Prioritizing within the product-oriented environmental policy – the Danish perspectives

Notten P, Suh S, Weidema B P (2009)

Publication info

Pp. 397-415 in Suh S. (ed.): Handbook of Input-Output Economics in Industrial Ecology. Springer Netherlands.


As a supplement to the site, substance and media specific environmental policies, Denmark has had, since 1998, a product-oriented environmental policy (at the European level known as “Integrated Product Policy”). The policy has been organized as prioritized activities in selected sectors and/or product areas. This prioritization was informed by the results from the project “Environmental prioritization of industrial products” (Hansen 1995). Other previous studies with similar objectives, i.e. to identify the most important product groups from an environmental perspective, include Dall et al. (2002) for Denmark, Finnveden et al. (2001) for Sweden, Nijdam and Wilting (2003) for the Netherlands, Nemry et al. (2002) for Belgium, and Labouze et al. (2003) for the EU. The Swedish and Dutch study use the same general methodology as our study, namely environmentally extended IO-analysis (Miller and Blair 1985), while the remaining studies use a bottom-up process based analysis.

Due to the environmental indicators used (energy consumption and resource loss) the product groups that are ranked high by Hansen (1995) are those with either large energy consumption or which are destroyed or dissipated during use. This includes the main energy carriers, transport activities (represented by the vehicles including their use phases), fertilizers, animal feeds, meat and dairy products, building materials, detergents, newspaper, beer and furniture.

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