Friday, September 12, 2014

Sustainability Development Metrics: Indices, Approaches and Frameworks

Sustainability development metrics are aggregate measures that extend the concept of value beyond gross Domestic product (GDP). Commonly referred to as sustainability development indicators (SDI), these are measures of sustainability go beyond the generic concept.

Sustainability indicators, indices and reporting systems are of growing importance in both the public and private sectors. SDIs are seen as useful in a wide range of settings, by a wide range of actors this includes international and intergovernmental bodies; national governments and government departments; economic sectors; administrators of geographic or ecological regions; communities; nongovernmental organizations; and the private sector.

Here are some of the most prominent indices:

Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);

The Ecological footprint of Global Footprint Network

The Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI)

Environmental Performance Index (EPI) reported under the World Economic Forum (WEF)

Genuine Progress Index (GPI) calculated at the national or sub-national level.

The Global Reporting Initiative Index

The Energy, Emergy and Sustainability Index (SI)

Environmental Sustainability Index

The Lempert-Nguyen indicator

Here is a listing of different approaches:

The Natural Step approach

The Ecological footprint approach

The Anthropological-cultural approach

The Circles of Sustainability approach

World Business Council for Sustainable Development approach

The Life-cycle assessment approach

Sustainable enterprise approach

Sustainable livelihoods approach

Development sustainability" approaches

Here are some other sustainability metric frameworks:

The International Institute for Sustainable Development sample policy framework

The Sustainability dashboard

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) types of sustainability

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has identified considerations for technical cooperation that affect three types of sustainability:

Institutional sustainability.
Economic and financial sustainability.
Ecological sustainability.

Some ecologists have emphasized a fourth type of sustainability:

Energetic sustainability.

One ancillary measure that is gaining growing support is the green GDP that would factor the cost of pollution and natural capital depletion.

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