Title: Sustainable Society Index (SSI): Taking societies' pulse along social, environmental and economic issues. The Joint Research Centre audit on the SSI
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC76108
ISBN: 978-92-79-27203-5
ISSN: 1831-9424
Other Identifiers: EUR 25578 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC76108
DOI: 10.2788/6330
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The JRC analysis on the Sustainable Society Index (SSI), conducted upon request of the SSI developers, was based on an in-house quality control process that aims to ensure the transparency of the SSI methodology and the reliability of the results. In this way, the development of the SSI-2012 moved from a one-way design process to an iterative process with the JRC with a view to arrive at a balanced index, where no indicator dominates the results and no indicator is only cosmetic to the framework. Key results on the world landscape of societies’ achievements confirmed the inverted shaped relationship between economic and environmental wellbeing (known as Environmental Kuznets Curve). The Environmental Wellbeing had a strong and negative correlation to the Human Wellbeing and to the Economic Wellbeing. It appeared, thereafter, that the Human and Economic Wellbeing go hand-in-hand in several countries, but often at the expense of the Environmental Wellbeing. Fortunately, this was not the case for all countries. This report discusses how the SSI appears to be a comprehensive and quantitative method to measure and monitor the health of coupled human-environmental systems at national level worldwide by going beyond a purely protectionist approach that would aim to maintain natural systems with minimal human impact. Undoubtedly, the SSI is not the only way to monitor sustainability. But it is a conceptually and statistically sound tool that is widely applicable for ongoing assessment of the human-environmental systems and a key benchmark against which to compare future progress and inform comprehensive societal policies. As with any indicator, the SSI assesses rather than models current and future conditions, and so it cannot predict the future. However, it can be used to simulate the consequences of a range of potential actions, providing a powerful tool to inform decisions about how to achieve human and economic growth without compromising the environmental wellbeing.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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