The Mat-Stocks team presented its research at the ISIE-SEM international conference on socio-economic metabolism on in Berlin (13th-15th May 2019)

Krausmann, F., H. Haberl, and D. Wiedenhofer. 2019. Material stocks as drivers of global greenhouse gas emissions: Results from a scenario analysis for 2050 presented at the 13th ISIE-SEM international conference on socio-economic metabolism, May 13, Berlin.

Streeck, J., D. Wiedenhofer, F. Krausmann, and H. Haberl. 2019. Socio-metabolic analysis of economy-wide material flows, stock accumulation and service provision in the United Kingdom presented at the 13th ISIE-SEM international conference on socio-economic metabolism, May 15, Berlin.

Wiedenhofer, D., S. Pauliuk, A. Mayer, and W. Haas. 2019. Nesting actors and organizations into a biophysical multi-level monitoring framework for a sustainable circular economy presented at the 13th ISIE-SEM international conference on socio-economic metabolism, May 13, Berlin.

Workshop with Eric Pineault, 2 April 2019

Eric Pineault, Professor at the Department of Sociology at the University of Québec, presented his work on his new book. He is currently a fellow at the Research Group “Postwachstumsgesellschaften” in Jena. In his book, he combines political economy with social metabolism to understand capitalist growth and its social-ecological contradictions in advanced capitalist societies.

Session: Social metabolism and land-system science: stocks, flows, services, and implications for sustainability transformations at the 4th Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Programme, April 24-26, 2019 | Bern, Switzerland

Interrelations between socioecological flows of energy or materials and land systems have been on the agenda of land-system science for at least two decades. Obvious examples are biomass-based products such as food or bioenergy, as well as land-use intensity indicators such as the human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP), which assess socioeconomic and ecological flows of biomass or nutrients. Other aspects of social metabolism, e.g. the use of minerals or metals and their accumulation in long-lived material stocks (e.g., in buildings or infrastructures) have received less attention, perhaps due to their relatively minor direct land area demand.

New socio-metabolic research suggests that the accumulation of material stocks is of key importance. The fraction of all materials used worldwide to build up stocks has grown from ⁓20% to >50% in the last century. Stocks create legacies and lock-in effects, as infrastructures enable or incentivize certain, often resource-intensive behaviors. Large flows of energy and materials are required for maintaining and using stocks. Transforming social metabolism towards more sustainable patterns of resource use will require far-reaching changes in society’s material stock patterns. A focus on material stocks holds great promise for land-system science because stocks are characterized by their location and spatial patterns, both of which are important in terms of their impacts, and in terms of their resource requirements. For example, transport energy demand strongly depends on the spatial patterns of settlements and workspaces, and the transport infrastructures through which they are linked.

This session will explore the links between material stocks, biophysical flows of materials and energy, and the services specific stock-flow combinations deliver to society. It will discuss their potential to forge new approaches in land-system science, e.g. through high-resolution mapping of material stocks, and cast new perspectives on long-standing discourses such as urban-hinterland relations or the role of infrastructure development for land-system change. Moreover, possible pathways towards more sustainable stock-flow-service relations and their implications for land systems will be in focus.

Session Organizers: Helmut Haberl, Fridolin Krausmann, Felix Creutzig, Patrick Hostert, and Christoph Görg


Görg, C., Wiedenhofer, D., Pichler, M., Haberl, H., 2019. The stock-flow-service nexus: Implications for sustainability transformations and future land systems.

Haberl, H., Krausmann, F., 2019. Introductory talk to the session on social metabolism and land-system science.

Schug, F., Frantz, D., Okujeni, A., 2019. Wall-to-Wall Material Stock Mapping. A concept from Satellite Data to Material Stock Mapping.

