Busy shopping street in Stockholm

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Why PRINCE?

Sweden has set itself the ambitious goal of handing over to the next generation “a society in which the major environmental problems in Sweden have been solved”. Significantly, this is to be achieved “without increasing environmental and health problems outside Sweden’s borders”. This so-called Generational Goal constitutes the overarching goal of current Swedish environmental policy.

Yet measuring the diverse environmental impacts of a country’s consumption, particularly beyond its borders, is extremely challenging. These impacts may be spread along a myriad of long, complex and very fluid global supply chains.

PRINCE responds to a call from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) for a pioneering monitoring framework for its consumption-based accounting, based on the latest modelling and statistical techniques. The framework will cover a uniquely broad range of environmental pressures, including:

  • Emissions of greenhouse gases and traditional air pollutants (SO2, NOx, NH3, VOCs) from fossil fuel burning, manufacturing processes, livestock production and land-use change
  • Impacts of the consumption of resources such as water and land
  • Exploratory indicators for use or emission of hazardous chemical substances.

The research

PRINCE will develop an economic-environmental monitoring framework based on multi-regional input-output (MRIO) analysis. The research will have four main strands and outputs:

  1. Evaluation of existing consumption-based accounting models and calculations, to identify those most appropriate to integrate with Swedish national accounting data
  2. Identification and quantification of a range of environmental pressures from Swedish consumption
  3. Identification of those product groups with the largest environmental impacts, and where those impacts take place
  4. Development of a sound, repeatable methodology for monitoring, in line with official statistical criteria.

The PRINCE consortium

Led by Statistics Sweden (SCB; the Swedish national statistical bureau), the consortium implementing PRINCE includes statisticians, economists, engineers, physicists, biologists, mathematicians, social scientists and communication experts, who all currently work in applied environmental research in leading European institutes: SEI, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Leiden University Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), and Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO).

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PRINCE is funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA; Naturvårdsverket), under an EPA Research Grant.

For more information contact: Viveka Palm