A first comprehensive physical input-output table (PIOT) was established for Western Germany in 1990 (Radermacher and Stahmer 1998; Stahmer et al. 1997) and is going to be provided every five years by the German Federal Statistics Office (FSO 2000). The German PIOT comprises product flows between sectors and resource inputs from the environment (used and unused extraction) plus emissions and waste disposal. On the input side the substance input for biomass production (such as carbon dioxide) is accounted for and corresponds to emissions of the same substances on the output side. Until now, economy-wide material flow balances have accounted for the harvested biomass (for practical reasons). National material flow balances defined the content of waste deposits as being outside the anthroposphere. At present, the PIOT assigns the input of waste deposits to man-made assets, a circumstance which may lead to equivocal interpretations of NAS.
The attribution of indirect resource inputs to the sectors of intermediate and final demand was performed on the basis of economic input-output (I/O) tables (Bringezu et al. 1998b). Final demand as defined by I/O statistics comprises private consumption, state consumption, investments, exports and storage changes. In 1990 (for the Federal Republic of Germany), the construction industry, manufacturing of metals, the construction of vehicles, vessels and aeroplanes and the energy sector provided most material-intensive products when considering direct and indirect resource requirements. Based on current technology, the relative dependence on a material-intensive supply was greatest in the energy supply sector, the iron and steel industry and the construction sector. The attribution to main fields of private demand showed that housing, nutrition and leisure were most resource-intensive. Between 1980 and 1990, TMR of the FRG was rather constant, while GDP increased significantly. Decomposition analysis revealed that the increase in total resource productivity (GDP/TMR) was mainly due to changes in technology (Moll et al. 1999).
The outputs of industrial sectors to the environment were analyzed for various substance emissions and waste and waste water categories. A comprehensive German emission inventory was established (FSO 2000) which can also be used to model indirect emissions to certain sectors (Hohmeyer et al. 1997). At the European level a similar but less detailed inventory was established. Those data ('ETC air quality and emissions') can be accessed at http://www.eea.eu.int.
Scenarios for sustaining the European economy have been analyzed using the energy-based ECCO model which also includes primary material requirements (Spangenberg and Scharnagl 1998). For Germany, econometric modeling comprising physical inputs and outputs from and to the environment, was applied for a study on labor and ecology (HBS 2000). This model is based on the Pantharei model (Meyer and Ewerhart 1998a).
Construction flows of the German economy have been quantified (Bringezu and Schütz 1998; Bringezu 2000a) and analyzed with regard to future scenarios (Kohler et al. 1999). A dynamic model for construction flows has been developed to simulate the demand for resources depending on different types of construction (Buchert et al. 1999). The Pantharei model was used to assess scenarios of renovation through programs enhancing energy efficiency (for example, through insulation of existing buildings) with regard to natural resource requirements, climate gas emissions, necessary investments and implications for employment (Wallbaum 2000).
Was this article helpful?