Production, value added, employment and exports in the environmental goods and services sector

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E2: Environmental statistics and accounts; sustainable development

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 28/10/2016
2.2. Metadata last posted 28/10/2016
2.3. Metadata last update 28/10/2016

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

This dataset provides estimates of the production, value added, exports and employment of the environmental goods and services sector (EGSS). The EGSS is the part of the economy that generate environmental products, i.e. those produced for the purpose of environmental protection and resource management. Environmental protection includes all activities and actions which have as their main purpose the prevention, reduction and elimination of pollution and of any other degradation of the environment. Those activities and actions include all measures taken in order to restore the environment after it has been degraded. Resource management includes the preservation, maintenance and enhancement of the stock of natural resources and therefore the safeguarding of those resources against depletion.

The EGSS accounts are produced in accordance with the statistical concepts and definitions set out in the system of environmental economic accounting 2012 – central framework (SEEA CF 2012, see annex).

Datasets env_ac_egss1 and env_ac_egss2 consist of country data produced by the Member States, who transmit the data to Eurostat and further disseminates it. The EU estimates in datasets env_ac_egss1, env_ac_egss2 and env_ac_egss3 are produced by Eurostat not as a sum of available countries but using methods documented in the Eurostat EGSS practical guide (see methodology page) and data sources publicly available. In addition, Eurostat produces output and gross value added volume estimates, i.e. discounting changes in prices, for all countries published in dataset env_ac_egss2.

3.2. Classification system

The activities belonging in the environmental goods and services sector are classified according to the classification of environmental protection activities (CEPA) and the classification of resource management activities (CReMA). Data are collected and disseminated using the following breakdown:

CEPA 1 - Protection of ambient air and climate, of which:

CEPA 1.1.2 and 1.2.2 Protection of climate and ozone layer

CEPA 2 - Wastewater management

CEPA 3 - Waste management

CEPA 4 - Protection and remediation of soil, groundwater and surface water

CEPA 5 - Noise and vibration abatement

CEPA 6 - Protection of biodiversity and landscapes

CEPA 7 - Protection against radiation

CEPA 8 - Environmental research and development, of which:

CEPA 9 - Other environmental protection activities

CReMA 10 - Management of water

CReMA 11 - Management of forest resources, of which:

CReMA 11.A Management of forest areas

CReMA 11.B Minimisation of the intake of forest resources

CReMA 12 - Management of wild flora and fauna

CReMA 13 - Management of energy resources

CReMA 13A - Production of energy from renewable resources

CReMA 13B - Heat/energy saving and management

CReMA 13C - Minimisation of the use of fossil energy as raw materials

CReMA 14 - Management of minerals

CReMA 15 - Research and development activities for resource management, of which:

CReMA 16 - Other resource management activities

CEPA 2000 is a recognised international standard included in the family of international economic and social classifications. It can be downloaded from:

No internationally agreed standard classification for resource management activities exists yet. However, the classification of Resource Management Activities (CReMA) developed by the EGSS task force is in use for EGSS purposes:

The suppliers of the environmental products are scattered over many NACE divisions. Country data by NACE are not currently published.

The Eurostat provisional estimate for EU28 covers CEPA 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7-9 and CReMA 10, 13A, 13B. Materials recovery activities covered by NACE Rev. 2 group 38.3 are included in the data. Activities related to forests are at this stage not included. The Eurostat provisional estimate provides data in a breakdown by broad NACE categories.

3.3. Coverage - sector

The environmental goods and services sector is the part of the economy engaged in environmental protection and resource management as defined in the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Central Framework 2012 (SEEA CF 2012), chapter 4. These definitions are further operationalised with lists of environmental activities and products in the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2174 of 24 November 2015 on the indicative compendium of environmental goods and services, the format for data transmission for European environmental economic accounts and modalities, structure and periodicity of the quality reports pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 691/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on European environmental economic accounts.

The environmental goods and services can be produced by corporations, households, governments and non-profit institutions.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The EGSS has the same system boundaries as the European System of Accounts (ESA) and consists of all environmental products that are created within this production boundary. ESA defines production as the activity carried out under the control and responsibility of an institutional unit that uses inputs of labour, capital and goods and services to produce goods and services.

Only products that have been produced for environmental purposes are included in the scope of the EGSS.

'Environmental purpose' means that the technology, good or service has been produced for the purpose of:

Preventing, reducing and eliminating pollution and any other degradation of the environment

Preserving and maintaining the stock of natural resources and hence safeguarding against depletion

The EGSS statistics aim at compiling data for the following economic variables:

Production: corresponds to the market sales of goods or services supplied to third parties. For a non-market and own account producer, the production value is estimated by the total costs of production.

Value added: the gross value added of environmental protection activities represents the contribution made by these activities towards Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is the difference between the production value and intermediate consumption.

