Environmental Impact Assessment of Household Consumption

11 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2016

See all articles by Diana Ivanova

Diana Ivanova

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Industrial Ecology Programme

Konstantin Stadler

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Department of Industrial Economics and Technology

Kjartan Steen‐Olsen

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Industrial Ecology Programme

Gibran Vita

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Industrial Ecology Programme

Richard Wood

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Arnold Tukker

Leiden University - Centre of Environmental Science (CML)

Edgar Hertwich

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Date Written: June 2016

Abstract

We analyze the environmental impact of household consumption in terms of the material, water, and land‐use requirements, as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, associated with the production and use of products and services consumed by these households. Using the new EXIOBASE 2.2 multiregional input‐output database, which describes the world economy at the detail of 43 countries, five rest‐of‐the‐world regions, and 200 product sectors, we are able to trace the origin of the products consumed by households and represent global supply chains for 2007. We highlight the importance of environmental pressure arising from households with their consumption contributing to more than 60% of global GHG emissions and between 50% and 80% of total land, material, and water use. The footprints are unevenly distributed across regions, with wealthier countries generating the most significant impacts per capita. Elasticities suggest a robust and significant relationship between households’ expenditure and their environmental impacts, driven by a rising demand of nonprimary consumption items. Mobility, shelter, and food are the most important consumption categories across the environmental footprints. Globally, food accounts for 48% and 70% of household impacts on land and water resources, respectively, with consumption of meat, dairy, and processed food rising fast with income. Shelter and mobility stand out with high carbon and material intensity, whereas the significance of services for footprints relates to the large amount of household expenditure associated with them.

Keywords: environmentally extended multiregional input‐output (EE‐MRIO) analysis, expenditure elasticity, footprint analysis, household environmental impacts, industrial ecology, regression analysis

Suggested Citation

Ivanova, Diana and Stadler, Konstantin and Steen‐Olsen, Kjartan and Vita, Gibran and Wood, Richard and Tukker, Arnold and Hertwich, Edgar, Environmental Impact Assessment of Household Consumption (June 2016). Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 20, Issue 3, pp. 526-536, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2800390 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12371

Diana Ivanova (Contact Author)

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Industrial Ecology Programme ( email )

Trondheim, NO-7491
Norway

Konstantin Stadler

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Department of Industrial Economics and Technology ( email )

NO-7491 Trondheim
Norway

Kjartan Steen‐Olsen

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Industrial Ecology Programme

Trondheim, NO-7491
Norway

Gibran Vita

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Industrial Ecology Programme

Trondheim, NO-7491
Norway

Richard Wood

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) ( email )

Trondheim NO-7491
Norway

Arnold Tukker

Leiden University - Centre of Environmental Science (CML)

2300 RA Leiden
Netherlands

Edgar Hertwich

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) ( email )

Trondheim NO-7491
Norway

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