The Environmental Accounts (EA) are a synthesis statistical operation with the general objective of integrating environmental information in the central system of National Accounts, following the methodology of the United Nations' System of Environmental - Economic Accounting which constitutes the conceptual framework of the EA.
This includes a group of satellite accounts compiled using accounting formats that are applicable to different sectorial and territorial scopes, with a strong presence of physical data. Spanish National Accounts allow expanding the analysis of similar concepts, classifications and regulations without overloading the central system.
It is an essential tool for the analysis of the interrelation between the environment and the economy in general, and specifically, for the assessment of sustainable development through the design and construction of Sustainable Development Indicators, as well as monitoring policy actions in terms of national and international environment.
Waste accounts constitute a statistical operation of synthesis, whose main objective is the identification of generation and treatment of waste flows that take place in a country.
Satellite water accounts
The objective of the satellite water accounts is to determine and quantify in a structured and detailed manner the quantitative and qualitative flows that arise in the hydrological system, and their connection with the economic system. They constitute satellite accounts in the general framework of Spanish National Accounts. Flows can be physical or cash flows. The National Matrix Water Accounts (NAMWA) is the information system used for the water accounts. It is structured into 13 tables and consists in a simplified matrix of national accounts complemented by rows and columns that describe the water flows and pollutant flows linked to final consumption, in physical terms.
Waste are clasified following the Statistical Classification of Waste (EWC codes) and European List of Waste (ELW codes).
Next links shows the correspondences between them:
- ELW/EWC CODES: https://www.ine.es/daco/daco42/resiurba/equivalencias.pdf
National Classification by Activities (CNAE-2009)
The treatment operations are classified as follows: incineration (with and without energy recovery), recovery operations (except recycling of waste in the place it was generated) and dumping.
Satellite water accounts
The classification systems used for the branches of economic activity that make up the complete water cycle and the products and services generated by these branches, are the National Classifications of Economic Activities / (CNAE) and Products (CPA).
For the data with time reference 2007 (included) CNAE-93 and CPA-2002 are applied. For the data with time reference after the year 2007 CNAE-2009 and CPA-2008 are applied.
Generation: Industries and households
Treatment: Waste management companies
Satellite water accounts
In the NAMWA water accounts, all of the economic sectors collected in the economic classifications mentioned in the previous section are covered. Regarding the services sector, it is important to highlight that there is no breakdown of branch of activity except with regard to branches of activity concerning water supply and the collection and filtering of wastewater.
Since they are satellite accounts, the same units as in the Spanish National Accounts are used, that is, the units included in the European System of Accounts (ESA)
Environmental accounts combine data from several different statistical sources. The concept of statistical population cannot be strictly applied to this context.
Environmental accounts cover the entire national territory.
Since they are mainly pilot studies, ,most part of the accounts that are included here do not have a defined periodicity.
Waste accounts are compile annually, the time series covers 2015 and 2016
Nevertheless, Satellite water accounts are compiled annually. In the 2000 base which is currently in force, the time series covers the 2000-2010 period.
Satellite water accounts : The base period is the year 2000
Waste accounts: tonnes
The reference period of the data is the calendar year
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2016
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2017-2020, approved by Royal Decree 410/2016, of 31 October, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2017-2020. (Statistics of the State Administration).
There is still no mandatory community or international regulation on this issue.
For waste, the Regulation (CE) 2150/2002 for waste satatistics (https://www.ine.es/normativa/leyes/UE/minine.htm#30079) only is mandatory for the years of reference pair.
Nevertheless, it can be said that in the year 2012 United Nations adopted the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Water (SEEAW) as an international recommendation standard to compile Satellite water accounts.
This regulation is available at:
The Environmental accounts are a statistical operation included in the National Statistics Plan, therefore subject to the stipulations regarding statistical secrecy in the Law of 9 May 1989. Hence, its data is protected by Statistical Secrecy in all of its compilation stages.
There is no fixed periodicity for the dissemination of the results.
For Waste accounts, the periodicity is annual.
The users of these environmental accounts can access information on them via the INE website:
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
Access to the accounts tables in INEBASE( (www.ine.es/en;)/ Physical variables and environment / Environmental accounts/Other environmental accounts:
Due to the nature of Environmental Accounting, there is no available microdata
Because of the special characteristics of environmental accounts, it is not possible to compile customised requests , however all requests regarding doubts about concepts and explanation of the methodology used for data estimation are tended to.
The methodology of the accounts included in Other environmental accounts may be consulted at the following link:
Fields 10.6 to 17 of this document are the quality report oriented to the users of this operation.
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
The quality of synthesis statistics, such as the environmental accounts presented in this document, is subject to the quality of the used statistical sources. It is an iterative process since it is ultimately the compilation of the accounts the one that reflects the quality level and the level of internal coherence of the used sources. The internal coherence of the different sources used for the compilation of the accounts is monitored, so as to reconcile the statistical levels of the statistical magnitudes and variables that are used
The quality of synthesis statistics, such as the environmental accounts presented in this document, is subject to the quality of the used statistical sources. It is an iterative process since it is ultimately the compilation of the accounts the one that reflects the quality level and the level of internal coherence of the used sources.
