The database contains up-to-date figures from both science and practice. The energy and greenhouse gas performance is listed for different levels of technological progress: state-of-the-art, typical and older technology to reflect one of the most important drivers of environmental performance. The figures are indicative and the data quality level is indicated in an indicator using: low, medium, high or very high. All sources can be verified and are listed next to the figures. The figures are updated and verified every year.

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Do you use the figures for a project or publication? Include the citation and give credits with the following text:

Bakker, N. & Van der Mei, A.J., 2021, Circular Statistics, consulted on [date], via

Short version:

Source: Bakker, N. & Van der Mei, A.J., Circular (month 2022)


Below is an overview of the terms with corresponding explanation.

The raw base material in the table.

The application in which this material appears.

The potential sub-specification of the material.

The density of the material in kg/m3. This gives a specification of the type of material. This is a relevant number to compare the performance per volume of different materials. In addition, this value is important to calculate from mass to a measure of volume.

A quality indicator has been assigned to the numbers: low, medium, high or very high. The higher the indicator, the lower the uncertainty surrounding the number. The indicator can be read and applied as follows: low: greater than 30%, medium is 30%, high is 20% and very high is 10%.

This is the energy consumption in MJ per kg of the material concerned, required during extraction, transport and production. This is also known as embedded energy.

The energy consumption figures include the extraction of the raw material, the transport from raw material location to the factory and the production of the material. What is not included in the figures is transport to the location where the product is made, the production of the product and distribution to the end customer. What is also not included in the figures is the material needed to make the machines and factories that are required for material production (indirect use of materials).

The greenhouse gas emissions in kg CO2 equivalent per kg of material. This is also known as Embedded Carbon.

The reported annual global production of a material.

Estimated total worldwide reserves in million tons.

If it is a critical material, it is about the (un)certainty of the supply chain. It also says something about whether there is a replacement for the material. This column also indicates the authorities that consider the material to be critical.

Typical recycling rate of the material at the end of its life. This number is currently being realized in Europe.

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