Almost 1 billion less to environmental protection measures


In 2015, as in 2014, there was a decline in the environmental protection expenditures in manufacturing, mining and quarrying. Total expenditures were NOK 8 billion in 2015. The main cause for the decline is lower current expenditures, while investments in environmental protection on the other hand had an increase of 16 per cent.

Of the total expenditures in 2015 for environmental protection, 73 per cent was current expenditures while the remaining 27 per cent was end of pipe investments and investments in integrated technologies. The figures cover manufacturing, mining and oil and gas extraction industries

Figure 1

Figure 1. Total environmental expenditures divided in current expenditures and investments

Increase in total investments, but decrease in current expenditures

The decrease in total environmental expenditures in manufacturing, mining and oil and gas extraction in 2015 is due to a reduction in current expenditures by NOK 1.2 billion compared to 2014. Reported current expenditures totalled NOK 5.9 billion in 2015. 

Although total environmental expenditures decreased, the investments for environmental protection were slightly higher in 2015. Investments for environmental protection amounted in 2015 to NOK 2.2 billion, a NOK 300 million increase compared to the previous year.

Figure 2

Figure 2. Environmental expenditures divided in current expenditures, investments and industries

Significant decline in current expenditures for environmental protection in oil and gas extraction

The significant drop in current expenditures for environmental purposes in the oil and gas extraction industries in 2015 is pushing the overall total expenditures down.

In 2015, the current expenditures for environmental protection expenditures were close to NOK 1.6 billion, which is a NOK 900 million decline from 2014. 

However, the investments in environmental protection were NOK 365 million higher in 2015 compared to 2014, and totalled NOK 1.7 billion. The increase is mainly due to higher investments in integrated technologies.

Figure 3

Figure 3. Environmental expenditures in mining, quarrying and manufacturing industries by environmental domain

Small decline in environmental expenditures in manufacturing and mining

There was a small decline in 2015 in both current expenditures and investments for environmental protection expenditures in manufacturing and mining. In 2015, current expenditures for environmental purposes amounted to NOK 4.3 billion, while investments amounted to NOK 550 million. This is a reduction by NOK 270 million and NOK 60 million respectively compared to 2014. 

Of the manufacturing industries, the industries producing basic metals had the highest environmental protection expenditures in 2015, with total expenditures of nearly NOK 1.8 billion. Of this, investments for the environment were NOK 200 million. 

The industries in oil refining, chemical and pharmaceutical industries contributed the most to the overall decline in environmental protection expenditures in 2015. The NOK 200 million decline in 2015 was mainly due to a reduction in current expenditures for environmental protection. 

Expenditures to waste and wastewater dominate

Total environmental protection expenditures are systematised according to different environmental protection domains. Expenditures for these different environmental protection domains might vary substantially from year to year. However, expenditures to waste and wastewater are by far the dominant protection activity every year. In 2015, 73 per cent of total expenditures were allocated to waste and wastewater activities, while 13 per cent of the expenditures went to activities aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and other emissions to air. 

Break in time series for manufacturing and mining between 2012 and 2013

The survey on environmental protection expenditures includes oil and gas extraction as well as manufacturing industries and mining. Until 2012, the questionnaire for manufacturing industries and mining was answered by a sample of enterprises, drawn partly by chance and partly on the basis of employment, turnover, etc. The survey now only includes environmental expenditures in enterprises that are required by law to carry out and/or are obliged to report on specific environmental measures. The submitted questionnaires are not changed. 

For all environmental domains, with the exception of waste and wastewater, this survey with questionnaires forms the basis of the total environmental protection expenditures in the manufacturing industries and mining. For waste and wastewater there is also an extra calculation of expenditures for waste and wastewater for manufacturing industries and mining not included in the survey (i.e. enterprises that are not required by law to carry out and/or obliged to report on specific environmental measures). 

There is no break in the time series for oil and gas extraction the expenditures for environmental protection purposes between 2012 and 2013.

Research and development in environmental protection

The statistics for environmental expenditure also includes research and development (R&D) The methods for estimating the expenditures for R&D in environmental protection is being revised from 2015. This work is not finalized for the manufacturing industries, and figures for 2015 therefore do not include expenditures for R&D in these industries. 

Expenditures for R&D to environment purposes are included in the figures (in the category “others”) for previous years for the manufacturing industries and for all years for the oil and gas extraction industries.