Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Ecosystem Services as a Boundary Concept: Arguments from Social Ecology
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Extractive Economies in Material and Political Terms: Broadening the Analytical Scope
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessCommentary
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1049; doi:10.3390/su9071049

The Material Stock–Flow–Service Nexus: A New Approach for Tackling the Decoupling Conundrum

Institute of Social Ecology, Alpen-Adria Universitaet Klagenfurt, Wien, Graz, Schottenfeldgasse 29, Vienna 1070, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Ecology. State of the Art and Future Prospects)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1225 KB, uploaded 26 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

Fundamental changes in the societal use of biophysical resources are required for a sustainability transformation. Current socioeconomic metabolism research traces flows of energy, materials or substances to capture resource use: input of raw materials or energy, their fate in production and consumption, and the discharge of wastes and emissions. This approach has yielded important insights into eco-efficiency and long-term drivers of resource use. But socio-metabolic research has not yet fully incorporated material stocks or their services, hence not completely exploiting the analytic power of the metabolism concept. This commentary argues for a material stock–flow–service nexus approach focused on the analysis of interrelations between material and energy flows, socioeconomic material stocks (“in-use stocks of materials”) and the services provided by specific stock/flow combinations. Analyzing the interrelations between stocks, flows and services will allow researchers to develop highly innovative indicators of eco-efficiency and open new research directions that will help to better understand biophysical foundations of transformations towards sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: socioeconomic metabolism; economy-wide material flow analysis; in-use stocks of materials; stock-flow relations; dynamic stock model; decoupling; socioecological transformation socioeconomic metabolism; economy-wide material flow analysis; in-use stocks of materials; stock-flow relations; dynamic stock model; decoupling; socioecological transformation
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Haberl, H.; Wiedenhofer, D.; Erb, K.-H.; Görg, C.; Krausmann, F. The Material Stock–Flow–Service Nexus: A New Approach for Tackling the Decoupling Conundrum. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1049.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top