To main content

Environmental Goods and Services Sector (EGSS) 2017

Value added for the environmental sector unchanged

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2019-06-18 9.30

In 2017, value added for the environmental sector amounted to approximately SEK 81 billion. However, net turnover for the environmental sector increased by 3 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. The environmental sector employs approximately 66 000 people, of which just under three out of four are men.

Statistics on the environmental sector describe the part of Sweden’s economy that produces environmentally-friendly goods and services. The environmental sector includes production of goods for environmental protection, as well as sustainable resource management.

Value added unchanged but net turnover increased

The value added for the environmental sector was estimated at approximately SEK 81 billion in 2017, which is on the same level as in 2016. The environmental sector accounts for approximately 2 percent of Sweden’s total GDP. The total value added by the environmental sector increased until 2008, when it amounted to SEK 68 billion, but decreased in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis. Since then, value added has only increased marginally. Since 2018, value added for the environmental sector has increased among service providers, but has decreased in renewable energy production and the manufacturing industry.

Net turnover for the environmental sector followed a similar trend, but increased slightly in 2017, from SEK 204 billion in 2016 to SEK 210 billion in 2017. This corresponds to an increase of 3 percent.

Environmental sector value added, net turnover and GDP, constant prices

Source: Statistics Sweden, environmental and national accounts. *2017 preliminary GDP

Renewable energy production contributed the most

Statistics on the environmental sector are also broken down by industry (NACE Rev. 2). Producers of renewable energy and companies within drainage, waste and sanitation are the industries that contributed the most to value added and net turnover for the environmental sector in 2017. Service industries, such as environmental consultants and certain manufacturing industries, for example, of environmental technology, also form a large part of the environmental sector.

With regard to employment, the labour force in the environmental sector is mainly located among service providers, as well as drainage, waste and sanitation. Statistics on the environmental sector also estimate exports of goods and services from the environmental sector. Exports for the environmental sector are dominated by goods and services from the manufacturing sector.

The environmental sector per aggregate industry unit, percent of environmental sector’s total value added, net turnover, employment and exports, 2017

Source: Statistics Sweden, environmental accounts

Most employed in the environmental sector are men

The environmental sector employed approximately 66 000 persons in 2017. The majority of these were men. Among persons employed in the environmental sector in 2017, 72 percent were men and 28 percent were women. Women employed in the environmental sector are often employed in the service sector and in the public sector. Men most often work in drainage, waste and sanitation, as well as in the service sector.

Number of employed men and women in the environmental sector

Source: Statistics Sweden, environmental accounts and RAMS

Geographic breakdown

Statistics on the environmental sector are also available per county and are compiled based on the location of workplaces. Metropolitan regions account for the highest total value added and number of persons employed. However, with regard to value added normalised as a share of gross regional product (GRP), a different picture emerges. The highest value added as share of GRP for the environmental sector is found in Jämtland, Västernorrland and Kalmar counties, while the lowest share is found in Stockholm, Jönköping and Uppsala counties.

Environmental sector per county, environmental sector’s value added as a share of GRP, 2017, percent

Source: Statistics Sweden, environmental and national accounts

Definitions and explanations

Environmental accounts are organised using national accounts as a base to enable reporting on environmental statistics and economic statistics in a common system. The environmental accounts, which are a UN-based statistical standard, provide opportunities for analysing connections between the economy and the environment, in particular through the use of industries that are reported according to the Swedish Industrial Classification (SNI).

Statistics Sweden’s Environmental accounts

Statistics on the environmental sector form part of the environmental accounts framework. Since 2017, under the regulation on European environmental accounts, it is mandatory for EU Member States to report these statistics annually to Eurostat. However, Statistics Sweden has published statistics on dates earlier than this, where statistics are available as early as 2003. In connection with the publication in 2018, the statistics were revised to better align with new guidelines and to be more closely integrated with the national accounts. This also enables deeper national and international comparisons, such as the environmental sector’s contribution to the Swedish economy. In addition to the national accounts data, data on company finances is also used to describe net turnover, from RAMS (register-based labour market statistics) to describe gainful employment, and from foreign trade statistics to describe exports.

Statistics on the environmental sector are based on a micro-database of companies and workplaces that produce environmentally-friendly goods and services. The statistics follow Eurostat’s environmental sector manual, which contains definitions of which economic activities are included in the environmental sector. Examples of economic activity included are production of renewable energy, wastewater treatment, waste management, sanitation, environmental consultants and organic farming. Examples of economic activity not included are wholesale of waste products, nuclear power and public transport.

Previous statistics that have been published on the environmental sector have been revised and the entire time series has been updated.

To read more on definitions and delimitations, see Eurostat’s handbook:

Environmental goods and services accounts, Handbook, 2016


Next publishing will be

The next publication on the environmental sector up to 2018 will take place in 2020.

Statistical Database

More information is available in the Statistical Database

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Statistical agency and producer

Statistics Sweden, Environmental accounts and Environment

Box 24 300
104 51 Stockholm


Susanna Roth

+46 10 479 48 03