Geographic hotspots in Sweden’s consumption footprint

What does the hotspot analysis tell us?

Hotspot analyses deepen our understanding of Sweden’s large and many-faceted consumption footprints. They can also highlight potential entry points and priorities for policy-making.

With the PRINCE data, it is possible also to identify where the biggest contributions to the footprint are occurring and whether it is mainly related to household consumption, government consumption or investments.

This information could then be used as a starting point for further research or dialogue (for example with a national government, the European Union, or an industry association or federation) to identify why the hotspot is appearing in the data, and what could be done to reduce the pressures or mitigate the impacts.

A wide range of policy options to reduce environmental pressures exist; for example, campaigns targeting consumption patterns in Sweden, new or better-enforced environmental standards on products, duties and subsidies, clauses in trade agreements, development assistance, technology transfer, or regulation of production in Sweden.

Such measures could be at the national level, bilateral or through organizations like the EU, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or the United Nations.

Regular updating of the indicators could reveal emerging hotspots, as well as cases where action targeting a hotspot has led to positive results.

Finally, the PRINCE hotspot results also tell us another important lesson: the value of tracking multiple environmental macroindicators. There is a tendency in environmental policy to focus almost exclusively on fossil fuel burning and greenhouse gas emissions, with a tacit assumption that reducing those will reduce other environmental pressures. The PRINCE indicators show that many environmental pressures follow quite different patterns, originating in different parts of the world and associated with different product groups – suggesting that more specific, targeted responses will be needed in order to reduce the different footprints of Swedish consumption.

Visualization: hotspot product groups in Sweden’s consumption footprint

Visualization: Geographic hotspots in Sweden’s consumption footprint

Visualization: Hotspot product group-country combinations in Sweden’s consumption footprint