vienna
Mirko Lieber MSc.