Our goal is to demonstrate that the nonmateriality of service activities is a myth and that energy consumptions in the services sector are significantly underestimated. ?In the first section, we examine the myth of the nonmateriality of service activities by turning to the economics literature. In the second section, we identify the full range of sources of materiality in service activities, and therefore of energy consumption. We distinguish between, on the one hand, three direct sources of materiality and energy consumption (operations, conditioning, and travel) and, on the other hand, an indirect source of materiality associated with the manufacturing process of material systems mobilized during the provision of services. The latter, described as “embodied energy,” is invisible and does not appear in the energy statistics of the services sector. In the third section, we try to estimate this “embodied energy” by using an input-output method.
- Embodied Energy