Material Flow Accounting and Information for Environmental Policies in the City of Stockholm

This paper presents some thoughts on the use of material flow accounting (MFA) as a tool for providing information to the environmental policy making and management in a city. Examples are given from the early approaches to MFA made by the Environment and Health Protection Administration in Stockholm. Further, some results and experiences from a current research project on MFA and environmental information management at the municipal level are presented. The different MFA-studies carried out in Stockholm were able to clarify a number of questions regarding the magnitudes of various nitrogen, phosphorus and metal related problems in Stockholm. Further, connections between economic activities in Stockholm on the one hand, and emissions and environmental pressure on the other hand, are to some extent identified and quantified. Thus, better opportunities for setting proper goals and priorities in local environmental management have been, and will be further achieved. This will also make it easier to adopt a more pro-active approach in local environmental management. The studies, especially the most recent, have provided information to allow a more fruitful discussion between different stakeholders in the city. This is of great importance since local Agenda 21 work started in Stockholm and elsewhere is needed in order to cope with those problems that, regarding nitrogen and phosphorus, are identified as the most important.

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