Consumption‐Based Material Flow Accounting

11 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2014

See all articles by Anke Schaffartzik

Anke Schaffartzik

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology

Nina Eisenmenger

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology

Fridolin Krausmann

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology

Helga Weisz

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology

Date Written: February 2014

Abstract

In 2007, imports accounted for approximately 34% of the material input (domestic extraction and imports) into the Austrian economy and almost 60% of the GDP stemmed from exports. Upstream material inputs into the production of traded goods, however, are not yet included in the standard framework of material flow accounting (MFA). We have reviewed different approaches accounting for these upstream material inputs, or raw material equivalents (RME), positioning them in a wider debate about consumption‐based perspectives in environmental accounting. For the period 1995–2007, we calculated annual RME of Austria's trade and consumption applying a hybrid approach. For exports and competitive imports, we used an environmentally extended input‐output model of the Austrian economy, based on annual supply and use tables and MFA data. For noncompetitive imports, coefficients for upstream material inputs were extracted from life cycle inventories. The RME of Austria's imports and exports were approximately three times larger than the trade flows themselves. In 2007, Austria's raw material consumption was 30 million tonnes or 15% higher than its domestic material consumption. We discuss the material composition of these flows and their temporal dynamics. Our results demonstrate the need for a consumption‐based perspective in MFA to provide robust indicators for dematerialization and resource efficiency analysis of open economies.

Keywords: environmental input‐output analysis, globalization, industrial ecology, material flow accounting (MFA), raw material equivalents (RME), resource use indicator

Suggested Citation

Schaffartzik, Anke and Eisenmenger, Nina and Krausmann, Fridolin and Weisz, Helga, Consumption‐Based Material Flow Accounting (February 2014). Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 102-112, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2396212 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12055

Anke Schaffartzik (Contact Author)

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology ( email )

Schottenfeldgasse 29, A-1070
Vienna
Austria

HOME PAGE: www.aau.at/sec

Nina Eisenmenger

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology ( email )

Schottenfeldgasse 29, A-1070
Vienna
Austria

Fridolin Krausmann

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology ( email )

Schottenfeldgasse 29, A-1070
Vienna
Austria

Helga Weisz

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology

Schottenfeldgasse 29, A-1070
Vienna
Austria

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