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Environmental protection expenditure 2018

Investments in biodiversity protection increased in industry

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2019-10-10 9.30

Swedish industry’s total environmental protection expenditure amounted to SEK 17.3 billion in 2018, up by 12 percent from 2017. This is mainly due to an increase in investments for the protection of biodiversity and landscapes.

Environmental protection refers to activities that aim to prevent, reduce or eliminate pollution, or other deterioration of the environment. Environmental protection expenditure is divided into industry classification, type of expenditure (investment and current expenditure) and environmental domain. The survey on which these statistics are based asks companies in the mining, quarrying, manufacturing, electricity and water supply industries for information on their investments and current expenditure on environmental protection.

The largest total expenditure for environmental protection in 2018, SEK 5.9 billion, was in the electricity, gas and heating plant industry. This industry contributed 34 percent of total environmental protection expenses. The large increase in investments for the protection of biodiversity and landscapes occurred in the electricity, gas and heating plant industry.

Environmental protection investments contributed 41 percent of total environmental protection expenditure, while current expenditure (such as maintenance, management and fees) contributed 59 percent. Current expenditure amounted to SEK 10.1 billion in 2018, while investment amounted to SEK 7.1 billion. Current expenditures for environmental protection have increased steadily over the years, but remained largely unchanged between 2017 and 2018. On the other hand, investments have increased by 32 percent compared with 2017.

Largest investments in ambient air and climate protection

In 2018, the majority of investments were made with a focus on protection of ambient air and climate. Investments in this domain accounted for 40 percent of total investments in environmental protection in 2018. These investments include the installation of filters and measures to replace fossil fuel sources with fuel sources that have a lesser climate impact.

Investments to minimise effects on biodiversity and landscapes accounted for 28 percent of total investments and increased from SEK 470 million to over SEK 2 billion in 2018. The investments were directed towards fish stairs, and research and development was conducted with a focus on how eel, wild bees and birds are affected by the business activities. Many companies have also conducted major surveys in this area.

Investments in environmental protection by environmental domain 2006–2018


*The biodiversity, land and other domains used to be included in the “other” domain. Since 2016, this domain has been divided into three separate domains.

Definitions and explanations

Environmental protection refers to activities that aim to prevent, reduce or eliminate pollution or other deterioration of the environment. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has produced common international definitions for environmental protection and how the expenditure is to be calculated.

Investments in environmental protection are broken down into investments for emissions treatment that do not affect the process (such as filters and separate purification plants), and investments for the prevention of emissions involving investments in new or changed production processes. Current expenditure consists of expenditure for staff, energy, materials and supplies, such as for the operation and supervision of purification plants, for environmental administration tasks, environmental management and certification, as well as waste management. Payments to others who carry out these measures are also included.

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Next publishing will be autumn 2020.

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Statistics Sweden, Environmental accounts and Environment

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Fredrik Kanlén

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