Employment: The employment is measured by the full-time equivalent employment which is the number of full-time equivalent jobs, defined as total hours worked divided by average annual hours worked in full-time jobs.

Exports: Exports of goods and services consist of sales, barter, or gifts or grants, of goods and services from residents to non-residents.



Methodology (including SEEA CF 2012)

3.5. Statistical unit

Council Regulation (EEC) No 696/93 of 15 March 1993 on the statistical units for the observation and analysis of the production system in the Community describes the different statistical units of the production system.

The recommended statistical unit for the collection and compilation of EGSS statistics (excluding general government) is the establishment. For general government the recommendation is to use institutional units and groupings of units as defined in ESA (European System of Accounts).

3.6. Statistical population

The national economy is as defined in SEEA CF 2012 and National Accounts (ESA), i.e. all economic activities undertaken by resident units.

The target population regarding data on EGSS consists of all economic sectors, several economic variables (production value, value added, exports and employment) and environmental domains. All these were described in detail in sections 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 above.

3.7. Reference area

The reference area is the economic territory as defined in SEEA CF 2012 and National Accounts (ESA). A unit is said to be a resident unit of a country when it has a centre of economic interest in the economic territory of that country, that is, when it engages for an extended period (1 year or more) in economic activities in that territory.

For EGSS, data is published for each Member State separately (if available). Eurostat produces a provisional estimate for the EU28 aggregate.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Data are annual. Complete time series for the Eurostat provisional estimate for EU28 cover the period 2000-2012.

The time coverage by country differs considerably between countries for the period 2004-2012.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure Top

Production, gross value added and exports are measured in million euro. In addition, production and gross value added are measured in volume as chain linked volumes, reference year 2010 (at 2010 exchange rates). The estimation method described in section 18.5 below.

Employment is measured as full time equivalents, .ie., full time equivalent jobs. Special attention should be given to countries that have reported in "Employees (Persons)" and not in full time equivalent. These countries are: NO, PL, RO, SE, PT and ES

5. Reference Period Top

The data refer to the calendar year.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

EGSS is legally covered by Regulation (EC) No. 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts (EEEA). EEEA currently include six modules (air emissions accounts, environmentally related taxes by economic activity, economy-wide material flow accounts, environmental protection expenditure accounts, environmental goods and services sector accounts, and physical energy flow accounts). From 2017 onwards reporting of data for EGSS will be mandatory. In the first transmission (2017) Member States shall include data for 2014 and 2015. In the second transmission (2018) they shall provide data for 2016, 2015 and 2014, in the third transmission (2019) data for 2017, 2016 and 2015, and so forth.

The EEEA are fully in accordance with internationally agreed concepts and definitions set out in the system of environmental economic accounting 2012 – central framework (SEEA CF 2012, see annex). The SEEA CF is a multi-purpose conceptual framework to report the interactions between the environment and the economy.

EEEA present environmental information in a way that is fully compatible with National Accounts.

The manuals supporting the collection of EGSS data includes:

1. Practical guide towards compiling EGSS statistics 

2. Environmental Goods and Services Sector - data collection handbook

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Eurostat makes available all non-confidential and sufficiently reliable data on its dissemination website. European institutions and international organisations can also use the data as published in the Eurostat dissemination database.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Confidential data are flagged "confidential" and not published. Aggregates of confidential data respect Eurostat confidentiality rules.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

There is no release calendar.

Datasets env_ac_egss1 and env_ac_egss2 are published every year in spring; dataset env_ac_egss3 is published in December.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

Data are disseminated simultaneously to all interested parties through a database update and on Eurostat's website.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Data are disseminated annually.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

There are no news releases on-line.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Statistics Explained articles every year; data might also be used in various other publications.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

The online database is available free of charge here:

Data can be found under "Environment and energy/Environment/Environmental goods and service sector".

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable (Eurostat collects the data from the Member States at an aggregated level).

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Environment statistics and accounts section on Eurostat website

For information on any comment possibly made by the Commission, please refer to For further information on any comments possibly provided by National Statistical Institutes, National Central Banks or National Governments on their own data, please refer to their web sites (Links are given on the Eurostat web site

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The list of legal acts and manuals provided by Eurostat are included in section 6.1.

Information is available on Eurostat's website

For methodology please also refer to the annex at the bottom of this page.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Eurostat asks for each data collection exercise the national metadata about scope, coverage and sources. This information is stored internally in the validation documents by country.

Member States will provide quality reports, according to Regulation 691/2011 as of 2017.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

The original data collection is made by the Member States, while Eurostat only collects the assembled country compilations. The quality assurance and documentation of the quality is a joint responsibility of Eurostat and the Member States depending on the producer of the underlying data source. Eurostat asks for each data collection exercise the national metadata about scope, coverage and sources.

