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CEI:. Sound Resource Management Olympia, Washington 360-867-1033 Environmental Summit – May 20, 2008. A C onsumer E nvironmental I ndex for Washington State. Acknowledgements. Sound Resource Management Economist Team:

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Sound Resource Management

Olympia, Washington


Environmental Summit – May 20, 2008

A Consumer Environmental Index for Washington State



Sound Resource Management Economist Team:

Dr. Jeffrey Morris, SRMG - Team Manager

Dr. H. Scott Matthews, Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Frank Ackerman, Tufts University

Washington State Department of Ecology,

CEI Project Steering Committee:

Dennis Bowhay

Chris Chapman

Cristiana Figueroa-Kaminsky

Ivor Melmore - Project Manager

Gretchen Newman

Cheryl Smith

Ken Zarker

The Problem

Life Cycle Analysis

The CEI Solution

CEI graphs

Consumer Pollution Intensity in 2005

A Few CEI Details

CEI limitations and Data Gaps

CEI Robustness

Presentation Outline

economics the good the bad the ugly
Economics – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
  • Efficiency & Equilibrium – the magic of competitive markets (Adam Smith’s invisible hand creates optimality).
  • Externalities – pollution from free disposal (If it doesn’t have a price or cost the market ignores it).
  • Equity – dollar votes drive markets (Those without dollars don’t get to vote; those with more dollars get more votes).
the cei solution
The CEI Solution
  • An index like the CPI - except covers all consumer purchases, not just unchanging basket, and measures changes over time in environmental impacts, rather than prices.
  • Tracks the environmental impact of consumer choices on (1) climate change, (2) public health, and (3) ecosystems health.
  • Should decline when there are decreases in toxic substances, wastes and/or pollution associated with production, use, and disposal of the goods and services consumers demand.
1. US BLS 700 category CES

2. US BEA 491 sector EIO

3. US EPA TRI, AIRData & GHG Emissions

4. US DOE Transportation Energy Data Book

5. Carnegie Mellon EIO-LCA model

6. WA Dept of Ecology air emissions data

7. Process LCAs for paint, used oil, & pesticides

8. US EPA WARM & MSW DST models

Data Sources


Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)

Wastes & Pollution

1. Global warming (eCO2)

2. Human health – particulates, SOx and NOx (ePM2.5)

3. Human health – toxins (eToluene)

4. Human health – carcinogens (eBenzene)

5. Ecosystem toxicity (e2,4-D)

6. Others – acidification, eutrophication, ozone depletion, smog formation, resource/fossil fuel depletion, land use, water use, biodiversity, habitat alteration, indoor air quality

LCA Environmental Impacts


2005Pollution Intensity

WA Consumer Spending

Implementation of US Department of Commerce published IO tables

Current benchmark: 1997 (2002 soon)

Long-term project: 10 years in making

Free, online at

Widely used for LCA research in the US

More than 100 peer-reviewed papers on development and application

More than 1 million uses of the model

EIO – LCA Model

TRI limitations - e.g., agriculture

Impacts not covered – e.g., habitat and ecosystem services degradations

Use phase coverage not complete – e.g., household cleaning/laundering products and pharmaceuticals

New home construction not included

Differential impacts of domestic vs. foreign production

Important Issues for Project

Team & Peer Reviewers

Weber and Matthews study – US produced 22% of eCO2 in 2005, but US consumption accounted for 25-26%, about 15% more than production.

This could mean that CEI model climate change upstream impacts should be 15% higher.

If 15% higher in all years 2000-2005, then CEI climate change component only up from 118.1 to 118.4, and overall CEI up from 126.2 to 126.4.

Imports as Example of

CEI Robustness