12.2.1 Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP (Tier II*).
Material Footprint (MF) is the attribution of global material extraction to domestic final demand of a country while the total MF is the sum of the material footprint for biomass, fossil fuels, metal ores and non-metal ores. This indicator is calculated as raw material equivalent of imports (RMEIM) plus domestic extraction (DE) minus raw material equivalents of exports (RMEEX). Multi-regional input-output (MRIO) framework is employed for the attribution of the primary material needs of final global demand.
Material footprint aims to better understand the “teleconnections” between distant places of production and consumption. This is done by transforming the weights of direct import and export flows. Thus the indicator corrects the national material balance for international trade, accounting for both domestic and foreign material extraction with the same system boundaries. There is general consensus is that a harmonised input-output based approach is best suited for global analysis of Material Footprint. However, there are still some issues in terms of the harmonization of different international input-output databases. OECD is leading an effort to improve harmonization which will inform UNEP's approach for this SDG. A background paper on Demand-based measures of material flows provides more information.