Resource Input Flows

The national material flow balance does not provide information on the transnational material flows generated by an economy which burden the environment predominantly in other countries. Analysis of the upstream resource requirements of imports and exports allowed a first approximation of the total material consumption (TMC) of an economy (Bringezu 1993a; Bringezu et al. 1994; Bringezu and Sch├╝tz 1995; Bringezu et al. 1998b). For Germany in 1991, a TMC of the order of magnitude of 72 tons per capita (t/cap) was calculated, comprising all primary materials besides water and air. The total material requirement (TMR) representing the basis for national production amounted to 91t/cap. A comprehensive study on the mass and energy requirements associated with the production of aluminum, chromium, copper, nickel, manganese, phosphate and hard coal was conducted on a global mine-by-mine basis by the German Federal Agency for Geoscience and Raw Materials (Kippenberger 1999). Following the first international comparison by Adriaanse et al. (1997), resource flows were studied for a variety of countries (see Chapter 8).

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