Resource evaluation: raw material costs

As with energy requirements, no potential adverse effect can be attributed to the utilisation of material resources (mineral, metallic and biotic). Instead it is described in terms of its type (finite or infinite) and its substitutability. The scarcity of a raw material and its range cannot be reliably determined.

The “cumulative raw material demand” indicator is used to determine the raw material utilisation in correlation with the assessment of products or services. This consists of the total of all materials used in the life cycle of a product according to their raw material mass, while classification into mineral, metallic, fossil and biotic facilitates further qualification. However, it says little about the significance of the utilisation and about whether a pure reduction of the mass values is actually an indication of the sustainable handling of raw materials. Further indicators are therefore required to measure raw material efficiency.