1. Typically, these flow aggregates are generated not just for one period but in time series. Calculating time series of flows contributes substantially to data reliability because both measurement errors and stochastic variations between periods come into view.

2. Livestock is considered part of the economic processing system, so livestock inputs, whether fed by humans or consumed directly, belong to DE, whereas livestock animals' body mass in the case of consumption is considered an internal transfer within the socioeconomic system. The body mass of wild animals, if used by a socioeconomic system, is accounted for as DE.

3. If these raw materials contain a certain amount of water or air, their weight is included and usually has to be balanced in the course of industrial transformation to wastes and emissions (see Figure 12.1).

4. Stocks consist mainly of built infrastructure. In most countries, the use of construction minerals is not very well documented (Weisz et al. 2005b).

5. For similar purposes, the Wuppertal Institute has introduced the indicator total material requirement (TMR). TMR includes mainly unused flows associated with domestically extracted and imported materials (e.g., overburden in mining or estimates of soil erosion) (Bringezu et al. 2003), whereas raw material equivalents are rarely accounted for in TMR (see Bringezu et al. 2001; Pedersen 2002; Eurostat 2001b). Despite many efforts to introduce more precision and reliability into the estimates, both conceptual consistency and measurement quality of TMR do not come close to the indicators discussed in this chapter.

6. The Eurostat methodological guide is not very specific about whether RME should include or exclude the weight of the imported and exported commodities. We suggest defining RME as the upstream requirements of used extraction, which means that the weight of the imported (or exported) goods is included. This definition is easier to apply methodologically, and it is also more meaningful from a conceptual point of view (see Weisz 2006).

7. Japan uses this indicator as one of the core indicators within its official sustain-ability program "Towards Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society." Being confronted with this program, Japanese industry argued that following government targets may mean a loss of industrial capacity and jobs in Japan (Y. Moriguchi, personal communication, 2003).

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