Environmental Sustainability

  • Katharina M. K. Stepping
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 75)


Environmental sustainability is key to allow for human development without compromising natural resources. Environmental indicators provide crucial information about the state of the environment in quantitative terms and capture its physical, biological and chemical characteristics. Yet, the state of the environment is difficult to compare across countries because of highly diverse local conditions. Composite measures attempt to summarize the multifaceted state of the environment and to make it comparable across countries. They can include related societal aspects. In this chapter, we review the few existing indices for measuring environmental sustainability in Europe and beyond: Environmental Performance Index, Sustainable Society Index, Environmental Vulnerability Index, Ecosystem Well-being Index, and Environment and Gender Index. For every index, different sections offer basic information about its conceptual and empirical framework, its process of construction and metrics together with the most recent available data.


Composite indicators Social quality Environmental quality Environmental performance Natural resources Human development 

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina M. K. Stepping
    • 1
  1. 1.German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)BonnGermany

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