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Sustainable development indicators

What is sustainability?

The main idea of sustainability is "to cut only as many trees as can be regrown". Sustainable development is an economically efficient, socially balanced and ecologically sound development.

The probably most widely-known concept of sustainabledevelopment which is also the guiding political principle at the international level was defined in the Brundtland Commission's 1987 Report: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

German Sustainable Development Strategy and related indicators

This photo shows the pictogram of the German Sustainability Strategy (© Bundesregierung)

In January 2017, the Federal Cabinet adopted a new version of the German Sustainable Development Strategy. This revised version which was created in the light of the United Nations 2030 Agenda represents the strategy's most comprehensive development since its conception in 2002. The Federal Statistical Office has been entrusted by the Federal Government with the analysis and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Strategy indicators. It is responsible for the compilation of indicators to measure goal achievement in the various thematic areas and publishing so-called Indicator Reports every two years to reflect indicator progress.


Indicators of the German Sustainable Development Strategy


Sustainable development strategies and indicators of the Länder (only in German)

UN Sustainable Development Goals and related indicators

This photo shows the pictogram sustainability indicators of the UN (© United Nations Department of Public Informations)

The UN General Assembly adopted the 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Agenda aim at a substantial improvement of the living conditions of all people now and in future generations and the protection of the planet Earth. To measure SDG acchievement, an international working group includingthe Federal Statistical Office developed a list of 232 global indicators to be filled with national data.


UN Sustainable Development Goals and indicators

Sustainable development indicators at the European level

This photo shows the European Stars and Stripes

To monitor sustainable development in the European Union, an EU SDG indicator set was developed under the leadership of Eurostat 2017. This set of 100 indicators structured along the 17 goals of the UN 2030 Agenda is intended to measure progress towards SDG achievement at the European level.


Indicators of sustainable development in Europe

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