To ensure quality of the data Eurostat implements the following procedures/guidelines:

1) Methodological guidelines to assist countries in compiling EGSS

2) Extensive validation procedure of the data received. The validation tools check:

- consistency (several cells check)

- plausibility with an extra check for fluctuations between two consecutive years (2 subsequent cells check)

- illegal symbols (cell by cell check)

- illegal footnotes

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Quality management is good. Validation procedures are in place. The Environmental Accounts Working Group, encompassing representatives of all Member States, Eurostat and other stakeholders, discusses quality improvements.

Because EGSS is a relatively recent data collection (started in 2009 as first pilot) and was recently (in 2014) included in Regulation 691/2011, improvements in the next years are realistic.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Commission services, European Environmental Agency, OECD, national governments, scientific institutes and universities, businesses, citizens. In particular, EGSS data contribute to impact monitoring of policy initiatives, in particular of the Commission’s Employment package (launched April 2012) which is a set of policy documents looking into how EU employment policies intersect with a number of other policy areas in support of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

There are no systematic studies of user satisfaction. Eurostat has regular hearings with European policymakers and contacts with the research community and other stakeholders to monitor the relevance of the statistics produced and identify new priorities.

12.3. Completeness

The data sets delivered by countries vary in level of completeness. Some data cells are missing because no proper data source was available. Missing data have not been gap-filled.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

See point 11.1 above.

13.2. Sampling error

Data on EGSS constitute secondary statistics. The underlying statistical sources utilised by the Member States may involve sampling which could contain errors, but this is managed by the Member States.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The EGSS questionnaire is sent out every year. Eurostat disseminates data with a delay of about 3-4 months.

The EGSS data compiled by the Member States are for some countries dependent on the release of some national data and are therefore subject to their revisions and timelines.

14.2. Punctuality

Punctuality is dependent on countries data submission within the deadline.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Statistics for a given characteristic have the greatest usefulness when they enable reliable comparisons of values for a specific variable across industries, across space and over time.

Theoretically EGSS data are consistent compilations of the environmental activities in national economies.

At present not all country totals comprehensively cover all types of activities, all product categories and all CEPA and CReMA domains. For many countries data on ancillary (in-house) activities is missing. Also data for some resource management activities are often missing while adapted goods included in the compilation differ among countries. The most complete data are for Austria. EGSS totals for Germany are shown, but coverage is less complete, e.g. organic farming, research & development and forest management are missing.

The standardised approach for the EU-28 estimates compensates for coverage differences of EGSS data transmitted to Eurostat by Member States. The EU-28 totals for output, gross valued added and employment cover market, non-market and ancillary activities. Due to the differences in the coverage of the EGSS data transmitted to Eurostat and the use of standardised approach for the EU-28 estimate, the data published for Member States are not fully comparable with the EU-28 estimates.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Comparability over time at country level is still limited since the first pilot data collection started in 2009 only and not all country totals comprehensively cover all types of activities, all product categories and all CEPA and CReMA domains.

The Eurostat estimates for EU-28 are comparable over the period 2000-2012 since they are obtained for all years using the same set of source data and compilation methods (see also 18.5). There are no breaks in these time series.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

The EGSS accounts have the same system boundaries as the European System of Accounts (ESA).

The Eurostat estimates for EU-28 are based on a data integration approach using data collections from other Eurostat statistical domains (see 18.5). This ensures a high level of coherence with these other domains, in particular with national accounts.

15.4. Coherence - internal

The data reported in the EGSS questionnaire are internally coherent (totals are equal to the sum of the breakdowns). In case the totals are not equal to the sum of the breakdowns it is because of non-availability of data at the very detailed level (only available as totals).

16. Cost and Burden Top

The overall cost and burden is difficult to assess due to the different data collection methods applied by the Member States.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Revision policy is set at the level of national authorities. The complete time-series can be revised due to changes in the methodology or methods of data compilation or major and benchmark revisions.

17.2. Data revision - practice

The published data should be regarded as final, unless otherwise stated. However, data revisions may occur at any time.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Dataset env_ac_egss2 is based on transmissions of estimates by the Member States. The Member States are free to decide on the data collection methods for the data compiled in the EGSS. The general options are: surveys, administrative sources, statistical estimations, and use of already existing sources or some combination of methods. Those transmissions include estimates of output, gross value added and exports at current prices. In addition Eurostat produces corresponding volume estimates, i.e. discounting changes in prices. The method used is described below.

