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Global environmental impacts of UK consumption: Indicator development and policy support - SP1624

The aim of this project is to explore the range of possible options for (an) indicator(s) measuring impacts of UK consumption on the environment. The outcomes of this project will aid policy decisions in developing a response to the GRI recommendation for the UK to establish a legally binding target to end deforestation in UK supply chains.

The 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP) sets out government’s commitment to “leave a lighter footprint on the global environment by enhancing sustainability and supporting zero deforestation supply chains,” in a way which “avoids improving our domestic environment at the expense of the environment globally.” This will ensure that the UK’s consumption and impact on natural capital are sustainable, at home and overseas; and advocates that environmental sustainability should be at the very heart of global production and trade.
Government has published an indicator framework to describe environmental change relating to goals set within the 25YEP. This includes headline indicator 15: “Overseas environmental impacts of UK consumption of key commodities.” The framework recognises that this indicator requires development.
Government has also established the Global Resource Initiative (GRI) as a taskforce to consider how the climate and environmental effects of key UK supply chains can be reduced, with the ambition of establishing the UK as a leader on supply chain sustainability. An indicator able to quantify the impacts of UK supply chains would be of huge value to the GRI, as it could inform the actions that the GRI could take to have the greatest impact, and measure progress.

Outputs are available here:
Outputs are available here:
This project has four main objectives for research on the global impacts of UK consumption:

1. To complete external peer review of previous work.
2. To understand the robustness of linking biodiversity impacts to trade data.
3. To identify the different types of metric under development and the questions they are suited to answer.
4. To develop a road map for the 25 YEP consumption indicator, and for the UK’s engagement with promoting effective metrics more widely.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2019

To: 2020

Cost: £94,996
Contractor / Funded Organisations
J N C C (JNCC - Joint Nature Conservation Committee) Support Committee
Climate Change              
Environmental Impact              
International Trade              
Sustainable Consumption and Production              
Sustainable Development