Sustainability and the SSI

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 sixth edition, SSI-2016 is available.

Click on the following subjects for more information

Framework of the SSI
Calculation Methodology
All data
Interactive maps