What do you answer if someone asks you: ‘How sustainable is your country?’
To address this frequently asked question, one needs a simple and transparent tool, showing at a glance the level of sustainability of a country. Therefore, we have developed a new set of indicators, the Sustainable Society Index – SSI.
The SSI integrates Human Wellbeing and Environmental Wellbeing. That is the proper way to look at development to a sustainable world. Human and Environmental Wellbeing are the goals we are aiming at. Human Wellbeing without Environmental Wellbeing is a dead end, Environmental Wellbeing without Human Wellbeing makes no sense, at least not for human beings. Economic Wellbeing is not a goal in itself. It is integrated as a condition to achieve Human and Environmental Wellbeing. It can be considered as a safeguard to wellbeing.
The SSI is based on the well-known Brundtland definition, to which we added a third sentence to make explicitly clear that both Human Wellbeing and Environmental Wellbeing are included. It runs as follows:
a sustainable society is a society
- that meets the needs of the present generation,
- that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,
- in which each human being has the opportunity to develop itself in freedom, within a well-balanced society and in harmony with its surroundings.
The SSI has been published for the first time in 2006 and is updated every two years.
Now the fifth edition, SSI-2014 is available.
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