Developments in the policy landscape and data capabilities in the last ten years or so have greatly increased the significance of consumption-based indicators.

In Sweden, the PRINCE projects (Policy Relevant Indicators for Consumption and Environment) are at the forefront of these developments. The first PRINCE project ran between 2015 and 2018 and explored ways to improve and expand the set of indicators used to estimate the environmental pressures linked to Swedish consumption, both within Sweden and abroad. This report has been produced in the second PRINCE project.

The goals of PRINCE 2 are to:

  1. Communicate the results of PRINCE 1 to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and other key stakeholders
  2. Summarize how PRINCE 1 results have been used in policy and elsewhere
  3. Further develop data and indicators in the following areas for future use in policy:
    • fisheries
    • tropical deforestation
    • biodiversity
    • chemicals.

Key findings

The first PRINCE project has had significant influence on policy processes by:

  • motivating the investigation of a goal for Sweden’s consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions
  • supporting the development of data for monitoring the UK’s new 25 Year Environment Plan
  • supporting the development of deforestation strategy for the EU.

The gap analyses of PRINCE 2 have demonstrated the clear need and potential to expand the current production of indicators in official statistics to cover the following areas:

  • deforestation-related greenhouse gas emissions
  • catch fisheries and aquaculture
  • hazardous chemical products
  • veterinary medicine products
  • pesticides
  • biodiversity.

Human and financial resources are necessary to be able to produce and maintain official statistics in the areas noted above. Further investigation is needed on the potential for other indicators from PRINCE 1 (e.g. on land, material flows and water) to be produced as official statistics.

There is still large potential for increased policy uptake for consumption-based approaches.