EU aggregates in datasets env_ac_egss1 to env_ac_egss3 consist of Eurostat's estimates, using methods documented in the Eurostat EGSS practical guide (see methodology page) and data sources publicly available, many of them from the Eurostat's website as listed in the table below:

Collection name Acronym
National Accounts aggregates by industry (up to NACE A*64) nama_10_a64
Annual National Accounts by 64 branches at current prices nama_nace64_c
National Accounts employment data by industry (up to NACE A*64) nama_10_a64_e
National Accounts by 64 branches - employment data nama_nace64_e
Supply table - current prices (NACE Rev. 2)  naio_cp15_r2
Use table - current prices (NACE Rev. 2) naio_cp16_r2
Gross capital formation by industry (up to NACE A*64) nama_10_a64_p5
Gross capital formation by 64 branches - at current prices nama_pi64_c
Cross-classification of gross fixed capital formation by industry and by non-financial fixed asset - current prices nama_pi22_21_c
Average number of usual weekly hours of work in main job, by sex, professional status, full-time/part-time and economic activity (from 2008 onwards, NACE Rev. 2) - hours lfsa_ewhun2
Average number of usual weekly hours of work in main job, by sex, professional status, full-time/part-time and economic activity (1983-2008, NACE Rev. 1.1) - hours lfsa_ewhuna
Full-time and part-time employment by sex and economic activity (from 2008 onwards, NACE Rev. 2) - 1 000 lfsa_epgan2
Full-time and part-time employment by sex and economic activity (1983-2008, NACE Rev. 1.1) (1 000) lfsa_epgana
Euro/ECU exchange rates – annual data ert_bil_eur_a
Environmental protection expenditure in Europe - detailed data (NACE Rev. 2) env_ac_exp1r2
Certified organic crop area food_in_porg1
Land use - 1 000 ha - annual data apro_cpp_luse
Annual detailed enterprise statistics on electricity, gas and water supply (NACE Rev. 1.1., E) sbs_na_2a_el
Annual detailed enterprise statistics for industry (NACE Rev. 2, B-E) sbs_na_ind_r2
Supply, transformation, consumption - gas - annual data nrg_103a
Supply, transformation, consumption - electricity - annual data nrg_105a
Supply, transformation, consumption – renewable energies - annual data nrg_107a
Infrastructure – biofuel production capacities - annual data nrg_114a
Gas - domestic consumers - bi-annual prices - new methodology from 2007 onwards nrg_pc_202
Electricity prices components for domestic consumers, from 2007 onwards - annual data nrg_pc_204_c
Electricity prices components for industrial consumers, from 2007 onwards - annual data nrg_pc_205_c
Infrastructure - electricity - annual data nrg_113a
Statistics on the production of manufactured goods prom
Traditional international trade database access) ComEx
International trade of EU, the euro area and the Member States by SITC product group ext_lt_intertrd
Balance of payments by country bop_q_c
18.2. Frequency of data collection

Every year starting from 2009 on a voluntary basis.

18.3. Data collection

The original data collection is made by the Member States, while Eurostat only collects the data indirectly through standard tables sent out to the Member States.

18.4. Data validation

Data are extensively checked via comprehensive validation procedure using IT tools. More about data validation can be found here: and in point 11.1.

18.5. Data compilation

A first pilot data collection was made in 2009 and an official voluntary data collection started in 2011. Regulation (EU) No 691/2011 requires mandatory transmissions starting from 2017. Data transmitted by countries for output, gross value added and exports are valued at current prices.

In addition, Eurostat produces volume estimates of output and gross value added, i.e. discounting price changes, published as chain linked volumes, reference year 2010 (at 2010 exchange rates). Those estimates are based on deflators from national accounts. For each country, for each variable (gross value added, output), for each industry (NACE*64 breakdown), deflators are calculated as the ratio between the variable as chain linked volume and at current prices as available in national accounts (online dataset nama_10_a64). Those deflators from national accounts are then applied to the corresponding EGSS country, variable and NACE, at current prices. The total for each country is calculated as sum of the industries. The EU28 aggregate is calculated summing countries. The deflators for gross value added are also applied to gross value added of market producers, and the deflators for output are also applied to market output. The methods to calculate chain linked volumes in national accounts are documented in the Eurostat Handbook on price and volume measures in national accounts.

Eurostat also produces its own estimates of EGSS data for EU28 (European Union with 28 Member States) for the period 2000 onwards. This estimate is compiled using a standardised data integration approach that combines existing data at Member State level from various Eurostat data collections and other international and national sources (e.g. data published by the International Energy Agency) as well as the country replies to the data collections on EGSS. The method used is documented in the Eurostat EGSS practical guide (see methodology page)

18.6. Adjustment

Data are not adjusted.

19. Comment Top

Further information can be found on Eurostat' dedicated section on Environmental statistics and accounts:

Data on "Environmental Goods and Services Sector"

Select "Environment and Energy" and "Environment"

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top
Methodology (including SEEA CF 2012)