A review and comparative assessment of existing approaches to calculate material footprints

Lutter, Franz Stephan and Giljum, Stefan ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4719-5867 and Bruckner, Martin (2016) A review and comparative assessment of existing approaches to calculate material footprints. Ecological Economics, 127. pp. 1-10. ISSN 0921-8009

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Effective implementation of resource policies requires consistent and robust indicators. An increasing number of national and international strategies focussing on resource efficiency as a means for reaching a green economy call for such indicators. As supply chains of goods and services are increasingly organised on the global level, comprehensive indica-tors taking into account upstream material flows associated with internationally traded products need to be compiled. Particularly in the last few years, the development of con-sumption-based indicators of material use also termed material footprints has made considerable progress. This paper presents a comprehensive review of existing methodol-ogies to calculate material footprint-type indicators. The three prevailing approaches, i.e. environmentally extended input-output analysis (EE-IOA), coefficient approaches based on process analysis data, and hybrid approaches combing elements of EE-IOA and process analysis are presented, existing models using the different approaches discussed, and advantages and disadvantages of each approach identified. We argue that there is still a strong need for improvement of the specific approaches as well as comparability of re-sults, in order to reduce uncertainties. The paper concludes with recommendations for further development covering methodological, data and institutional aspects.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work was funded by the German Federal Environment Agency under the Environmental Research Plan (UFOPLAN, project number 3713 93 150).
Keywords: coefficient approach / input-output analysis / material flow analysis / material footprint / re-source policy / resource use indicators
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Ecological Economics
Version of the Document: Accepted for Publication
Variance from Published Version: Typographical
Depositing User: Elena Simukovic
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2017 10:23
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 11:36
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/76707/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/5680


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