Environmental protection expenditure

What does the survey comprise?


To obtain data on expenditure by Dutch society for protection, restoration and improvement of environmental quality.


The study gives an overview of environmental expenditure by economic sectors within government, enterprises and households, as well as its financing.
Results comprise national figures on environmental costs, subsidies and levies, and (net) environmental costs after transfers by sector. Environmental costs and (net) environmental costs after transfers are presented for each environmental domain (air, water [includes only waste water], soil and groundwater, waste, noise, general), activity (administration, monitoring, research, prevention and treatment) and cost type. The survey also results in an overview of subsidies and levies received and paid for each environmental domain and sector.

Year survey started



Until 2001 data on environmental investments and environmental costs were compiled annually. Data on subsidies and levies, and (net) environmental costs after transfers are available for only the odd years.
From 2001 data on, environmental investments, costs and (net) environmental costs after transfers are available every two years.

Publication strategy

Definite figures are published two years after the year under review.
How is the survey conducted?

Main sources

Basic data are derived mainly from existing environmental studies of Statistics Netherlands:
• Environmental costs of enterprises
• Environmental costs of water boards
• Environmental costs of agriculture
• Environmental costs of traffic
• Environmental services
• Expenditure and income municipal waste
• Environmental taxes and environmental subsidies.
For government agencies not included in a separate research programme, data are taken mainly from annual accounts and budgets. Further information is obtained from surveys, experts, and additional literature research. As it is difficult or impossible to determine environmental costs for some sectors, further studies are continuously conducted for them.
Outline of the integration framework
• For each level of administrative government, environmental costs are determined by examining annual accounts or by surveys. Among other things, data and research methods of Statistics Netherlands’ statistics on government finance are used for this.
• Costs of households consist of the environmental costs of using low sulphur fuels and the imputed cost of traffic.
• A significant proportion of costs of environmental activities consist of capital costs (interest and depreciation) of environmental investment spending. Interest and depreciation are calculated by Statistics Netherlands in a uniform way. 
• In some cases subsidies are received for environmental investments. These subsidies lead to lower annual capital costs. To determine total capital costs, reductions as a result of subsidies are estimated where possible. Subsidised capital costs are added to the costs of own environmental activities. Payments for environmental services performed by third parties are not included in the costs of own environmental activities. In the calculation of net environmental costs after transfers, subsidised capital costs are deducted, and payments to third parties are added.
• A sector’s total financial burden for taking care of environment problems is shown as net environmental costs after transfers. Net environmental costs after transfers are calculated by net costs of own environmental activities, plus  paid environmental transfers, minus received environmental transfers. Environmental transfers include levies, subsidies and charges for environmental services.
• Where possible, research methods correspond to those described in the publication "Costs and benefits of environmental protection: definitions and calculation methods” of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment.

Quality of the results

Sequential comparability

The main break in series are in 1993 and (to a lesser extent) 2001.
• Until 1993, under the general provisions of environmental legislation (WABM) a general fuel tax was levied on coal, natural gas and oil. Revenues from this tax were used to finance environmental policy. The tax was abolished in mid-1992 and replaced by an environment-based tax (BOM). The revenues of the BOM tax go to the general government funds. This means that the proceeds from the BOM tax cannot be included in the calculation of the environmental costs. Another change in 1993 was the inclusion of financial data of companies providing environmental services.
• From 2001, a new "break" started to emerge. Details of statistics came under increasing pressure as a result of briefer presentations in the annual accounts/reporting, etc. As a result various breakdowns for a number of sectors became harder to calculate and are therefore not always fully available.


In principle, revisions in figures are kept to a minimum. Only in exceptional cases are retrospective revisions carried out. A recent example is 'administrative burdens' in the agricultural sector in 2001, with a recalculation of 1998.

Quality strategy

Statistics Netherlands performs usual checks for completeness and plausibility of the data supplied. Additional information is gathered when incorrect or incomplete data are found.