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Three accounts in one

Statistics Denmark developed, between 2015 and 2017, a series of environmental-economic accounts – the Green National Accounts - for Denmark. This project was made possible by a corresponding three-year financing round from the Danish budget. This project has now concluded, and this page is no longer actively updated. It still contains useful information about the Green National Accounts, what they are, and what they can – and cannot – be used for.

The results of the project are published in multiple places: in Statistics Denmark’s newsletters; in the Statbank, and in a comprehensive publication. These can be found on our homepage for the green national accounts.


The Environmental-Economic Accounts comprise three main categories of accounts:

Physical flow accounts

The physical flow accounts include energy and emissions to air, water and waste water as well as materials and waste. Overall, the physical flow accounts show how the Danish economy is supplied with energy, water and materials through production and import; how they are used in industries and households and the resulting emissions such as greenhouse gases, discharge of waste water and generation of waste.

The energy accounts are compiled both in quantities and values and provide a comprehensive overview of the energy flows in the Danish economy. The accounts can be used to highlight the Danish economy's energy intensity and in the analysis of the industries’ direct and indirect energy consumption. Topic Page on Energy and emissions to air.

The accounts of emissions to air can be used in analyses of climate and environmental-economic issues, including the underlying causes of trends in emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Topic Page on Energy and emissions to air.

The accounts for water indicate the industries’ water abstraction and supply of water from the water supply industry to industries and households. The accounts can be used to calculate the industries’ water intensity and to analyse the types of demand, which cause the consumption of water, for example, whether it is private consumption or exports. The waste water accounts show how much waste water is discharged by industries and households. Topic Page on Water and waste water.

Material and waste accounts provide a foundation for understanding the overall relations between on the one hand, material consumption and on the other hand the generation of waste and other unwanted residues. Topic Page on material flows and waste.

Green economy - accounts for environmental transactions

The second component of the Environmental-Economic Accounts is accounts that illuminate aspects of the green economy. The accounts include public environmental expenditure and revenue, green taxes, environmental motivated subsidies, the production of green goods and services, environmental costs and resource productivity. These accounts are in monetary terms and are measured in Danish kroner. Topic Page on Green Economy.

The accounts on public environmental expenditure and revenue illustrate the public activities aimed at preventing and combating pollution and transition to sustainable technologies.

The calculation of environmentally related taxes shows how much industry and households pay to the state. These accounts can be used in environmental-economic analysis of the "the polluter pays" principle. Similarly, the calculation of the environmentally motivated subsidies shows how much support in monetary terms the industries receive from the government, motivated by reasons connected to the environment.

The statistics for environmental protection costs show business’s expenditure on environmental protection.

The accounts on green goods and services illustrate the size of the green economy and can be used in analyses of green economic growth. Green goods and services are those that aim at protecting the environment and reducing the use of resources.

The measures of resource productivity illustrate how effectively companies exploit resources and can be used to analyse the sustainability of production.

Environmental-Economic Accounting

Natural resources accounts

The natural resources stock is measured in quantities as well as the values at the beginning and end of a year and simultaneously changes during the year are measured. Within this project, natural resource stock accounts will be compiled for oil and natural gas in the North Sea, land use inventories, forest and fish. Topic Page on Natural esources.

The accounts can be used in analyses of sustainability and the wealth statements of a country's total wealth and is also a first step towards a real 'green' GDP (GDP adjusted for depletion of natural resources).

Environmental-Economic Accounting


Ole Gravgård Pedersen
Phone: +45 39 17 34 88