Methodology and Indicators of Economy‐Wide Material Flow Accounting

22 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2011

See all articles by M. Fischer‐Kowalski

M. Fischer‐Kowalski

affiliation not provided to SSRN

F. Krausmann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

S. Giljum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

S. Lutter

affiliation not provided to SSRN

A. Mayer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stefan Bringezu

University of Kassel

Yuichi Moriguchi

University of Tokyo

Helmut Schutz

Science Centre North Rhine-Westphalia - Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment & Energy

Heinz Schandl

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

Helga Weisz

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology

Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

This contribution presents the state of the art of economy‐wide material flow accounting. Starting from a brief recollection of the intellectual and policy history of this approach, we outline system definition, key methodological assumptions, and derived indicators. The next section makes an effort to establish data reliability and uncertainty for a number of existing multinational (European and global) material flow accounting (MFA) data compilations and discusses sources of inconsistencies and variations for some indicators and trends. The results show that the methodology has reached a certain maturity: Coefficients of variation between databases lie in the range of 10% to 20%, and correlations between databases across countries amount to an average R2 of 0.95. After discussing some of the research frontiers for further methodological development, we conclude that the material flow accounting framework and the data generated have reached a maturity that warrants material flow indicators to complement traditional economic and demographic information in providing a sound basis for discussing national and international policies for sustainable resource use.

Keywords: economy‐wide material flow analysis (EW‐MFA), industrial ecology, material flow accounting (MFA), metabolism, raw material extraction, sustainable resource use

Suggested Citation

Fischer‐Kowalski, M. and Krausmann, F. and Giljum, S. and Lutter, S. and Mayer, A. and Bringezu, Stefan and Moriguchi, Yuichi and Schutz, Helmut and Schandl, Heinz and Weisz, Helga, Methodology and Indicators of Economy‐Wide Material Flow Accounting (December 2011). Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 15, Issue 6, pp. 855-876, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1968769 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2011.00366.x

M. Fischer‐Kowalski (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

F. Krausmann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

S. Giljum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

S. Lutter

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

A. Mayer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Stefan Bringezu

University of Kassel

Fachbereich 05
Nora-Platiel-Straße 1
34109 Kassel, Hessen 34127
Germany

Yuichi Moriguchi

University of Tokyo

Yayoi 1-1-1
Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8657
Japan

Helmut Schutz

Science Centre North Rhine-Westphalia - Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment & Energy

Döppersberg 19
Gelsenkirchen, D-45886
Germany

Heinz Schandl

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

41 Boggo Rd
Dutton Park, Queensland
Australia

Helga Weisz

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology

Schottenfeldgasse 29, A-1070
Vienna
Austria

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