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Environmental Accounts (EA) is a statistical synthesis operation whose general objective is the integration of environmental information in the central system of National Accounts, using the methodology of the System of Economic and Environmental Accounts developed by the United Nations (SEEA), which constitutes the conceptual framework of the CMA.
It uses a set of satellite accounts prepared from accounting formats applicable to the different sectorial and territorial areas, with a strong presence of physical data. The use of concepts, classifications and norms that are similar to those of the National Accounts allow to expand the analysis without overloading the central system.
It is an indispensable instrument for the analysis of the interrelationships between the environment and the economy in general, and in particular, for the evaluation of sustainable development through the design and construction of Sustainable Development Indicator Systems, and for monitoring of environmental policy actions in the national and international sphere.
The waste accounts are a statistical synthesis operation, whose main objective is the identification of a countryâs waste generation and treatment flows.
Waste is classified according to the Statistical Classification of Waste (CER.Stat, V.4) and the European List of Wastes (LoW). A correspondence between the two can be seen in the following links:
- LoW/ECR Correspondence: https://www.ine.es/daco/daco42/resiurba/equivalencias.pdf
- ECR/ LoW Correspondence: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/ES/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32010R0849&from=ES
National Classification of Economic Activities (CNAE-2009)
Treatment operations are classified into: incineration (with and without energy recovery), recovery operations (except recycling of waste in the place where it was generated) and dumping.
In generation: Economic activities and households as final consumers
In treatment: Final waste treatment management companies.
Since these are satellite accounts, the same units are used as in the National Accounts, that is, those collected in the European System of Accounts (ESA)
Environmental Accounts combine data from several different statistical sources. The concept of statistical population cannot be applied strictly in this context.
The environmental accounts cover the entire national territory
The reference period for the data is the calendar year.
Data referring to the period: Annual
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 2021-2024, approved by Royal Decree 1110/2020, of 15 December, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2021-2024. (Statistics of the State Administration).
There is still no binding community or international regulation on this matter.
In the area of waste, Regulation (EC) 2150/2002 on waste statistics ( https://www.ine.es/normativa/leyes/UE/minine.htm#30079) applies to even reference years.
The Statistical Law No. 12/1989 specifies that the INE cannot publish, or make otherwise available, individual data or statistics that would enable the identification of data for any individual person or entity. Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society
Environmental Accounts are a statistical operation included within the National Statistical Plan, and are therefore subject to the provisions for the preservation of statistical secrecy in the Law of May 9, 1989. As such, the data is protected by the Statistical Secret, in all stages of its elaboration.
The advance release calendar that shows the precise release dates for the coming year is disseminated in the last quarter of each year.
The calendar is disseminated on the INEs Internet website (Publications Calendar)
The data are released simultaneously according to the advance release calendar to all interested parties by issuing the press release. At the same time, the data are posted on the INE's Internet website (www.ine.es/en) almost immediately after the press release is issued. Also some predefined tailor-made requests are sent to registered users. Some users could receive partial information under embargo as it is publicly described in the European Statistics Code of Practice
The periodicity of the waste account is annual
The results of the statistical operations are normally disseminated by using press releases that can be accessed via both the corresponding menu and the Press Releases Section in the web
Users of these environmental accounts can access the information regarding them on 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 accounts tables in INEBASE (www.ine.es)/ Agriculture and environment / Environmental accounts / Waste account:
Due to the nature of the Environmental Accounts, microdata are not available.
Due to the special characteristics of the environmental accounts, tailor-made requests cannot be attended to, though all requests for clarification of concepts and explanation of the methodology used in estimating data are addressed.
The methodology can be consulted at the following link:
This standardised methodological report contains, in fields 10.6 to 17, the elements of what constitutes the user-oriented quality report for 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 synthetic statistics, such as environmental accounts, is derived primarily from the multiple sources used. In all of them, an attempt has been made to obtain the most accurate information possible, minimizing the various types of errors that may have an affect. On the other hand, in the elaboration of said data, the opinions of the corresponding regulations are followed.
The quality of the synthesis statistics, such as the environmental accounts presented here, is subject to the quality of the statistical sources used. It is an iterative process: ultimately, it is the elaboration of the accounts itself that projects the level of quality and internal coherence of the sources used.
The Commission (Eurostat) will evaluate the quality of the data transferred in accordance with Regulation (EC) nÂ° 2150/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of November 25, 2002, regarding waste statistics every two years, within the period of one month after data receipt. Additional information may be requested of the Member State regarding the data, or for a revised data set, as appropriate.
