What can we learn from local substance flow analyses? The review of cadmium flows in Swedish municipalities
Local authorities are important actors in the transition towards sustainable development. They can play important roles for the promotion of industrial ecology systems oriented management of resources and pollutants on the local and regional level. In this context, the method of substance flow analysis (SFA) has been argued to be supportive to municipal environmental management, although, performing an SFA is often time consuming and demands a great deal of work. It may be a task hard to fulfil on a regular basis for many local authorities. A crucial issue is, then, to what extent it is possible to learn from other SFA studies? Aiming to contribute to this understanding, this paper analyses comparative results of SFA case studies of the cadmium metabolism in three structurally different municipalities in Sweden. The analyses illustrate that in addition to specific knowledge gained from a single case study, there is also general knowledge that may constitute important information for environmental decision-making in other local authorities.