Estonia has one of the lowest resource productivity rates in Europe

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Resource productivity per country 2019. Source: Eurostat

Estonia is ahead only of Bulgaria and Romania when it comes to resource productivity in Europe.

If the European Union average sees a kilogram of natural resources turned into €2.2 worth of production, considering purchasing power, the rate is €0.9 for Estonia and €0.8 in Bulgaria and Romania. The score is highest for the Netherlands (€4.5), Italy (€3.7), Luxembourg (€3.5) and Belgium (€3.4).

The resource productivity rate ties together a country's economy and its resource use. Resource productivity goes up if a country's economy grows faster than its hunger for resources, with the latter measured using domestic material consumption (DMC). The EU average was €1.2 per a kilogram of raw materials in 2000 and had risen to €2.2 (purchasing power standard) by 2019, a Eurostat report reveals.

A sharp spike in resource productivity was experienced following the 2008-2009 economic crisis that hit material-intensive sectors the hardest.

DMC varies greatly from one member state to another. Italy and the Netherlands consume 8-9 tons of natural resources per capita, while Estonia and Finland use roughly 30 tons per person. Use of biomass varies from two to eight tons per person and is highest in Finland courtesy of its timber industry as well as Ireland and Denmark that are major producers of meat. Fossil fuels consumption is similar in most member states falling around three tons per person. However, the latter indicator was nine tons per person in Estonia, a reflection of the country's oil shale energy sector.

Domestic material consumption by material category, 2019. Source: Eurostat

Countries that sport higher population density tend to use less resources per capita than sparsely populated member states, like Estonia and Finland, Eurostat notes.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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