Approaches for Quantifying the Metabolism of Physical Economies: A Comparative Survey: Part II: Review of Individual Approaches

This article is the second of a two‐part series that describes and compares the essential features of nine 'physical economy' approaches for mapping and quantifying the material demands of the human economy upon the natural environment. These approaches are critical tools in the design and implementation of industrial ecology strategies for greater eco‐efficiency and reduced environmental impacts of human economic activity. Part I of the series provided an overview, methodological classification, and comparison of a selected set of major materials flow analysis (MFA) and related techniques. This sequel includes a convenient reference and overview of the major metabolism measurement approaches in the form of a more detailed summary of the key specific analytical and other features of the approaches introduced in part I. The surveyed physical economy related environmental analysis approaches include total material requirement and output models, bulk MFA (IFF (Department of Social Ecology, Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Austrian Universities) material flow balance model variant), physical input‐output tables, substance flow analysis, ecological footprint analysis, environmental space, material intensity per unit service, life‐cycle assessment (LCA), the sustainable process index, and company‐level MFA.

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