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Publication Detail
Combining economic and environmental dimensions: Value chain analysis of UK aluminium flows
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Dahlstrom K, Ekins P
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    541, 560
  • Journal:
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    aluminium, value chain analysis, material flow analysis, global environmental burden, STREAMS
  • Addresses:
    Policy Studies Inst
    W1W 6UP
This paper presents the methodology of value chain analysis developed for a study which combined a material flow analysis of the UK aluminium sector with a consideration of the economic dimension of those material flows, in order to shed light on concepts such as resource productivity and dematerialisation of the economy. The methodology is used in this paper to map the current value chain of aluminium flows through the UK; to examine the residual outputs generated by this industry and the value of applying industrial ecology principles; to contrast the environmental impacts of different categories of materials with their values; and to discuss the findings in terms of the global environmental burden. specifically greenhouse gas emissions, of this sector of the economy, with particular attention paid to international trade aspects. It was found that the majority - over three quarters - of total greenhouse gas emissions associated with UK aluminium production and use (defined as domestic production plus net imports), actually come from domestic production. The findings show that value chain analysis is a robust methodology for exploring various aspects of the economy-environment interface, and a useful complement to material flow or life cycle analyses, with a potentially very widespread applicability. The value chain analysis also provides a framework for coherent and integrated responses by industry as well as policy-makers, through its focus on linkages within different stages and actors in a chain and on the potential for systemic efficiencies. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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