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Building a comprehensive Supply Chain Database

Physical accounts of raw material stock and flow information service (PANORAMA)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the transition to a low-carbon and circular economy, realising resource-efficiency, and ensuring resource supply security are now core goals for the European Union. These ambitions require transformations with regard to the economies’ use of natural resources, and the resulting emissions and waste. To realize these ambitions there is a need for a robust information base that assesses the current and future demands of natural resources within the (global) economy. Ideally such an information system links physical and economic information about industry sectors, product flows and stocks, and material flows and stocks, all under a coherent classification that allows using this information in forward looking models. Such an information system would allow for forecasting resource demand, economic implications of resource supply problems, and provide a deep understanding of the societal metabolism of products and materials, including the structure of urban mines.


Project Objectives

  • There is a clear need to map the full materials chain, and not only to have data on primary and secondary raw materials. The content of specific materials in stocks and flows over the full value chain (intermediates, products, urban mine) must become transparent. In relation, better access to supply chain information is needed. Ideally such supply chains should be geographically specified, in order to address supply chain issues relevant for the EU.
  • Trade of materials, secondary products, and relevant intermediates both nationally and internationally should be specified

Such supply chain information should inform material users efficiently and transparently.


Building a comprehensive Supply Chain Database

The European Union (EU) lacks a comprehensive, consistent, and balanced supply chain and stock-flow materials database that is compatible with economic statistics at the regional to global scale. Such a data system is essential for the type of long term strategic materials management and industry investment decisions that the EU wants to support.

Current and future bottlenecks in the supply chain related to (critical) raw materials are lacking in existing tools and databases. It is essential for governments, industries, financiers, and recyclers to understand the economic implications of material supply and related risks to the supply chain. For such activities the Raw Materials Information System (RMIS) of the EU’s Directorage General Joint Research Centre (DG-JRC) and the European Innovation and Technology Raw Materials (EIT-RM) have been set up. The EIT-RM is in an excellent position to support DG-JRC in expanding the coverage of the RMIS, which in turn can help the EIT-RM and the wider community to prioritize improvement options for materials management. PANORAMA seeks to bridge this gap with an easy to use and transparent information system.