[Correction made after online publication January 7, 2014: updated to correct copyright line.]
RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS
Consumption-based Material Flow Accounting
Austrian Trade and Consumption in Raw Material Equivalents 1995–2007
Version of Record online: 30 SEP 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Industrial Ecology, published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of Yale University.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Journal of Industrial Ecology
Volume 18, Issue 1, pages 102–112, February 2014
How to Cite
Schaffartzik, A., Eisenmenger, N., Krausmann, F. and Weisz, H. (2014), Consumption-based Material Flow Accounting. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 18: 102–112. doi: 10.1111/jiec.12055
- Issue online: 14 FEB 2014
- Version of Record online: 30 SEP 2013
- Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the GLOMETRA
- Austrian Science Fund. Grant Number: P-21012-G11
- environmental input-output analysis;
- industrial ecology;
- material flow accounting (MFA);
- raw material equivalents (RME);
- resource use indicator
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.