WS12 Towards a comprehensive accounting of the societal metabolism – experiences from the DESIRE Project


· Workshop Organiser: Leiden University, CML

· Workshop Chair: Prof. Arnold Tukker

· Date and Time: Tuesday 13,  12h30 – 14h20 / 16h30 – 18h20

· Room: Sanada I

· Description: 

In the last decades the UN has developed the System of National Accounts (SNA) and the related System of Economic and Environmental Accounts (SEEA). SEEA is currently being revised under the auspices of the UN Commission on Economic and Environmental Accounts (UNCEEA). One of the key approaches suggested is to organize economic and environmental data in the form of economic supply- and use tables (SUT) that divide a country’s economy in a specific number of sectors and production groups, in combination with so called ‘NAMEAs’ or ‘Environmental Extensions (EE)’ that give emissions, resource extraction, water use and land use in the very same sector format. The SUT framework shows all economic relations between sectors in a country: which sectors uses which products as input, and what it produces as output. While most SUT are now presented in economic terms, it is also possible to present these relations in physical terms (i.e. kg of product or material input and output by sector). This format further makes it possible to classify durable capital- and consumer goods in terms of products and sectors using such economic and physical stocks. This data can also be linked to micro-level data from LCI and Substance flow databases. This results in a toolbox and data set that can:

–       Monitor developments with regard to resource-extraction, emissions, trade, final consumption, and decompose developments therein

–       Assessing hot spots of specific emissions, impacts, and resource uses in the global economic system

–       Using extrapolation techniques making estimates of future situations with regard to resource extractions, emissions, etc.

A group of European research institutes works now in a number of subsequent EU funded projects on developing and refining databases for the purpose mentioned above. Starting with the EXIOPOL project, via the CREEA project a third version of the EXIOBASE database now nears its completion via the DESIRE project. This database has time series from 1995, discerns 43 countries, 180 products, 160 sectors, 40 emissions and 80 resource extractions. The DESIRE project also tackles a number of problematic issues in resource-efficiency accounting, such as assessing the criticality of materials, creating biodiversity impact indicators fitting with the aforementioned supply and use framework, and to produce alternative reference indicators for GDP.

· Speakers: 

Tuesday 13 October, 12:30 – 14:20: An overview of (interim) results of DESIRE

  • Arnold Tukker (TNO, Leiden University – CML): Presentation on DESIRE’s project goals and indicator framework (10 min + 5 minutes questions and answers) : Presentation
  • Richard Wood (NTNU): Constructing a comprehensive MR EE IO for analyzing resource-efficiency (15 minutes + 5 minutes questions and answers): Presentation
  • Stefano Marciai (2-0. LCA): Constructing the first physical MR EE SUT for the world (15 minutes + 5 minutes questions and answers): Presentation
  • Alexandra Marques (IDiV): Developing indicators for biodiversity to an MR EE IO framework (15 minutes + 5 minutes questions and answers): Presentation
  • Arkaitz Usubiaga (Wuppertal Institute, now UCL): Novel reference and beyond GDP indicators (15 minutes + 5 minutes questions and answers)
  • General discussion (15 minutes)

Tuesday 13 October, 16:30-18:20 

  • Mark Huijbregts (Radboud University Nijmegen)/Arnold Tukker (TNO, Leiden University – CML): Presentation on DESIRE’s indicator integration and prioritization : Presentation
  • Discussion with panellists and the audience on:
    • policy relevance of indicators;
    • roadmap towards indicator implementation;
    • further (data) needs and indicator development