Environmental accounts allow observing the pressure that the economy puts on the environment and studies ways of reducing it. They show the interactions among the economy, households and environmental factors. Therefore, they offer more information than the Spanish National Accounts on this topic.
As they are a main source of data on the environment, they are essential for making decisions regarding environmental politics and development of impact assessment at a national and international level. According to the principles of sustainable development included in the Europe 2020 Strategy and other initiatives, as well as the advance towards and economy that is efficient in the use of resources and low in emissions, it is getting more and more necessary to develop and implement a data framework structure that systematically includes environmental and economic topics.
Moreover, as they constitute synthesis statistics in the environmental field, they allow identifying gaps and improvements in the Spanish statistical system.
Among the environmental accounts users, it is important to highlight:
• Ministries and other public institutions (observatories, etc.)
• Territorial administrations (Autonomous Communities)
• Researchers and Academic institutions
• Non-profit companies and institutions (Company research services, foundations, associations, etc.), trade unions and employers' organisations.
• Press and specialised media
Similarly, there are foreign institutional users (Eurostat, OECD, United Nations, etc.)
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
In the User Satisfaction Surveys carried out to date, there is assessment of the Environment sector in which the statistical operation is encompassed, which can guide as to what the users' opinion is.
To date, the accounts that are included here are in research stage.
The Water Accounts compiled following the NAMWA format, may be considered an initial synthesis of environmental information regarding the full water cycle. It is planned to compile these accounts in SSEAW format for the year 2011 and following years. On the other hand, EUROSTAT is handling the compilation of some water accounts that, when the time has come, will have to be compulsorily completed by the Member States of the European Union.
Environmental Accounts are synthesis statistics, therefore they are affected by sampling errors coming from sources from which information is collected, which are analysed in order to see if they remain within reasonable limits. Non-sampling errors may come from the sources or from the information treatment of this operation (lack of coverage, measurement errors).
Environmental Accounts are synthesis statistics, therefore the sampling errors they are affected by come from the statistical sources they use.
Environmental Accounts are synthesis statistics, therefore non-sampling errors may come from the statistical sources used for their compilation as well as from the treatment of the information itself.
The main instrument for analysing the accuracy is the analysis of the revisions. The revisions show the degree of proximity between subsequent estimators of the same value, and it is reasonable to assume that the estimators converge on the true value when they are based on better and more reliable data.
Due to their pilot study nature in most of their accounts, as well as the diversity and variety of sources used, a period of time between the availability of the data and the compilation of the accounts is not established.
Due to their pilot study nature in most of their accounts, there is no fixed period in which they shall be published.
In general, the Member States of the EU use the same methodology for the compilation of estimates, which allows comparability.
Since in most cases they are pilot studies for certain years, it is not applicable
For Waste accounts, CC2 = 2
From the year 2010, the SEEAW methodology recommended by the United Nations Statistics and Accounts Division is applied for the compilation of the Water Accounts. Due to this, time comparability with the results that are previous to the aforementioned year, will be affected by this change of methodology.
In General, Environmental accounts are coherent with the Spanish National Accounts.
The annual results of the accounts are coherent with each other and with the available annual series.
In the 2018 annual Program, the estimate of the necessary budget appropriation to finance the Other Environmental Accounts operation is 7.86 thousand euros.
There is no burden on respondents, since the information provided by other statistics is used.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
In general, no preview results are disseminated. The published data is final and not subject to revision.
Depending of the accounts, there could be revisions of the estimates provided by these accounts.
Since Environmental Accounts are synthesis statistics, they integrate and reconcile a great amount of economic and environmental information sources.
For waste accounts, the main sources of information are
- statistics on generation, collection and treatment of waste elaborated by the INE
- the information provided by other Ministries, mainly the Ministry for the Ecological Transition.
In the case of Satellite Water Accounts:
The most relevant information used for its compilation is the following:
National Statistics Institute
Ministry of the Treasury and Autonomous Communities
Ministry of Agriculture, Fish and Food; Ministry for Ecological Transition
Compilation frequency depends on each account. They are generally compiled annually, but many of them have been exceptional pilot studies.
Data collection techniques may vary depending on the type of source, date in which the data is available, etc.
Generally, the data is sent to the Environmental Accounts Unit by the different units that compile it. However the information can sometimes be obtained directly via the corresponding database.
The base information coming from different statistics undergoes a set of treatments: Outlier identification, error filtering, adjustment to Environmental Accounts stipulations.
The compilation process may be structured in several stages:
1. Updating of base information: collection of available data
2. Treatment of the base information: it is subjected to a series of treatments, consisting of identifying outliers, filtering errors and adapting to the terms of the Environmental Accounts.
3. Estimation process of the different components and aggregates of the accounts, with a breakdown by environmental scopes.
4. Analysis of the estimates: the time result series are analysed so as to detect possible errors.
5. Preparation of final result files with the different required formats: sending format to EUROSTAT (if required), and files for dissemination in INEbase (Results, Methodology)
No seasonal adjustments are carried out.