Subproject 5

Indicators for pressures linked to use of resources, land area, water use, and fossil fuel emissions
Car exhaust: just one of the many sources of greenhouse gases and air pollution. Photo: Ruben de Rijcke / Flickr
Car exhaust: one of the many sources of greenhouse gases and air pollution. Photo: Ruben de Rijcke / Flickr


Unlike most of the phenomena covered in Subprojects 3 and 4, those in Subproject 5 are already established in consumption-based accounting frameworks: pressures linked to use of resources (metals, timber, energy), land area and water use, and emissions from fossil fuel burning, both greenhouse gases and other emissions.

An important task will be to decide which of these to implement as priorities in the PRINCE monitoring framework. A long-list of possible indicators includes:

  • Emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel burning
  • Emissions of greenhouse gases from manufacturing processes and land use
  • Emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds from fossil fuel burning and manufacturing processes
  • Extraction and consumption of:
    • fossil fuels
    • metal ores
    • timber
    • water
    • land area
    •  fish.

The team

The Subproject 5 team is led by Arnold Tukker, TNO/CML.

Key activities

  • Prioritize emissions and resource use pressures (e.g. land area or metals use) for inclusion in the PRINCE framework

  • Identify opportunities to improve existing measures and develop data sets accordingly

  • Refine the greenhouse gas emissions, resource extraction, land area and water use data sets as necessary, and compile into an environmental extension database compatible with the PRINCE framework defined in Subproject 2

Recommended reading
Lenzen, M., Moran, D., Bhaduri, A., Kanemoto, K., Bekchanov, M., Geschke, A. and Foran, B. (2013). International trade of scarce water. Ecological Economics, 94. 78–85. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.06.018

Pfister, S. and Hellweg, S. (2009). The water ‘shoesize’ vs footprint of bioenergy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(35). E93–94. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0908069106

Tukker, A., de Koning, A., Wood, R., Hawkins, T., Lutter, S., Acosta, J., Rueda Cantuche, J. M., Bouwmeester, M., Oosterhaven, J., Drosdowski, T. and Kuenen, J. (2013). EXIOPOL: Development and illustrative analyses of a detailed global MR EE SUT/IOT. Economic Systems Research 25(1). DOI:10.1080/09535314.2012.761952

West, C., Dawkins, E., Croft, S., Brugere, C., Sheate, W. and Raffaelli, D. (2013). Measuring the Impacts on Global Biodiversity of Goods and Services Imported into the UK. WC1018. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, London.

Wood, R., Stadler, K., Bulavskaya, T., Lutter, S., Giljum, S., de Koning, A., Kuenen, J., Schütz, H., Acosta-Fernández, J., Usubiaga, A., Simas, M., Ivanova, O., Weinzettel, J., Schmidt, J. H., Merciai, S. and Tukker, A. (2015). Global sustainability accounting: developing EXIOBASE for multi-regional footprint analysis. Sustainability 7(1). 138-163. DOI:10.3390/su7010138