Results: The PRINCE model

Most of the PRINCE indicator results are generated using a tailor-made model that tracks flows of commodities through the global economy, and estimates the environmental pressures resulting from consumption and production. The model then allocates those pressures to 59 “product groups” of goods and services consumed in Sweden and to different types of consumption: by the public sector, by private citizens, and in the form of capital investments (typically including buildings, infrastructure, industrial plant etc. that will be used over a long period).

The PRINCE model links the Swedish national input-output table (which represent monetary flows between industrial sectors) to a well-recognized multiregional input-output (MRIO) model, EXIOBASE. Linking with an MRIO model makes it possible to trace and quantify flows beyond Sweden’s borders and back along its international supply chains. By using Sweden-specific national input-output tables the PRINCE model ensures the highest levels of statistical correctness for Swedish data, and provides more timely updates to indicator results.

EXIOBASE also already includes many environmental “extensions” – data on the environmental pressures associated with different industries in different countries and regions – which are the foundation for generating consumption-based environmental indicators. Part of the work under PRINCE has been to investigate which EXIOBASE extensions would be suitable for following up Sweden’s Generational Goal, and to develop new extensions for types of environmental pressure not yet included in EXIOBASE.

As well as allocating consumption-based pressures to product groups and consumption types, the PRINCE model also shows where in the world the environmental pressures due to production occurred: in Sweden or in one of 43 other individual countries or 5 aggregated regions.

The MRIO modelling means that it is possible to estimate where in the world the pressures associated with Swedish consumption occur. For example, emissions due to phosphate mining may occur in one country, further emissions due to fertilizer production from those phosphates in another, and a share of those due to fruit production in yet another country; and all could be attributed to the product group Food products if the fruit was eventually bought in Sweden.

Because the national and MRIO data are linked in a relatively simple way, the model can be easily updated when either new national statistics or new EXIOBASE data becomes available. This makes it possible to produce time-series of comparable data to monitor progress towards the Generational Goal.

PRINCE data for download

Time-series data from the PRINCE model on greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutant emissions and material flows for 2008–2014 are now available for download in Microsoft Excel format.

For more on the use of MRIO see the PRINCE brief Environmental Footprinting With Multiregional Input-output Models.