On Friday 16th of July, Sergio Sastre (ENT) defended his PhD thesis in Environmental Sciences and Technology which was defended at ICTA (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona). The thesis, titled “Resources extraction, trade and waste management: a regional approach to the Spanish socioeconomic metabolism” and supervised by Óscar Carpintero and Jordi Roca was awarded with a cum laude qualification. The Doctoral Thesis Tribunal was formed by Manuel González de Molina, Iñaki Arto and Jesús Ramos-Martín.

The topics addressed in this thesis are economy wide material flows accounting applied and municipal waste management at the Autonomous Community level in Spain. Within the 5 chapters forming the main text, the author successfully calculates and analyses both the main EW-MFA indicators (resource extraction, biophysical trade and resource consumption) for each of the 17 Autonomous Communities of Spain. Furthermore, the performance of the Spanish regions related to the EU municipal waste recycling targets is also assessed.

In word of the Tribunal, “the thesis is an innovative work that sheds light on the inner biophysical functioning of a State”, showing the significant differences of the regional metabolic patterns and the weight of trade between regions of a country, which is confirmed as a major mechanism of environmental burden shifting.