Economy-wide Material Flow Analysis and Indicators

Gold mining in the Peruvian Rainforest
Gold mining in the Peruvian Rainforest (Photo: Edgar Lamoca)

The economy-wide material flow analysis portrays the material basis of a country or region. It measures the exchange with the natural environment and - via trade - with other economic regions.

This so-called "socio-industrial metabolism" is described by indicators for input, output, consumption, balance and productivity.

The most comprehensive input indicator is the Total Material Requirement. TMR measures the domestic and foreign resource extraction which is associated with the production and consumption activities of a country. TMR accounts for the total primary material requirements, it contains both raw materials which as such are further processed and extractions for economic purposes which are per se not further used (e.g. mining waste and excavation for infrastructures).

The indicator "Raw material productivity (GDP/Raw material consumption) of the German Sustainability Strategy so far measures only abiotic used extraction and directly imported raw materials (see progress report of the Integrated environmental and economic accounts"). Thus, the continuous shift of resource extraction to foreign countries via the import of semi-manufactures and final products is recorded - misleadingly - as progress. The real primary resource requirements are not accounted for.

In the sustainability strategy the German government has set the target to double the raw materials productivity by 2020 (base year 1994). In the German Resource Efficiency Programme the intention was formulated to consider also indirect resource flows via imports as well as used and unused extraction of primary materials. The Wuppertal Institute develops proposals towards this end in the project PolRess.

What's New

Carbon Recycling for Renewable Materials and Energy Supply

New article published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology

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Total Material Requirement of China

Publication in the open access journal "Resources"

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Dr. Dr. Dietmar Wechsler new at the Wuppertal Institute

Scientific Program Manager "Modeling" in the research group "Material Flows and Resource Management"

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Environmental Pressures from European Consumption and Production

Study on the environmental effect caused by consumption and production in Europe

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Conference in Berlin: Resource Efficiency for a Green Economy

Towards Pioneering Actions in Japan and Germany

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Downloads

Factsheet Measuring Resource Extraction

Needs to Consider Both Used and Unused Extraction

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Indicators of the German economy

Download to Topic Online: Economy-wide Material Flow Analysis and Indicators

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Economy-wide MFA in official statistics

Download to Topic Online: Economy-wide Material Flow Analysis and Indicators

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Economy-wide Material Flow Analysis and Indicators

Download to Topic Online: Economy-wide Material Flow Analysis and Indicators

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Projects

EBRD Phase II

Support for Conceptualisation and Prioritization of the EBRD's Sustainable Resources Initiative

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EBRD Phase I

Resource Efficiency Opportunities for Countries in the EBRD Region: Supporting the Transition to Green Market Economies

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PolRess

Resource Policy

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EMInInn

Environmental Macro Indicators of Innovation

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CREEA

Compiling and Refining Environmental and Economic Accounts

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MacMod

Macroeconomic Modelling of Sustainable Development and the Links between the Economy and the Environment

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ISPRA

Life Cycle Based Monitoring Indicators

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The European Topic Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production

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MaRess

Material Efficiency and Resource Conservation: An Analysis of Material Flows, Sectors, Categories of Needs and the Development of Strategies and Instruments

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EXIOPOL

A New Environmental Accounting Framework Using Externality Data and Input-Output Tools for Policy Analysis

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INDI-LINK

Indicator-Based Evaluation of Interlinkages between Different Sustainable Development Objectives

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Eurostat: NAMEA & MFA-EU 25

Eurostat: Supply of Statistical Services in the Field of Environmental Accounts - NAMEA and MFA-EU 25

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Policy Review on Decoupling and Development of Resource Productivity Indicators

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Publications

Environmental Implications and Costs of Municipal Solid Waste-Derived Ethylene

Article in the Journal of Industrial Ecology

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Sustainable Resource Management

Global Trends, Visions and Policies

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Resource Use in European Countries

An estimate of materials and waste streams in the Community, including imports and exports using the instrument of material flow analysis

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