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The iGrowGreen assessment framework

iGrowGreen is an analytical tool designed to assess how Member States' structural reforms can contribute to a competitive, greener economy. This tool is being developed in close cooperation with the Lisbon Methodology (LIME) Working Group, a sub-committee of the Economic Policy Committee (EPC) and applies the LIME assessment framework (LAF) methodology to the environmental aspects of Member States' macroeconomic and fiscal performance.

iGrowGreen is an indicator-based assessment framework tracking how structural reforms can contribute to a competitive, greener economy. iGrowGreen can be used in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

iGrowGreen in brief

  • currently developed by the European Commission, in cooperation with the LIME group;
  • systematically compares EU Member States' environmental performance with macroeconomic and fiscal implications across 4 green policy domains and 9 policy areas, taking account of performance in levels and changes for more than 70 indicators;
  • based on an extensive survey of the environmental economic literature, and
  • provides a consistent and transparent statistical examination of key indicators.

Scope of iGrowGreen

iGrowGreen contains quantitative scores  for the 27 Member States, together with the underlying data and computations. It covers four domains, each reflecting a key link from environmental performance to macroeconomic and fiscal considerations:

  1. Environmental tax reforms and fiscal consolidation
  2. Strengthening market functioning and competitiveness
  3. Boosting new sources of growth
  4. Climate change and biodiversity

This gives a mechanical indicator-based assessment of performance. It should be qualified by country-specific qualitative evidence from other sources (the second step in the iGrowGreen methodology).

Uses of iGrowGreen

  • identification of EU Member States' policy challenges that can help at least deliver the Europe 2020 climate and energy headline targets cost-efficiently, and whenever possible contribute to lifting bottlenecks to green growth;
  • cross-country comparative analysis of green structural reforms and their impact on Member States' macroeconomic and fiscal performance.


The usual caveats associated with aggregated environmental indicators apply. No information is provided on causality. Trade-offs may exist, especially in the short term, to improve performance in several areas or domains at the same time.

There are important data and theoretical limitations in several areas and domains, which underline the need for caution when interpreting the results.

Even if iGrowGreen has a broad coverage and captures most green aspects of sustainable growth, it does not address some areas or domains which could have macroeconomic and fiscal implications. This holds for instance true for areas focusing on the distributional aspects of green growth policies or for infrastructure policies with an EU-wide application.

It does not replace the need for developing other quantitative analytical tools, from Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models to green growth accounting methods.

It does not give a comprehensive synthetic measure of sustainability “beyond GDP”.

Information available - Last update: October 2011

iGrowGreen covers the 27 EU Member States since 2000.
It records about 70 indicators.

>> List of indicators 

Web-based application

>> Access the iGrowGreen online databaseUser guide

User guide

The user guide gives a short description of iGrowGreen’s indicators, policy areas and domains, and presents the methodology used to determine the scores. This does not preempt the need for further discussions with the LIME group on the interpretation of the results.

>> User manualpdf(850 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

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