International Conference on Accounting & Assessment in Statistics (ICAAS) 2021:
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India’s efforts in enhancing the consideration of Natural Capital

P. Bhanumati, DDG- SSD, Ministry of Statistics and Program (MoSP), India

... Countries across the world have realised that discussions on economic development cannot be devoid of the considerations of the environment. An environment accounting framework can help understand the checks, balances and trade-offs, leading to decisions enabling sustainable development. Like the advanced economies, developing countries like India are also undertaking several measures to enhance natural capital in economic decision-making. The paper chronicles some efforts made by India in the implementation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, which is well-recognised as a statistical standard for integrating concerns of the environment and economy. It also brings to light the need to harness and leverage the technological advancements and data revolution to capture information on the different aspects of environmental accounting and encourage innovative solutions to address the data challenges.

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Integrated Framework for monetary environmental accounts: a pilot study for Italy

Federica Battellini, Angelica Tudini, Istat, Italy

... The research agenda of the SEEA CF, the UN standard on environmental accounts, includes an area aiming at developing an integrated framework for monetary environmental accounts. At the 2017 London Group meeting, Eurostat, the lead agency on this topic, presented a proposal for a framework, calling, in the following year, EU member states to experimental compilation of the proposed tables. Istat (Italian National Statistical Institute) completed a pilot exercise in 2020, compiling the tables covered by Eurostat layout: Supply Table, Use Table, Production account and Expenditure account.  This paper recalls the main accounting features of the integrated monetary framework and presents the results of the Italian pilot compilation.  Based on the same equations underlying national accounts, the integrated framework aims at assuring consistent estimates on supply and demand of environmental products and it can be compiled starting from existing environmental accounts, EGSS mainly providing estimates on supply of environmental goods and services, and EPEA providing, at present, estimates on expenditures for environmental protection purposes. In the Italian exercise, putting EGSS and EPEA into the integrated framework layout allowed to highlight and quantify differences in scope, coverage and definitions between the two accounts. But the most interesting findings concern the improvements derived from the combined use of the two accounts: the production of balanced estimates allowed to check and adjust inconsistencies among data, fill in gaps, optimize calculation processes. Furthermore it allowed to enlarge the supply of statistical information on economy and the environment for Italy, beyond the present scope of EGSS and EPEA.  The exercise carried out by Istat is an example of how statistical information can be enhanced to better comply with the requirements of the European Green Deal and, more generally, with the demand arising from the effort towards mainstreaming environmental sustainability in all EU policies.

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Non-profit sector and CSR in the Italian Official Statistics

Massimo Lori, Chiara Orsini, Istat, Italy

... The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that requires a solid statistical framework has prompted National Institute of Statistics to produce SDG indicators. While Nonprofit institutions and social entrepreneurship are increasingly recognized as important actors supporting the achievement of sustainable development goals (Salamon and Haddock 2015), official statistics investigating those actors are rare. Even in absence of international regulations as legal basis for producing social economy and Third sector related statistics, the Italian Institute of Statistics (Istat) has been producing official statistics on the core characteristics of Nonprofit Institutions (NPIs) 2 for more than 20 years. The objective of the paper is to show the state of art of statistical production on Nonprofit sector and Corporate Social Responsibility in Italy. Istat is committed to analyzing Nonprofit sector and Social economy by providing policy makers, scholars and stakeholders with a comprehensive overview of the social and economic dimensions in Italy. In accordance with the European development policies and within its modernization program, Istat launched the permanent censuses project. The focus of this project is to integrate archive data, to create statistical registers and to conduct supporting statistical surveys, in line with the new organizational, technological and methodological model aimed at fully exploiting the potential of data available. Following ESS Vision 2020 principle in strengthening the use of administrative data while reducing the overall costs and burden, in 2015 Istat implemented the permanent census strategy, by creating yearly the business Register on Nonprofit Institutions and enterprises, which is built upon administrative data sources, as well as by conducting periodically a sample survey. In order to produce a high-quality statistical information, the INPs Register is updated yearly and the data are disseminated in the framework of a scientific conference that involves both scholars and main stakeholders. Moreover, the sample survey of nonprofit institutions intends to provide an overview on nonprofit sector in Italy comparable over time, at the local level, by directly collecting data on thematic issues, as well as emerging topics such as social innovation and digitalization. With the objective of enhancing the available information and expanding the perspective of social economy, the 2019 permanent census of enterprises has investigated the corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, including the corporate social responsibility. Undeniably, the integration of data source, combining surveys results with administrative data, positively contributes to acquire insight on SDGS while enhancing measures and statistics on Third sector and social economy, such as the creation of satellite account of nonprofit institutions.

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Modernization of the economic accounts for agriculture in EU

Cecilia Pop, Eurostat, Luxemborg

... Agriculture is a small sector of the economy, but covers almost half of the land area of the EU and supplies most of its food. It has a large impact on climate change and the environment. Many rural communities depend on agriculture. Eurostat’s Agricultural Strategy for 2020 and beyond aims at creating a modern, flexible and efficient system for providing official EU agricultural statistics that are relevant for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and other important EU priorities. The economic accounts for agriculture (EAA) provide a set of comparable data on important macroeconomic-level information to key users (the Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development and Agricultural Ministries in the Member States). Politicians, farming associations, agricultural researchers and journalists are also important users. The EAA have been undergoing a modernisation process since 2016 in order to improve this area of statistics. The improvements cover methodological aspects as well as data transmission, validation and publication.

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Central Framework of National Accounts and the Satellite Accounts: a Systemic Approach to Organize the Data for Sustainable Development Policy Purposes

Edoardo Pizzoli, University of Luxembourg

... The UN System of National Accounts (SNA) and the European System of Accounts (ESA) both provide a sequence of accounts at national and possibly regional level describing economic activity in a reference accounting year. This is the core of system of accounts which has been consolidated over several decades of implementation in official statistical offices and periodical revisions. The central framework has been progressively expanded and integrated with specific accounts, to focus on sectors of economic activity, sub-populations of national producers or new areas of interest, going beyond the consolidated representation of the economy and society. Today, there is a broad consensus among academia and experts in the field that the system of accounts should be wider, especially to cover information on key sustainability topics and issues. This also imply including measurements of the other two dimensions of sustainability: the social one and the environmental one. Probably in the future there will be a refocusing on what should be central to the accounting framework. Starting from the support chapters and from the inputs already provided by the available SNA and ESA manuals, an analysis will be carried out of the potential and limits demonstrated by this powerful statistical tool in present developments specifically supporting sustainable development policies.

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