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Economy-wide material flow indicators : overall framework, purposes and uses and comparison of material use and resource intensity of the Czech Republic, Germany and the EU-15

  • Material flows induced by national economies can be regarded as indirect pressure indicators for environmental degradation. Economy-wide material flow analysis and indicators have been designed to monitor material and energy flows at the macroeconomic level and to provide indicators, which could contribute to management of resourceuse and output emission flows from both economic, environmental and broader sustainability points of view. These indicators can serve various purposes including monitoring the material basis of national economies and related environmental pressures, assessment of the material and resource productivity and monitoring the implications of trade and globalisation. The main part of this paper compares the material andMaterial flows induced by national economies can be regarded as indirect pressure indicators for environmental degradation. Economy-wide material flow analysis and indicators have been designed to monitor material and energy flows at the macroeconomic level and to provide indicators, which could contribute to management of resourceuse and output emission flows from both economic, environmental and broader sustainability points of view. These indicators can serve various purposes including monitoring the material basis of national economies and related environmental pressures, assessment of the material and resource productivity and monitoring the implications of trade and globalisation. The main part of this paper compares the material and resourceuse of the Czech Republic, Germany and the EU-15 by means of DMI and TMR indicators over the period of 1991–2004 (1991–2000 for EU-15). At the aggregate level both indicators in all three economies do not show any clear decreasing or increasing trends over the period considered. This means that environmental pressure related to use of materials for production and consumption purposes remains rather stable. All the economies however, recorded an increase in the efficiency of transforming the material/resource inputs into economic output. The analysis further revealed that most of the dynamics of DMI and TMR in the Czech Republic tended towards a higher similarity with Germany and the EU-15. In the future, further decreases in DMI as well as in TMR of fossils fuels might be expected in the Czech Republic, which could be counteracted by increase in DMI and TMR of metal ores/metal resources and non-metallic minerals/non-metallic resources. The future development of total DMI, TMR and material/resource intensity in both the Czech Republic and Germany will depend on further shifts to less material intensive industries and services and on increasing material efficiency in production and consumption of particular products. This is not only a technological, but also a social challenge, as there are barriers in current mode of governance and in shaping of current economic and social systems to do so.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Jan Kovanda, Isabel van de Sand, Helmut Schütz, Stefan Bringezu
Year of Publication:2012
Language:English
Source Title (English):Ecological indicators
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2011.04.020
Volume:17
First Page:88
Last Page:98
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften