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 (SEEA), which constitutes the conceptual framework of the EA.
They include a group of satellite accounts compiled using accounting formats that are applicable to different sectorial and territorial scopes, with a great amount of physical data. The use of similar concepts, classifications and norms that the National Accounts allow to expand analysis, without overloading the central system.
The result is an indispensable tool for analysing the interrelations between the environment and the economic in general, and in particular, for evaluating sustainable development through the design and construction of the Sustainable Development Indicator Systems, and for monitoring the actions of environmental policies at national and international levels.
The Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts (EPEA) present data of the economic resources devoted by resident units to the environmental protection (EP). The main objective of EPEA is to estimate the aggregate National Expenditure on Environmental Protection (NEEP).
This account enables obtaining indicators for key areas, such as the expenditure on pollution prevention and abatement, the contribution made by EP activities to the economy, and the shift to pollution-preventing technologies. Linking expenditure on EP to physical data, such as the amount of waste treated, the extent of protected areas and the number of patents for environmental protection products may also support additional analyses.
The transactions and institutional sectors classifications that are used are coherent with the European System of Accounts (ESA).
EPEA present, for producers and consumers of environmental protection services, the following characteristics:
- Output of environmental protection services. Market output, non-market output and output of ancillary activities are distinguished.
- Intermediate consumption of environmental protection services by specialist producers.
- Imports and exports of environmental protection services.
- Valued added tax (VAT) and other taxes less subsidies on products on environmental protection services.
- Gross fixed capital formation and acquisitions less disposals of non-financial non-produced assets for the production of environmental protection services.
- Final consumption of environmental protection services.
- Environmental protection transfers (received/paid).
Classification of Environmental Protection Activities and expenses (CEPA 2000) : classification of environmental protection activities for the different environmental scopes, compiled jointly by Eurostat and the EEC (European Economic Commission of the United Nations):
Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts have the same system boundaries as the European System of Accounts (ESA). It presents data, in a way that is compatible with the data reported under ESA, on the expenditure for environmental protection, i.e. the economic resources devoted by resident units to environÂmental protection.
ESA: European System of Accounts:
The following sectors are covered, as producers or consumers of environmental protection services:
As they are satellite accounts, the same units as in the Spanish National Accounts are used, that is, the units collected in the European System of Accounts (ESA).
For further information consult ESA:
EPEA records transactions between institutional sectors, and groups those sectors for simplification:
Environmental Accounts combine data from several different statistical sources. The concept of statistical population cannot be strictly applied in this context.
Environmental Accounts cover the entire national territory.
EPEA must be consistent with National Economic Accounts. National Accounts define the national economy as the set of activities and transactions of the resident economic agents that focus on the economic national territory. Some transactions of these units are carried out outside of the national economic territory and other transactions within this territory are carried out by non-resident units. Therefore, it is necessary to apply the residence principle in EPEA as well as in the National Accounts. According to this principle, those EP expenditures carried out by units resident outside of the national territory must be considered expenditures of the national economy, and those expenditures carried out by units that are not resident in the national economic territory must be excluded from the accounting framework.
Environmental protection expenditure accounts are compiled annually.
EPEA series include information for the 2010-2017 period, with the results of the year 2018 as early estimates.
Environmental Accounts shall be updated periodically so as to incorporate the appropriate methodological and statistical changes, specially, base changes of the economic accounts.
The results correspond to the 2019 Benchmark Revision (ESA 2010), being in line with National Accounts data.
The account period is the natural year
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2017.
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).
European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) Nº 538/2014, of 16 April 2014, amending the Regulation (EU) Nº 691/2011, regarding the European economic environmental accounts, constitutes the reference framework of common accounting concepts, definitions, classifications and norms intended for the compilation of Environmental Accounts.
This regulation is available in:
The first reference year for transmitting results is the year 2015, with a first transmission which includes the data of the series from 2014 and in a period of 24 months since the reference year finishes. In each subsequent transmission of data to the Comission, the Member States will provide annual data for years n-2, n-1 and n, n being the reference year.
Environmental Accounts are a statistical operation included in the National Statistical Plan, therefore subject to the Law on Public Statistical Services of May 9 1989, and consequently, their data is protected by Statistical Secrecy, at all stages of compilation
In the following link https://www.ine.es/dyngs/IOE/en/operacion.htm?id=1259945998306 description and characteristics of this operation may be consulted.
The data is disseminated annually.
Users of the Environmental Accounts may access the data regarding Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts through the INE website
Specifically, the following sections appear in the Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts:
- Press release and main results: this contains a summary of the Results obtained during the reference period.
- Detailed results, presenting the complete set of results of the different account series available.
- Results of the pilot studies carried out, prior to the entry into force of Regulation Nº 538/2014 regarding environmental economic accounts.
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 tables and results in INEBASE (www.ine.es) / Agriculture and environment/Environmental accounts
Due to the nature of the Environmental Accounts, microdata is not available
The policy regarding custom requests is to analyse whether they comply with the statistical secrecy and significance conditions. Following this analysis, a viability report is prepared and sent to the person who has made the request.
Requests are made through the User Care Area:
The handbook of Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts developed by Eurostat (“Environmental protection expenditure accounts handbook"), may be consulted in their website through the following link:
Fields 10.7 to 17 of this document are the quality report intended for the user 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, is firstly derived from the multiple sources used. In all of them it has been intended to achieve the most accurate information possible, minimising the different types of error they may be affected by. On the other hand, the decisions of the corresponding regulations are followed when compiling this data.
The estimates of EPEA are based on the methodology designed by Eurostat, using the principles, rules and classifications of national accounts, which ensures their internal consistency and with other modules of the environmental accounts, as well as comparability with aggregates of national accounts.
The Commission (Eurostat) shall assess the quality of the data transmitted and may, within 1 month of receipt of the data, request the Member State in question to submit additional information regarding the data or a revised dataset, as appropriate (Article 7.4 of European Regulation nº 691/2011).
The environmental accounts enable observing the pressure that the economy exerts on the environment, and studying the means to reduce it. They show the interactions between the economy, households and environmental factors, and therefore offer a greater degree of information than the national accounts in this field.
As an essential data source regarding the environment, these are basic for decision-making in environmental policy and in the development of impact assessments, on both national and international levels. According to the principles of sustainable development included in the Europe 2020 Strategy, and in other initiatives, as well as the advance toward an economy that is efficient in the use of resources and low in emissions, it is increasingly necessary to develop and implement a data framework structure that systematically includes environmental issues as well as economics issues.
Moreover, as they constitute a synthesis statistical operation in the environmental field, they enable identifying gaps and improvements in the Spanish statistical system.
Worth noting among environmental account users are the following:
• Ministries and other public bodies
• Territorial administrations (Autonomous Communities)
• Researchers and Academic institutions
• Companies and non-profit institutions (company research services, foundations, associations, etc.), trade unions and employers' organisations.
• Press and specialised media
Likewise, 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)
The user satisfaction surveys conducted to date assess the Environmental sector in which the statistical operation is set in, which may provide direction with regard to the opinion users have of it.
In the next website of INE, within the section: Methods and projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys (https://www.ine.es/ss/Satellite?c=Page&pagename=MetodologiaYEstandares%2FINELayout&cid=1259944133654&L=1 ), it is possible consult the last available user surveys.
The Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts meet the information requirements demanded by European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) Nº 538/2014, of 16 April 2014, amending Regulation (EU) Nº 691/2011, regarding the European economic environmental accounts, and therefore, it may be stated that they are comprehensive.
The rate of available compulsory statistical results is 100% (R1=100%)
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 both the sources and the information treatment in this operation (lack of coverage, measurement errors). In summary, the direct measurement of accuracy in this case is not considered possible.
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.
Environmental accounts are a synthesis statistical operation, by which sampling errors that affect it come from the sources that the information is collected from, which are analysed in order to see if they remain within reasonable limits.
Environmental accounts are a synthesis statistical operation, by which non-sampling errors that affect it may come from both the sources and the information treatment in this operation (lack of coverage, measurement errors).
The estimates of the Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts are sent to Eurostat, at most 24 months following the end of the reference year, in compliance with EU Regulation Nº 538/2014, amending EU Regulation Nº 691/2011, regarding European economic environmental accounts, regulating the periods for transmitting data.
The indicator of the time elapsed between the end of the reference period and the dissemination in INEbase is TP1=11 months for early estimates.
The results of the Environmental Accounts are published in a timely manner, according to the INE structural statistics publication calendar.
The EU Member States use the same methodology for the compilation of estimates, which allows comparability among Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts estimates.
The basic methodology for the compilation of the estimates has not changed since the first estimates of Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts as a pilot study, although the accounting serie Base 2010 is coherent with new data 2019 Bechmark Revision (ESA 2010) of National Accounts and the Regulation (UE) Nº 538/2014.
Therefore, the number of comparable elements of the time series since its last break is 8 (CC2 = 8)
Environmental Accounts are coherent with National Accounts
The annual results of Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts are coherent with each other and with the available annual series.
In the 2019 annual Program, the estimate of the necessary budget appropriation to finance this Environmental Accounts operation is 26,96 thousand euros.
There is no response burden for informants, 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-.
Environmental Accounts data is revised coherently with the data revision scheme of the Annual Spanish National Accounts.
Regulation (EU) Nº 538/2014 establishes that in each annual data transmission, data be provided for years n-2, n-1 and n, with n being the reference year.
The factors that determine the revisions of Environmental Accounts estimates are basically the changes in Annual Spanish National Accounts as well as the changes carried out so as to improve estimation procedures.
As it is the first time that data of accounting Base 2010 of Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts is published, the last year of reference with t + 11 months of time difference has early estimate nature, and the rest of years have provisional nature. The final data are published three years and 11 months (t+47) after the end of the corresponding reference year.
The practical way to proceed consists of publishing the data, indicating their final, provisional or early nature. Each annual estimate is revised for three consecutive years, from early estimates until it ceases to be considered provisional and acquires the final nature.
As this is a synthesis statistical operation, the Environmental Accounts integrate and manage a large number of economics and environmental information sources.
In the case of the Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts, the following statistical information is used:
Supply and use tables, Production and generation of income accounts, Tables by industry, data on general government expenditure by function and Household final consumption expenditure by purpose according the COICOP classification (Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose)
In particular for specialist producers in NACE 37-39, except 38.3.
That survey assess the expenditure on environmental protection made by establishments in the industrial sector, both current expenses and investments, to avoid, reduce or eliminate the pollution resulting from the development of its activity, and EPEA seeks to assess the actual expenditure on environmental protection incurred by the total economy.
The data is compiled annually
The data collection techniques may vary, depending on the type of source, the date that the data is available, etc.
In general, the data is sent to the Environmental Accounts unit by the different units compiling it, though on occasion, the information may be obtained directly from the corresponding database.
The base information, from the different statistics, is subjected to a series of processes: identification of outliers, error filtering, adaptation to the terms of the Environmental Accounts.
The compilation process may be structured in several stages:
1. Updating of base information: collection of available data
2. Treatment of base information: this is subjected to a series of treatments, consisting of identifying outliers, filtering errors and adapting to the terms of the Environmental Accounts.
3. Preparation of the general structure file. With the new information available, the work file is completed with the breakdown level required in the European accounts Regulation. For each institutional sector, and for the purpose of obtaining more precision in the estimates, auxiliary files are used to work with the greatest breakdown level possible of the different identifiable components thereof.
4. Process of analysing and revising the estimates. The time series of results are analysed, for each sector and transaction, with the objective of detecting possible inconsistencies.
5. Preparation of the final results files with the different formats required: format for mailing to Eurostat, and files for dissemination in INEbase (Results, Methodology, Press Release)
No seasonal adjustments are carried out.