Preparation of the Waste Account seeks to obtain the highest possible level of quality using the available data, and proof of this are the references sent by Eurostat in this regard.
Environmental Accounts allow us to observe the pressure exerted by the economy on the environment and study how to reduce it. They show the interactions between the economy, households and environmental factors, and thus offer a greater degree of information than national accounts.
As a fundamental source of data on the environment, they are essential for making environmental policy decisions and for the development of impact assessments, both nationally and internationally. According to the principles of sustainable development included in the Europe 2020 Strategy and other initiatives, as well as the progress towards an efficient economy in the use of resources and low emissions, it is increasingly necessary to develop and implement a data framework structure that systematically includes environmental issues alongside economic ones.
Furthermore, since these are synthesis statistics in the environmental field, we can identify gaps and potential improvements in the Spanish statistical system.
Among the users of environmental accounts, worth highlighting are:
â€¢ Ministries and other public bodies (observatories, etc.)
â€¢ Territorial administrations (autonomous communities)
â€¢ Researchers and academic institutions
â€¢ Non-profit companies and institutions (study services for companies, foundations, associations, etc.), unions and employers' organizations.
â€¢ Press and specialized media
Likewise, there are institutional foreign users (Eurostat, OECD, United Nations, etc.)
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 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, the Environment sector that includes this statistical operation is assessed, which could provide indications regarding usersâ€™ opinion on the operation.
The account is exhaustive in its requirements.
The environmental accounts are a summary statistic, meaning that sampling errors come from the sources from which the information is collected; these are analysed to observe whether they stay within reasonable limits. In this operation, non-sampling errors can come from both the sources and the information processing (lack of coverage, measurement errors).
Revisions analysis is the main instrument used to analyse accuracy. The revisions show the degree of proximity between successive estimators of the same value, and it is reasonable to assume that the estimators converge to the true value when they are based on better and more reliable data.
The environmental accounts are a summary statistic, meaning that the sampling errors affecting them come from the statistical sources used.
Environmental accounts are a summary statistic, meaning that non-sampling errors can come both from the statistical sources used for their elaboration and from information processing.
Resions analysis is the main instrument used to analyse accuracy. The revisions show the degree of proximity between successive estimators with the same value, and it is reasonable to assume that the estimators converge to the true value when they are based on better and more reliable data.
A total of 23 months elapse from the date of reference of the data to publication
There are no delays with respect to the publication schedule.
The EU member countries generally use the same methodology in preparing the estimates, which enables comparability.
In the case of the waste accounts, the number of comparable years is 4. Therefore CC2=4
Given the special singularity of the variables investigated (waste generated and treated), in physical quantities, the consistency test with other variables investigated by the INE and with other external sources is not immediate. However, similarity tests are carried out on the evolution patterns of the economic variables by activity sector, especially with the National Accounts data.
The annual results of the accounts are consistent with one other and with the annual series available.
The burden on informants is nil, since the information provided by other statistics is used.
This operation will be registered in the PEN 2017-2020 with code 7483. It had a cost of 25.0 thousand euros.
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-.
The data from the Waste Accounts, like the rest of the environmental accounts, are reviewed in a manner consistent with the data review scheme of the Annual National Accounts and the base information on available waste.
Estimate revisions could be carried out.
The practical way to proceed is to publish the data, indicating whether it is definitive or provisional in nature. After the initial preview, each annual estimate is reviewed for four consecutive years, until it is no longer considered provisional and becomes final.
The main sources of information are
- the statistics on the generation, collection, and treatment of waste prepared by the INE
- the information provided by other Ministries, mainly the Ministry for Ecological Transition.
In general, the data are sent to the Environmental Accounts Unit by the different processing units, although sometimes the information can be obtained directly from the corresponding database.
The basic information from different statistics is subjected to a series of treatments: identification of outliers, purification, and adaptation to the terms of environmental accounts.
Production process can be structured in several phases:
1. Updating of base information: compilation of available data
2. Processing of basic information: information is subjected to a series of processes, consisting of identification of outliers, purification, and adaptation to the terms of the Environmental Accounts.
3. Process for estimation of the different account components and aggregates, with disaggregation by environmental areas.
4. Process of estimation analysis: the time series of results are analysed in order to detect possible errors.
5. Preparation of final results files for dissemination in INEBase (Results, Methodology)
No seasonal adjustments are made.