Poster Presentation "The stock-flow-service nexus approach: conceptual advances and first empirical examples in tackling systemic interactions between the SDGs" at the International Symposium Global Sustainable Development Goals in a Mediatized World, April 4 – 5, 2019, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Progress towards the SDGs requires far-reaching changes in societies’ use of biophysical resources such as materials, energy or land. Current socio-metabolic research (SMR) traces flows of energy, materials or substances to capture resource use. SMR is also useful to analyze interdependencies (synergies or tradeoffs) between attempts at reaching specific SDGs. SMR can bridge social and natural sciences in inter- and transdisciplinary analyses of society-nature interactions and has yielded insights into eco-efficiency and long-term drivers of resource use. This paper introduces a new approach for aligning SMR with social science research on societal development patterns and trajectories towards the SDGs. It presents the material stock–flow–service nexus approach for analyzing interrelations between material and energy flows, socioeconomic material stocks and the services provided by specific stock/flow combinations. The mass of global socioeconomic material stocks is now about equal to that of all green plants on the earth’s lands, and has been growing in unison with GDP for 100 years. The fraction of the global socioeconomic material inflows added to stocks annually has risen from 20 to over 50%, suggesting the emergence of global “stockpiling societies”. We present ongoing research analyzing the importance of possible future material stock trajectories for meeting the 1.5 and 2.0°C goals for climate-change mitigation, which form a cornerstone of the SDGs (SDG13, with direct links to SDGs7, 11, 12). Contrasting GDP-driven stock trajectories until 2050 with contract-and-converge scenarios, we demonstrate the importance of future stocks growth for driving GHG emissions. By focusing on services rather than GDP, the stock-flow-service nexus allows identifying novel options for moving towards the SDGs until 2030, and push for sustainability transformations beyond. 

H Haberl, D. Wiedenhofer, G. Kalt, C. Görg, F. Krausmann
Institute of Social Ecology, BOKU Wien

Special session "Analyzing stocks, flows and services for a social-ecological transformation" at the Conference "Resources of a social-ecological transformation", Innsbruck 28.2.-2.3.2019

Resource extraction and waste discharge have led to social-ecological conflicts while attempts have been made by international agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals to confront sustainability problems. Yet, the material and historical dimensions of possibilities for a social-ecological transformation and their interlinkages with the institutional need greater attention. Material stocks, e.g. buildings, infrastructure or machinery, are grounded in biophysical materiality and socially defined, power relations are being inscribed in them. Together, stocks and flows of resources provide services such as food, shelter or mobility mediated by provisioning systems. How these provisioning systems are structured influences socio-ecological transformation. This interdisciplinary session discussed material stocks and the related flows and services from a social ecology perspective. It introduced conceptual frameworks for analyzing the stock-flow-service nexus and its potential for analyzing social-ecological transformation.

Chair: Christoph Görg

Christina Plank, Stefan Liehr & Christoph Görg (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna): The stock-flow-servicenexus: The role of provisioning systems and its implications for asocialecological transformation

Helmut Haberl (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences,Vienna), Dominik Wiedenhofer & Fridolin Krausmann: A century of globalmaterial stock accumulation: implications for sustainabilitytransformations

Robert Groß (University of Innsbruck; University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna) & Dominik Wiedenhofer (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna): The Marshall Plan andits socio-ecological side effects. Conceptual and case based considerations

Lecture "Resource efficiency - Delivering more service with less energy, material and impact" with Dr. Jonathan Cullen, 23.10.2018

Expert Workshop: Conceptualizing services and the stock-flow-services nexus, 22.-23.10.2018

Goals:
Learn more about societal well-being, services, service indicators, and the stock-flow-service nexus.

Concrete benefits for future work in Lili & MAT_STOCKS: develop conceptual foundations for the “services component” in the stock-flow-service databases as well as for analyzing stock-flow-service relations in further project work, based on quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Plan collaborations over the next years. Group work will hopefully inspire collaborations, journal papers or other publications.

Meeting mit Complexity Science Hub, 7.6.2018

MAT_STOCKS Kick-off, 12.4.2018