Monitoring the Environment
Measuring environmental impact of economic activity
Diagram showing how the areas covered by environmental accounts relate to the economy as described by the National Accounts
Environmental Accounts provide information on the environmental impact of UK economic activity (in particular on the emissions of pollutants) and on the importance of natural resources to the economy.
The key areas are:
- Oil and gas reserves - providing physical information in physical and monetary terms.
- Landcover- reporting on the amount and condition of habitats and landscapes in Great Britain.
- Energy consumption - showing energy and fossil fuel consumption by industrial sectors.
- Material flows - giving information on the total mass of natural resources and products that are used by the economy.
- Water resource use - showing amounts of groundwater and non-tidal surface water used by UK industries.
- Atmospheric emissions - providing estimates of pollutants directly emitted to the atmosphere by industrial sector.
- Waste - estimating the total waste arising in the UK, including information on radioactive waste.
Environmental accounts are "satellite accounts" to the main National Accounts. (Satellite accounts are extensions to the National Accounts which facilitate analysis of the wider impact of economic change.) The Environmental Accounts use similar concepts and classifications of industries to those employed in the National Accounts, and they reflect the recommended European Union and United Nations frameworks for developing such accounts.
UK Environmental Accounts are used to inform sustainable development policy, to model impacts of fiscal or monetary measures and to evaluate the environmental performance of different industrial sectors.
Most data are provided in units of physical measurement (volume or mass), although some are in monetary units, where this is most relevant or the only available data.
Produced by the Office for National Statistics
The full UK Environmental Accounts are published annually in the Blue Book (UK National Accounts). The chapter, and accompanying datasets, are available to download.