Economic-environmental monitoring indicators for European countries: A disaggregated sector-based approach for monitoring eco-efficiency
Eco-efficiency links economic efficiency with environmental efficiency. The main purpose of the concept is to identify and implement activities to enable production that is both economically more efficient and cleaner. This means that parameters with a high indicative value have to be used. Since both the environmental and the economic performance of industries must be described concurrently, environmental intensity appears to be a good indicator of eco-efficiency. Environmental intensity is environmental impact per unit of economic performance. In this paper, the environmental impact of industry classes is derived from emission data, released by the European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER), and then aggregated and assessed using Eco-Indicator 99, a single-score life-cycle impact assessment (LCIA) method. The calculated ratio is thus an accurate description of the environmental-economic state of industry classes. The main advantage of this approach is the underlying consistent statistical framework, that permits, on a disaggregated level, economic data to be correlated with ecological data and to be frequently updated. This single indicator facilitates a comparison of environmental intensity of different industry classes. The paper shows that it is possible to deduce a disaggregated eco-efficiency indicator, which is exemplified using German data, however could be analysed for different European countries.
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