Indicators for national consumption-based accounting of chemicals
Journal article, 2019

Increased chemical use is causing a growing number of environmental problems and chemical products

are pervasive in societies within animal and crop-based agriculture, in industrial processes and in

households. National environmental targets, as well as the global chemical-related goals in the 2030

Agenda, call for the monitoring of chemical use and emissions. The growing international trade of goods,

where use and regulation of chemical inputs vary highly between countries, complicates measurements.

This paper addresses these issues by deriving a set of indicators on chemical use and emissions and

connect the global impacts to a country's total consumption, here using the case of Sweden. The indicators

are based on a hybrid model combining the multi-regional input-output analysis database

EXIOBASE with data from the Swedish System of Economic and Environmental Accounts together with a

novel set of environmental extensions. A review of databases is conducted and discussed in relation to

the driver-pressure-state-impact-response (DPSIR) framework for indicators. Five indicators are calculated,

showing the chemical use and emissions connected to consumption, both within a country and

abroad. The indicators are: use of hazardous chemical products, use of pesticides, use of antimicrobial

veterinary medicines, emissions of hazardous substances, and of the potential toxicity of these emissions.

The results show that the impact of Swedish consumption in terms of use and emissions of hazardous

substances is largely taking place outside the Swedish borders. Only 10e24% of the pressure from

Swedish consumption is shown to occur within Sweden's borders, depending on the indicator. The use of

hazardous chemical products and veterinary medicines related to Swedish consumption primarily takes

place in other EU countries, whereas the use of pesticides as well as reported emissions of pollutants

occur mainly in countries outside the EU. The results highlight the need for improved international

accounting of chemical flows, as well as for strengthened policy frameworks to address cross-border

impacts of consumption of hazardous chemical products.

Author

Linn Persson

Rickard Arvidsson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Mårten Berglund

Statistics Sweden

Christel Cederberg

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Göran Finnveden

Viveka Palm

Louise Sörme

Sarah Schmidt

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Richard Wood

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Journal of Cleaner Production

0959-6526 (ISSN)

Vol. 215 1-12

Policy-Relevant Indicators for National Consumption and Environment (PRINCE)

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, 2015-01-01 -- 2018-03-30.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Other Environmental Engineering

Environmental Management

Environmental Sciences

DOI

10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.12.294

More information

Created

1/11/2019