Sweden publishes system of green indicators

Environment ministry proposes tracking consumption, emissions, society's "behaviour"

Sweden's environment advisory council yesterday presented a report to the government outlining 12 key green indicators together with criteria for tracking them for inclusion in the budget. The council proposed some of the indicators last year (ENDS Daily 26 October 1998) and the government has already incorporated several into its draft budget for 2000 (ENDS Daily 20 September). A member of the council secretariat told ENDS Daily that the objective was to produce an indicator set that measured the complex environmental dimension of sustainable development in the same way as the social or economic dimensions such as inflation or GDP. Maria Delvin said: "It aims to give the means to people who are not experts to see the ecological transition to sustainable development". The indicators are divided into three groups, covering consumption, emissions and the behaviour of specific groups in society towards the environment. Energy, chemicals and materials consumption are tracked using criteria such as electricity used for heating, volume of waste sent to landfill and imports and production of hazardous chemicals respectively. The second group looks at emissions including the greenhouse effect, acidification, eutrophication, urban air pollution (ENDS Daily 4 April), and a biodiversity index made up of measurements from forest, sea, lake and agricultural areas. Finally, the behaviour of society towards the environment is measured through transport methods, purchasing decisions and recycling of nutrients. Ways that companies and schools work is measured through use of the EMAS and ISO 14001 environmental management schemes.

Follow Up:
Swedish environment ministry, tel: +46 8 405 1000.

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