Regional material flow accounting and environmental pressures: The Spanish case

Sergio Sastre, Óscar Carpintero, Pedro L. Lomas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2015 American Chemical Society. This paper explores potential contributions of regional material flow accounting to the characterization of environmental pressures. With this aim, patterns of material extraction, trade, consumption, and productivity for the Spanish regions were studied within the 1996-2010 period. The main methodological variation as compared to whole-country based approaches is the inclusion of interregional trade, which can be separately assessed from the international exchanges. Each region was additionally profiled regarding its commercial exchanges with the rest of the regions and the rest of the world and the related environmental pressures. Given its magnitude, interregional trade is a significant source of environmental pressure. Most of the exchanges occur across regions and different extractive and trading patterns also arise at this scale. These differences are particularly great for construction minerals, which in Spain represent the largest share of extracted and consumed materials but do not cover long distances, so their impact is visible mainly at the regional level. During the housing bubble, economic growth did not improve material productivity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2262-2269
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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