The Global Resource Accounting Model (GRAM) – A methodological concept paper

Giljum, S., Lutz, C. & Jungnitz, A. (2008)

In this SERI Study, we introduce the Global Resource Accounting Model (GRAM), a global, multi-regional, environmental input-output (MRIO) model designed to fill parts of the existing gaps with regard to data and empirical analysis of material flows. The basic intention of GRAM is to construct a MRIO model with a monetary core (i.e. through linking IO tables and bilateral trade data (both mainly from official OECD data sources). This monetary core model is extended by a global data set on material inputs in physical units, which is attached to the IO tables as an additional vector. The main objective of GRAM is to estimate indirect material flows of traded products (measured as their raw material equivalent) and thus being able to calculate and analyse material flow-based indicators in a global perspective, considering comprehensive material balances on the national level, which take into account all up-stream material requirements of imports and exports. We first provide a comprehensive description of the concept of indirect material flows and summarise different approaches for their calculation. The methodological framework of the GRAM model is described in detail, illustrating, in particular, the structure of the different data sets and how they are integrated and inter-linked. We describe how the technical implementation and the calculation algorithms of the model and outline shortcomings of the current model and envisaged improvements in the future. Finally, we summarise possible areas of application of this model in the petrE project and beyond.

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