Measuring progress, true wealth, and well-being
The Thriving Places Index was developed by Happy City, a UK based charity with the mission of “making what matters count”, in cooperation with the New Economics Foundation and with support from Triodos Bank. The index, building on the Happy City Index, aims at providing local decision-makers in England with information on the factors that determine wellbeing, based on a participatory approach. The report shows the results of the first national pilot of this tool, reporting on how areas across England are performing in the development of the multi-dimensional conditions necessary for an equitable and sustainable wellbeing. The index comprises 48 indicators representing the factors which determine people’s wellbeing. The indicators are grouped into three headline elements: sustainability, local conditions, and equality. A key finding of the report is that you are more likely to find good quality education and employment in urban areas, whilst rural areas benefit from stronger communities and better health.
The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future is part of the World Bank’s effort to measure national wealth and changes in wealth, building on two previous books: Where is the Wealth of Nations? Measuring Capital for the 21st century (2006) and The Changing Wealth of Nations: Measuring Sustainable Development in the new Millennium (2011). In the book, wealth is reported for 141 countries between 1995 and 2014 as the sum of produced capital and urban land, natural capital, human capital, and net foreign assets. From the previous editions, progress had been made in the measurement of wealth including substantial improvements in estimates of natural capital and the use for the first time of household surveys to measure human capital. In this way, the analysis goes beyond the standard measures of economic performance, such as GDP and GNI. Data show that while global wealth has increased by 66% in the recorded period, per capital wealth has not and inequality in overall wealth still persists.
The European Commission has adopted the EU monitoring framework for the circular economy (presented jointly with other initiatives on circular economy, including the Europe-wide strategy on plastics). The framework, based on the Circular Economy Action Plan, aims to measure progress and to assess the effectiveness of action towards the circular economy in the EU and Member States. It includes ten indicators covering the four areas of circular economy: production & consumption, waste management, secondary raw materials, and competitiveness & innovation. The indicators build on existing Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials Scoreboards Indicators show that waste recycling is overall increasing in the EU, however the recycled materials only meet roughly 10% of EU demand for materials despite gradual improvement since 2014.
Statistics Netherlands, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) have jointly published the report “The circular economy: starting progress measurement in the Netherlands”. In the context of the government programme “A Circular Economy in the Netherlands by 2050”, the report provides a draft monitoring system to measure progress on the transition of the Netherlands towards a circular economy., with the aim of identifying successes and failures in the transition, from public authorities and other relevant sectors. Among the indicators included are greenhouse gas emissions, raw material consumption and waste processing. The system will be further developed in view of better tacking the transition process.