I started my research career at the Stockholm Environment Institute, joining in 2007. I received my PhD in Planning and Decision Analysis with a specialization in Environmental Strategic Analysis in 2019 from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. In 2023 I became a Surrey Future Fellow, at the University of Surrey and a member of the Surrey Institute for Sustainability. I research sustainable consumption and production systems and the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future. I have used techniques such as environmental footprint and input-output analysis, focusing on research to policy and policy interventions for sustainability.
Areas of specialism
University roles and responsibilities
- Institute for Sustainability
•The links between transparency and sustainabilityare poorly understood.•We present a typology of information for supply chain governance.•The coverage of existing transparencyinitiatives is limited and biased in scope.•We present ten ways in which transparency can improve sustainability governance. Over the last few decades rapid advances in processes to collect, monitor, disclose, and disseminate information have contributed towards the development of entirely new modes of sustainability governance for global commodity supply chains. However, there has been very little critical appraisal of the contribution made by different transparency initiatives to sustainability and the ways in which they can (and cannot) influence new governance arrangements. Here we seek to strengthen the theoretical underpinning of research and action on supply chain transparency by addressing four questions: (1) What is meant by supply chain transparency? (2) What is the relevance of supply chain transparency to supply chain sustainability governance? (3) What is the current status of supply chain transparency, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of existing initiatives? and (4) What propositions can be advanced for how transparency can have a positive transformative effect on the governance interventions that seek to strengthen sustainability outcomes? We use examples from agricultural supply chains and the zero-deforestation agenda as a focus of our analysis but draw insights that are relevant to the transparency and sustainability of supply chains in general. We propose a typology to distinguish among types of supply chain information that are needed to support improvements in sustainability governance, and illustrate a number of major shortfalls and systematic biases in existing information systems. We also propose a set of ten propositions that, taken together, serve to expose some of the potential pitfalls and undesirable outcomes that may result from (inevitably) limited or poorly designed transparency systems, whilst offering guidance on some of the ways in which greater transparency can make a more effective, lasting and positive contribution to sustainability.
Sweden has a large per capita carbon footprint, particularly compared to the levels recommended for maintaining a stable climate. Much of that footprint falls outside Sweden's territory; emissions occurring abroad are “embodied” in imported goods consumed in Sweden. In this study we calculate the total amount and geographical hotspots of the Swedish footprint produced by different multi-regional input-output (MRIO) models, and compare these results in order to gain a picture of the present state of knowledge of the Swedish global footprint. We also look for insights for future model development that can be gained from such comparisons. We first compare a time series of the Swedish carbon footprint calculated by the Swedish national statistics agency, Statistics Sweden, using a single-region model, with data from the EXIOBASE, GTAP, OECD, Eora, and WIOD MRIO databases. We then examine the MRIO results to investigate the geographical distribution of four types of Swedish footprint: carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and materials use. We identify the hotspot countries and regions where environmental pressures linked to Swedish consumption are highest. We also consider why the results may differ between calculation methods and types of environmental pressure. As might be expected, given the complexity and modelling assumptions, the MRIO models and Statistics Sweden data provide different (but similar) results for each footprint. The MRIO models have different strengths that can be used to improve the national calculations. However, constructing and maintaining a new MRIO model would be very demanding for one country. It is also clear that for a single country's calculation, there will be better and more precise data available nationally that would not have priority in the construction of an MRIO model. Thus, combining existing MRIO data with national economic and environmental data seems to be a promising method for integrated footprint analysis. Our findings are relevant not just for Sweden but for other countries seeking to improve national consumption-based accounts. Based on our analysis we offer recommendations to guide future research and policy-making to this end.
The low-carbon transition requires policies and behaviour changes that affect people's consumption habits. However, the impacts of the transition are likely to be experienced unevenly by consumers. Failing to account for these differences puts at risk the prospects of a just transition. This paper investigates the demand-side aspects of a just low-carbon transition, with a focus on the transport and food sectors in Sweden. It combines footprint analysis and sociodemographic and geographic analysis with an assessment of the distributional impacts of low-carbon transition policies from the perspectives of wealth, access, and health. The study finds variations in carbon footprint categories between those with higher or lower income and living in higher or lower density areas. It also finds varying degrees of ability to cope with the required shifts in the food and transport sectors. About 40 % of the Swedish population appears to be at higher risk from the adverse impacts on wealth and access related to policies aiming at low-carbon transition, because this cohort depends heavily on cars and is less able to cope with the increased price of carbon-intensive goods that these policies are expected to entail. The study also finds that, collectively, those most at risk of losing are responsible for 41 % of consumption-based emissions. The paper goes on to discuss implications for low-carbon transition policy measures and transitional assistance policy. Overall, it highlights the need for targeted, well-planned policies for emissions reductions and transitional assistance to support a fair low-carbon transition for all.
