||The aim of this project to establish historical accounts of material and energy flows for France, Austria, the United States and the United Kingdom. This will involve bringing together information for the period 1850 to the present day. These datasets will be used to assess society?s metabolism by applying state of the art material and energy flow accounting methods (Ayres et al, 1998, Fischer-Kowalski 1997). We will further concentrate on defining a methodology based on the use of exergy as a measure of both energy and mass. We shall seek methods that foster comparability of the different materials and countries over time. The guiding principles of the methodological work will be feasibility, theoretical validity and policy relevance required for historical application of MEFA. Our work shall provide the basis for the integration of energy and mass into a comprehensive analysis of the social systems and their interrelationships with the biophysical environment.