View the following case studies to learn how the Ecological Footprint tool has been used in different ways - and across sectors - in Victoria.
What methodology is used?
There are two recognised approaches to accounting flows, be they economic or environmental. Bottom up approaches (or 'process analysis', as known in life cycle assessment) build up a system from discrete identifiable 'unit processes' which are then assembled into an overall model of an industrial/commercial activity.
Alternatively, the top-down approach examines overall exchanges between sectors of the economy (through input-output analysis) and, by understanding the direct impacts of a single sector, indirect emissions resulting from interactions with other sectors can be estimated.
Both forms of analysis have their pros and cons. While the process analysis provides detailed feedback on actual processes or activities that lead to specific impacts, it is limited due to the model of the industrial/commercial system being to some extent simplified. On the other hand, input-output analysis generally captures most activities (all those which result from economic exchanges), but may lack definition within some sectors and is reliant on economic/environmental flow factors.
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