The consumption of goods and services can be a driver of environmental and social impacts around the world. Understanding the role that the different levels of government can play in incentivising sustainable consumption is therefore critical. Using systematic review techniques, this paper reviews the latest evidence on the importance, effectiveness, successes and failures of local government in advancing sustainable consumption. We find that there is little focus on sustainable consumption in its entirety or whether it is being achieved at the local government level. Important consumption categories like food, procurement, water, waste prevention, clothing, other consumables or services are understudied. Evaluation of the outcome of sustainable consumption interventions was limited, and the assessment that was completed gave mixed results. The most popular policy instruments were of the less coercive administrative and informative type. Multiple barriers to the success of an intervention were identified, the top ones being funding; staff capacity, knowledge or data; lack of flexibility and lock-in to the status quo; lack of guidance or political will; administrative burdens; and lack of regulatory powers or tools. Sustainable consumption interventions by local government were most effective when they had strong leadership, good stakeholder engagement, participatory approaches and extensive consultations.
Consumption-based environmental indicators, also termed footprints, give a sense of society's progress towards sustainable consumption. Although they have been published for several decades, little is known about their use and influence in policymaking. From the wider body of research into the use and influence of sustainability indicators, we see evidence that sustainability indicators contribute to learning and conceptual thinking in policymaking. This paper explores whether this is also the case for footprint indicators, and how any conceptual thinking or learning might come about from their use. We investigate these questions, along with whether the use of footprint indicators affects wider social and organizational structures to prompt the desired move to sustainable consumption, and how, therefore, the value of indicators as learning instruments might be enhanced. The analysis draws on activity theory, focusing on expansive learning. It uses data from a series of interviews, focus groups and workshops with Swedish public officials at national, regional and local government levels. We find that footprint indicators helped officials to learn about the concept of sustainable consumption and push the agenda forward while awaiting clearer political targets and mandates. This was not, however, due to the indicators alone, but rather to the creative practices and agency of committed government officials. Meanwhile, the use of indicators often takes place through one-way communication activities aimed at changing the behaviour of other actors; there is less evidence of their use to support dialogue among diverse views and interests. We conclude that if the aim is to change practices toward sustainable consumption throughout society, then political executives must put the necessary institutions and authority in place alongside the indicators, to support public officials tasked with implementation. This must be linked to a deeper political debate about what the policy agenda entails.
While consumers often intend to shop more sustainably, food shopping decision-making is complex, involving a decision-making process that is shaped by factors occurring outside of the moment of purchase. Consumers are increasingly being targeted with information aiming to influence their decision-making, but the change mechanisms of such interventions are poorly understood. This study aimed to identify key factors influencing people's capability, opportunity and motivation to make more environmentally sustainable choices when food shopping, and how information can support such behaviour change. Using the COM-B model of behaviour change, we conducted a consumer survey and qualitative interviews with Swedish consumers to identify how capability, opportunity, and motivation to engage in sustainable shopping are influenced, and how consumers use information when food shopping. From our data we mapped a typical customer journey and pinpointed where information could be applied as a technique for supporting behaviour change towards more sustainable food shopping choices. The key factors motivating the choice were found to be quality, health, locally produced food, animal welfare and convenience. The main constraints to consumers' capability and opportunity to engage in sustainable food shopping were price and time. Our findings suggest that information can be a powerful behaviour change technique if tailored to customers' full shopping journey, including planning, executing, and reflecting on their food shopping. Understanding food shopping as a set of interacting behaviours playing out over time could help to design more effective information-based behaviour change interventions.
