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Technology, Management & Policy Graduate Consortium Annual Meeting June 26-28 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA Material Flow Accounting Tools and its contribution for policy making Samuel Niza IN+, IST * Phd fellow of the Science and Technology Foundation, Portugal

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material flow accounting tools and its contribution for policy making

Technology, Management & Policy Graduate ConsortiumAnnual MeetingJune 26-28Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA

Material Flow Accounting Tools and its contribution for policy making

Samuel Niza

IN+, IST

* Phd fellow of the Science and Technology Foundation, Portugal

summary
Summary
  • MFA, physical accounting and Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting
  • MFA use for policy making
  • MFA and policy making in Portugal
  • Conclusions
measuring the material demand of the economy
Measuring the material demand of the economy

LCA – Life Cycle Analysis

MIPS – Material Input per Unit of Service

Company-level MFA (Eco-balance, Eco-audits,

materials accounting)MFA related methods

SFA – Substance Flow Analysis

EW-MFA - Economy-wide Material Flow Analysis

PIOT – Physical Input-Output Tables

EIO-LCA – Environmental Input-Output-based Input/Output related methods

Life Cycle Assessment

Ecological Footprint

Environmental Space Carrying capacity related methods

Sustainable Process Index

NAMEA – National Accounting Matrix including

Environmental AccountsIntegrated methods

SEEA – System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting

physical and economical accounting techniques
Physical and economical accounting techniques

Adapted from Daniels and Moore, 2002

economy metabolism
Economy Metabolism

Economy-wide MF balances show:

  • The composition of the material throughput
  • The dependence on imports
  • The physical growth of infrastructures
  • The quantities of materials released to the environment

…and allows static and dynamic evaluation

economy metabolism6
Economy Metabolism

Other than MFA economy-wide acounts:

  • NAMEA and SEEA require enormous quantities of data ⇒ long longlol~long long time lags in data collection and tables preparation
  • PIOT and EIO-LCA usually have a restricted coverage of physical inputs and outputs (better suited for sector or activity fields’ IO description)
  • NAMEA, PIOT and EIO-LCA do not account physical stocks
  • Just permit static models of the economy
mfa limitations
MFA limitations
  • Not directly correlated with economic data
  • Does not directly allocates material flows to sectors
specific characteristics of mfa for policy purposes
Specific characteristics of MFA for policy purposes
  • Derive material flows indicators
  • Information/Awareness raising about environmental problems
  • Monitor the environmental pressure of the economy
  • Measure the economy metabolism performance
portugal metabolism snapshot
Portugal, Metabolism snapshot

Source: Niza & Ferrão calculations

Portugal physical metabolism, base year: 2000

infrastructural growth

Source: INE

Source: IGAPHE

Source: INE

Infrastructural growth
resource productivity
Resource productivity

Source: Niza & Ferrão calculations

Resource Productivity, EU15 and Portugal (1980-2000)

portugal metabolism evidences
Portugal metabolism evidences:
  • An increasingly open economy, exposed to international trade – mainly imports
  • A clear stake in infrastructural development – physical stock growth
  • Resource productivity divergence from the EU average
    • reflects the effort on long term economical return structures
policy priorities
Policy priorities
  • Policy Target: Resource productivity convergence
  • Potential for action:
    • Resource use efficiency growth
    • Recycling rates growth
  • Means:
    • Promotion of business and administration added value (by means of immaterial resources)
    • Closing of production and consumption cycles
policy priorities16
Policy priorities
  • Some specific actions:
    • Development of wasteproduction models
    • Establishment of regulation for construction and demolition wastes with target values for recycling
    • Approaching the European allotment levels between new buildings construction and buildings rehabilitation
    • Decrease the strong dependence of energy material-intensive sources (e.g. coal, oil)
conclusions
Conclusions
  • MFA temporal resolution and disaggregation capability turns it the method with the greatest potential to characterize an economy metabolism
  • Portugal material consumption had a significant growth associated to infrastructural development
  • Competitiveness and sustainability of Portuguese economy calls for RP convergence with EU and
    • Promotion of business and administration added value by means of immaterial resources
    • Promotion of production and consumption cycles closing
overview of the material flow indicators based on eurostat 2001
Overview of the Material flow indicators [based on EUROSTAT, 2001]

*In addition, balancing items have to be included:

On the input side – oxygen for the combustion of fuels and for the respiration of humans and livestock

On the output side – water vapour from the combustion of fuels and water vapour and CO2 from the respiration of humans and livestock

environmental pressure
Environmental Pressure
  • MF induces environmental impacts at every stage of production/consumption chain:
    • Extraction/harvest of primary resources
    • Covering of nature
    • Final disposal of residuals
overview of environmental impacts associated to the use of natural resources
Overview of environmental impacts associated to the use of natural resources

Source: Muilerman and Blonk, 2001