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Material and energy efficiency

Society has an impact on the environment by extracting resources and energy and generating waste and pollution. It is important to use natural resources sustainably and preserve the environment in order to maintain ecological balance and ensure economic growth.

The preparation of environmental accounts based on the principles of economic statistics allows the integrated analysis of production, resource and energy use, emissions and environmental taxes. By combining data, it is possible to assess the impact of the economy on the environment and the contribution of the environment to the economy. The indicators resulting from these analyses are much more informative than indicators based on a single domain.

There is increasing public interest in environmental indicators. They are used to make decisions, implement new or ease existing measures, monitor development plans and domain-specific action plans, develop the circular economy, shape relevant policies, and monitor sustainability on the national level.

Recent decades have witnessed a significant technological development, with production becoming more energy and material resource efficient and versatile. Indicators compiled on the basis of material and energy balances can be used to characterize material and energy use and resource efficiency of the economy.

Statistics on material and energy efficiency provide an overview of the following:

  • how skilfully and efficiently resources are used in Estonia;
  • how much value added is created per one kilogramme of physical resources used;
  • what the gross domestic product per unit of energy consumed is;
  • how much material and energy has been consumed by the economy;
  • how much domestic raw material is consumed per capita and per unit of area;
  • what the physical trade balance is;
  • which economic activities consume the most energy.

The data are needed to plan national development, develop a sustainable and competitive energy sector, monitor the circular economy action plan and, more broadly, the sustainability of the country.

Domestic material consumption 38.83 million tonnes
-10.1%
2019
Resource productivity 0.64 euro per kg
16.8%
2019
Domestic extraction used per capita 32.1 tonnes
-10.1%
2019
Physical trade balance -3.76 million tonnes
-5.9%
2019
Area intensity, used domestic extraction 0.9 kg/km²
-9.7%
2019
Energy productivity 4.2 euros per kg of oil equivalent
36.0%
2019
Domestic extraction used | 2010 - 2019
Physical trade balance | 2010 - 2019
Domestic material consumption per capita | 2010 – 2019
Unit: tonnes
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Direct material input per capita 34.39 37.52 37.34 39.08 38.63 37.33 37.41 43.14 46.32 42.42
Domestic material consumption per capita 25.00 26.92 27.00 28.77 28.29 27.06 26.90 30.99 32.66 29.26

Economic activities with highest energy consumption | 2014 – 2019
Unit: TJ
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Total industries 206,873 193,473 205,573 196,629 215,353 155,849
Agriculture 4,482 4,023 4,885 5,042 5,491 5,168
Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork 5,704 5,630 3,059 3,229 3,391 4,059
Manufacture of paper and paper products 3,960 3,899 4,158 4,538 5,459 4,155
Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products 12,944 24,943 29,850 23,149 30,606 14,067
Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products 5,612 3,779 3,304 4,193 4,714 4,437
Electricity, steam and hot water supply 106,016 80,503 92,178 92,161 100,099 61,147
Construction 7,204 6,437 5,967 6,297 5,992 5,926
Land transport 14,153 14,873 13,314 13,760 14,824 15,032
Water transport 10,415 10,235 10,876 6,699 6,797 4,783
Real estate activities 3,441 5,068 4,003 2,672 4,326 5,483
Consumption by households 48,150 47,042 53,564 53,563 54,679 54,998
Heating/cooling activities by households 31,803 30,454 33,181 33,757 34,155 34,018
Transport activities by households 10,048 10,332 13,490 12,827 13,665 13,535
Other activities by households 6,299 6,256 6,893 6,980 6,858 7,445
TOTAL 255,023 240,516 259,137 250,192 270,032 210,846

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