Environmental Footprints and IO Analysis (PHYS5033)


This unit of study will provide an introduction to economic input-output theory and input-output analysis, with a focus on environmental applications such as carbon footprints and life-cycle analysis. The unit first explores national and global economic and environmental accounting systems and their relationships to organisational accounting. Second, it will present variants of the basic accounts, such as global multi-regional input-output systems and social accounting systems. Third, it will introduce the basic input-output calculus conceived by Nobel Prize Laureate Wassily Leontief, and provide concrete examples for how to apply this calculus to data published by statistical offices. The unit will then show how to integrate economic and environmental accounts, and generate boundary-free environmental footprint assessments. Students will walk away from this unit equipped with all skills needed to calculate footprints, and prepare sustainability reports for any organisation, city, region, or nation, using organisational data, economic input-output tables and environmental accounts.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2-hour lecture interspersed with hands-on exercises per week


Comprehensive diary/notes from lectures, including a quantitative example (100%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.