Match EMP catalogue with CL sector materials

Created on Thursday 11 February 2021, 14:07

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  • ID
  • Project
  • Status
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  • Type
    General Research Work
  • Assigned to
    Carolin Bellstedt
  • Subscribers
    Aristide Athanassiadis
    Carolin Bellstedt
    Paul Hoekman

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We need material tags for the sector materials of CL. Ideally, they match with a material catalogue that we already use, like the Energy, materials and products (EMP) one. For this, it needs to be looked up if/how they can be integrated. A new column should be made in the CL materials list.

Discussion and updates

New task was created

Task was assigned to Carolin Bellstedt

Status change: Open → In Progress

Alright, so I've tried to find matches. I marked in the spreadsheet in red what doesn't work so well.
Construction - 11 materials

  • For 2 materials I couldn't find an EMP match
  • For 3 of them I'm not so sure.

Biomass - 12 materials

  • Worked much better and I only couldn't find a match for 1, horticulture
  • there is another one that I'm unsure about. Aris would know, because he did the 80% calculation and knows which materials those were.

Great! Feedback:

Construction materials

Let's just make new entries for those that don't match nicely, I think that will just be very useful for the construction material category anyways.


We were chatting about horticulture. This is now "Garden and park materials". However, does this specifically refer to the waste materials? If so, then I suggest adding a new category in EMP7.5 (maybe as a sub of organic waste?)

I can make those product entries, but am unsure as to where exactly. Should they simply all go into EMP6 - Products OR closest to the category that they belong in, e.g. concrete in non metallic minerals or under "Products mainly from non metallic minerals (EMP3.B)"?

Yeah, this is one of the trickier materials, because the flow is so hard to grasp and would we want to assess the stock even? But, actually all of the materials have to be seen as their original materials and then as their respective wastes. That means, in my opinion, we would need two corresponding entries each, the material and the waste one, since there is no status / quality / condition of the materials defined that would tell us which state they are in - as you know, it it is still the same material, just "discarded" or seen as waste by the person "throwing it out".


What about we rename EMP8 to "Buildings and construction materials" and then put them in there....? I feel that they should all be together otherwise it gets so tricky to find them as a user.


But what would the original material then be? Trees / grasses / plants / birds / rodents / lizards / etc... ? Seems quite tricky because now we are going to index the natural environment...?

We could. I have a totally different alternative as a suggestion too though: Now that the cities build the flow diagrams with NACE codes, and we actually have the relationship table of NACE Rev2-CPA 2.1 (and on STAF we already have CPA 2.1 too, we could use CPA codes for materials and EWC, European Waste Catalogue, for wastes (we also have the relationship table of NACE-EWC).
For example, concrete already has a very nice CPA code ( No need to reinvent the nesting etc. Could we also or instead use CPA material codes as material tags?

The same as for construction (CPA, EWC) could also be done here.
Yes, the original materials are trees, grasses etc. I surely don't want to index all of the natural environment. But using a different example, vegetables, it becomes clear that there will be data on vegetables (production) and on vegetables as waste. How would you tag each?


Yes, I think we can do this. We can also use the CPA catalog. EWC, can you send that through to review?


In an ideal setup we do away with WASTE as a material grouping. It should not exist at all. In fact it should simply be a phase in the lifecycle of material/product use. However, the vast majority of the waste data (at least that I have been interacting with) has data on the original material. Municipal waste, construction waste, organic waste... it's just a very broad grouping at best which cannot be linked directly to a specific material. So, for that reason I think we must (also) retain a few of those waste categories. Not because it's the best setup, but because it's the best solution to data availability. In some very specific cases (e.g. vegetable production) where you have specific details on the product that goes to waste, then I would say simply stick to the same material group. However, I don't think that realistically applies to "garden and park biomass waste", because there is no sensible value chain linked to these materials - their only interaction as a material that is part of our socio-economic system is primarily as waste. At best we could have a tree stock in a city, and these trees could potentially be marked as such when they become waste (or re-used), but I think that is the only one. Leaves, bushes, plants, dead animals, etc etc don't seem a sensible division in the "lifecycle" of "garden and park biomass waste".

I'm happy convinced otherwise, so do let me know if you have other thoughts.

Yep. See here.

Totally agree with the sentiment of doing away with waste "as a material"!! But I've also learned today that the EU defines 839 waste types in the LoW (List of Waste) and countries actually report on those (before they are bundled into higher groups for statistics). In principle the data is there, at least on national level. (In the very special case of geofluxus, they have this beautiful dataset from ALL the Dutch companies, reporting with those codes to their national government.)
Garden and park waste is clearly an outlier to our value chain thinking.

The question is still: Do we tag "wastes" with those high groupings or with a specific waste code? From the EA we do know the related and appropriate EWC or LoW codes after all. But is it practical or user-friendly for cities to tag those? I also don't know.

Update: I've added the 3 materials (bricks, concrete, insulation) as new EMP products (EMP8.4-6) into the renamed Buildings and construction materials section. They just don't show up yet. Maybe attached to a server update?

We now have EMP codes for all 11+12 CL materials. Related wastes will be tagged with the respective material + the generic waste EMP code of EMP7.5.4 CDW or EMP7.5.3 Organic Waste.

Marking this as completed for now then, since the original task was fulfilled.

Status change: In Progress → Completed

OK great you got this sorted! NOTE: this should appear instantly, but I saw that the system didn't record the parent category properly. Not sure why -- this whole STAF section was set up with little attention and structure in mind so that's likely why ;-) I'll sit down one day properly for that. For now, I've manually moved things and you should now see them.

Hahaha, that does explain it ;) Thanks for moving things, I can see them now.