Environmentally extended multi-regional input–output (EE-MRIO) models provide us with a wealth of data relating to consumption-based environmental impacts at a national level. The results can identify the categories of consumption and sectors of production that contribute most to environmental impact allowing policy makers to prioritise intervention into particular areas. However, these data are not readily accessible to policy makers and civil society, making it difficult to extract and communicate the important messages it contains. The web-based tool — EUREAPA — was created as a usable, task-oriented interface to improve access to environmental and economic data held within a complex EE-MRIO model and make it more relevant to policy makers and civil society. The project team of scientists and IT specialists used an iterative, agile and participatory approach to engage potential end-users in the specification and testing of the tool. The engagement process identified two principal functions that were essential for the EUREAPA tool: viewing data and creating scenarios. The viewing data function allows users to analyse the wealth of data held within the model and present results from a range of perspectives. This helps to understand the causes of environmental pressure and identify priorities for policy intervention. The scenario function helps to communicate how changes in consumption and production might affect the future environmental impact of citizens of the EU, and facilitates long-term planning. Through this dialogue process the project has been able to ensure EUREAPA is relevant, user-friendly and fit-for-purpose. It is intended that EUREAPA will be adopted by policy makers and civil society as an important policy planning and assessment aid in the complex field of sustainable consumption and production. •We developed a consumption-based environmental impact tool.•We used participatory development processes based on agile software development.•The web based tool allows users to interrogate data from a range of perspectives.•Users can also create scenarios of future change to consumption and production.
To date, assessments of the sustainability of agricultural commodity supply chains have largely relied on some combination of macro-scale footprint accounts, detailed life-cycle analyses and fine-scale traceability systems. Yet these approaches are limited in their ability to support the sustainability governance of agricultural supply chains, whether because they are intended for coarser-grained analyses, do not identify individual actors, or are too costly to be implemented in a consistent manner for an entire region of production. Here we illustrate some of the advantages of a complementary middle-ground approach that balances detail and scale of supply chain transparency information by combining consistent country-wide data on commodity production at the sub-national (e.g. municipal) level with per shipment customs data to describe trade flows of a given commodity covering all companies and production regions within that country. This approach can support supply chain governance in two key ways. First, enhanced spatial resolution of the production regions that connect to individual supply chains allows for a more accurate consideration of geographic variability in measures of risk and performance that are associated with different production practices. Second, identification of key actors that operate within a specific supply chain, including producers, traders, shippers and consumers can help discriminate coalitions of actors that have shared stake in a particular region, and that together are capable of delivering more cost-effective and coordinated interventions. We illustrate the potential of this approach with examples from Brazil, Indonesia and Colombia. We discuss how transparency information can deepen understanding of the environmental and social impacts of commodity production systems, how benefits are distributed among actors, and some of the trade-offs involved in efforts to improve supply chain sustainability. We then discuss the challenges and opportunities of our approach to strengthen supply chain governance and leverage more effective and fair accountability systems.
This article provides an overview of how generalised multi-regional input-output models can be used for carbon footprint applications. We focus on the relevance and suitability of such evidence to inform decision making. Such an overview is currently missing. Drawing on UK results, we cover carbon footprint applications in seven areas: national emissions inventories and trade, emission drivers, economic sectors, supply chains, organisations, household consumption and lifestyles as well as sub-national emission inventories. The article highlights the multiple uses of generalised multi-regional input-output models for carbon footprinting and concludes by highlighting important avenues for future research.
Background: GHG budgets highlight a need for urgency, yet analyses are often CO2-focused, with less attention paid to non-CO2. Results: In this paper, scenarios are used to explore non-CO2 drivers and barriers to their mitigation, drawing out implications for CO2 management. Results suggest that even optimistic technological and consumption-related developments lead to on-going increases in global N2O, largely to improve food security within a changing climate. This contrasts with existing analysis, where lower levels of N2O by 2050 are projected. Conclusions: As avoiding '2 degrees C' limits the emissions budget, constraints on reducing non-CO2 add pressure to energy system decarbonization. Overlooking how a changing climate and rising consumption restricts efforts to curb non-CO2 will result in policies aiming to avoid 2 degrees C falling short of the mark.
Sweden has a policy goal of solving major environmental problems in Sweden within a generation, without increasing environmental or health problems in other countries. Following up this goal requires indicators for domestic and external footprints of Swedish consumption. This paper presents such macro-level indicators for the years 2008–2014. The new indicators are consistent with Swedish statistics from the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts. They combine a multi-regional input-output (MRIO) database, to capture the external components of Sweden's consumption, with national input-output, trade and environmental statistics. The hybrid MRIO-Sweden model provides a comprehensive environmental account for follow-up of the Generational Goal. This paper presents impacts from household consumption, government consumption and capital formation, covering emissions of greenhouse gases, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter smaller than 2.5 μm (PM2.5), land use, materials consumption, and blue water consumption. Except for land use, the majority (60% or more) of the environmental pressures due to consumption occurred outside Sweden in 2014; more than 90% of sulphur emissions and more than 80% of the water use fell abroad. The environmental pressures from consumption decreased over this period for all indicators (except materials consumption). This suggests an absolute decoupling between environmental pressure due to consumption and economic growth, which rose over the period. It is, however, too early to determine whether this is a genuine trend or a temporary stabilisation.
