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Appendix 2

A detailed breakdown of the Materials and Waste ecological footprint

This discussion is presented separately as there is confidence in the calculation of the total 'materials and products' ecological footprint, but the detailed SIC breakdown is less robust, due to uncertainties in ProdCom statistics.

What is SIC?

SIC stands for Standard Industrial Classification, which was first introduced into the UK in 1948 classifying business establishments and other statistical units by the type of economic activity in which they are engaged. This classification provides a framework for the collection, tabulation, presentation and analysis of data and its use promotes uniformity.

Calculating the ecological footprint of personal material consumption

It is possible to estimate personal material consumption for an average South West resident by SIC category (see Table 6). Several steps are involved:

  1. UK resource consumption data (in tonnes) – for materials and products - is adjusted to remove double counting (both intermediate products and materials accounted elsewhere in the ecological footprint - food, energy, forestry and transport).
    1. The following SIC categories were included in their entirety: Mining of metal ores (SIC 13), Other mining and quarrying (SIC 14), Manufacture of tobacco products (SIC 16), Manufacture of textiles (SIC 17), Manufacture of wearing apparel; dressing and dyeing of fur (SIC 18), Tanning and dressing of leather; manufacture of luggage, handbags, saddlery, harness and footwear (SIC 19), Manufacture of wood and products of wood and cord (except furniture), articles of straw and plaiting materials (SIC 20), Manufacture of pulp, paper and paper products (SIC 21), Publishing, printing and reproduction of recorded media (SIC 22), Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products (SIC 24), Manufacture of rubber and plastic products (SIC 25), Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products (SIC 26), Manufacture of basic metals (SIC 27), Manufacture of fabricated metal products except machinery and equipment (SIC 28), Manufacture of machinery and equipment not elsewhere classified (SIC 29), Manufacture of office machinery and computers (SIC 30), Manufacture of electrical machinery and apparatus not elsewhere classified (SIC 31), Manufacture of radio, television and communication equipment and apparatus (SIC 32), Manufacture of medical, precision and optical instruments, watches and clocks (SIC 33) and Manufacture of furniture; manufacturing not elsewhere classified (SIC 36).
    2. SIC categories Manufacturing of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers (SIC 34) and Manufacture of other transport equipment (SIC 35) are partially included, which illustrates that personal transport is also accounted elsewhere in the ecological footprint.
    3. SIC categories Agriculture, hunting and related service activities (SIC 1), Forestry, logging and related service activities (SIC 2); Fishing, operation of fish hatcheries and fish farms; service activities incidental to fishing (SIC 5), Mining of coal and lignite; extraction of peat (SIC 10), Extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas; service activities incidental to oil and gas extraction excl. surveying (SIC 11), Manufacture of food products and beverages (SIC 15) and Manufacture of coke, refined petroleum products and nuclear fuel (SIC 23) are excluded, as they are accounted elsewhere in the ecological footprint.
  2. The production, import and export tonnage results are converted - at the aggregated two-digit SIC level - to their corresponding ecological footprints, using energy and bioproductive land factors extracted from the National Footprint Accounts. This is done for consistency1 (Redefining Progress, 2002).
  3. The breakdown of consumption into SIC categories 16-20, 21, 24 and 25 is additionally based on the ecological footprint data for 'tobacco', 'textiles', 'paper & pulp', 'fishing – non food' and 'rubber' contained within the UK National Footprint Accounts2 (Redefining Progress, 2002).
  4. The UK ecological footprint data, by SIC code, was proxied to reflect the variation between UK and South West domestic waste arisings, on a per person basis. Household domestic waste in the South West was 2% higher than the UK average3.
  5. This figure was further calibrated, for compatibility with the UK National Footprint Accounts (Redefining Progress, 2002), by applying a constant across all SIC categories. This made adjustments for any variations in the data sources used, and any outstanding double counting not previously captured3.

1 All SIC categories include embodied energy factors. SIC categories 16-21, 24 and 25 additionally include bioproductive land factors.

2 Although the vast majority of timber (by mass) is used in construction (SIC 20), some would be used to manufacture furniture (SIC 36). However, no data was available to determine the split between SIC 20 and SIC 36. Therefore, all bioproductive area associated with timber under SIC 20 is taken into account. Data on harvested materials, not accounted for in the tobacco or rubber bioproductive area, was assumed to fall within SIC 17 (textiles).

3 Household waste data is the most reliable, widely collected indicator of material consumption. Use of this as a proxy is based on the assumption that overall personal material consumption is proportional to the waste produced.