Background: The consumption emissions of many developed countries including the UK are significantly larger than their territorial emissions - the focus of international mitigation commitments. Methods: The paper presents the development and application of a multiregional input output based scenario tool to explore the impact of carbon reduction measures on territorial and consumption emissions. Results: Applying the tool to estimate the effect of current UK government's mitigation plans demonstrates that coupled with expected growth in the economy and population, ceretis paribus, territorial emissions would reduce by similar to 40% by 2030 and consumption emissions would increase by similar to 14%. Conclusion: The analysis puts the UK's own reduction efforts in the context of its wider emissions responsibility, highlighting the significance of carbon embodied in goods imported from non-Annex B countries.
In agricultural commodity chains, companies with sizeable market shares are stepping up sustainability commitments through so-called ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation’ (NDPE) policies – yet the delivery is fraught with difficulties. Drawing on theories of hybrid public-private governance this paper explores how commodity chain actors themselves view the limitations of private regulation and the prospects for more effective supply-chain governance. As a case study, we present interview data from the palm oil commodity chains linking growers in Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, with retailers in Europe. The findings demonstrate awareness of shortcomings in existing arrangements and the need for a stronger presence of both the Indonesian state and European governments. We discuss potential hybrid governance measures, highlighting the need for a pluralistic strategy that mobilizes the combined positive forces of civil society, business and government(s). We argue that, to advance such an agenda, hybrid governance must be conceptualized not simply as a matter of blending (and hence reifying) pre-existing and often highly problematic private and public institutions but as a question of how all such institutions may themselves be more thoroughly democratized in the process. •Commodity chain actors call for stronger roles of governments.•Pluralistic strategies are needed to mobilize joint, positive forces across sectors.•Risks exists of reifying problematic private and public institutions.•Hybrid governance is a matter of democratizing both public and private institutions.
In order to produce goods and services that are consumed in Sweden, natural resources are extracted and pollutants are emitted in many other countries. This paper presents an analysis of the goods and services consumed in Sweden that cause the largest environmental pressures in terms of resource use and emissions, identifying in which countries or regions these pressures occur. The results have been calculated using a hybrid model developed in the PRINCE project combining the multi-regional input-output database EXIOBASE with data from the Swedish economic and environmental accounts. The following environmental pressures are analysed: Use of Land, Water and Material resources, Emissions of Greenhouse gases (GHG), Sulphur dioxides (SO2), Nitrogen oxides (NOx), and Particulate Matters (PM 2.5 and 10). The product groups are those goods and services bought for private or public consumption and capital investments, as listed in the Swedish economic accounts. The results show that Sweden is a net importer of all embodied environmental pressures, except for land use and material use. The most important product groups across environmental pressures are construction, food products and direct emissions from households (except for sulphur dioxide emissions and material use for the latter). Other product groups that are found to have environmental pressures across several indicators are wholesale and retail services, architecture and engineering, dwellings, motor vehicles and machinery and equipment. However, for the three natural resource pressures Use of Water, Land and Material resources, agricultural products are a relatively important product group along with products from forestry for the last two indicators. A considerable proportion of the environmental pressure occurs in Sweden, but when comparing those of domestic origin and that occurring internationally, the majority of all pressures for Swedish consumption occur abroad (except for land use). Other countries stand out as particularly important as origins of pressure for Swedish consumption, most notably China, which is among the top five countries for emissions to air, as well as blue water and material use. Other highly relevant countries or regions are Rest of Asia and Pacific (i.e. Asia and Pacific except Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, India, South Korea, China and Japan), Russia, Germany as well as Denmark and Spain for certain product groups and environmental pressure combinations. This pattern of geographically spread pressures caused by Swedish consumption indicates the need for addressing the pressures at various levels of collaboration: national, within the European Union, bilateral and international.
Herman Daly's view of the economy as an “inverted pyramid” sitting on top of essential raw material inputs is compelling, but not readily visible in monetary data, as the contribution of primary sectors to value added is typically low. This article argues that “forward linkages”, a classical development theory concept capturing the relevance of a sector for downstream activities, is an informative and complementary measure to identify key sectors. Using Input-Output (IO) data from eighteen European countries, we identify mining as the sector with the highest average forward linkages, and confirm the consistency of this result across countries via cluster analysis. By treating IO tables as the adjacency matrix of a directed network, we then build and visualise national inverted pyramid networks, and analyse their structure. Our approach highlights the role of natural resources in providing the necessary inputs to modern European economies.