The Recoupling Dashboard: Environmental Sustainability

The Recoupling Dashboard presents two indexes of wellbeing – agency and solidarity – to be considered alongside the standard indexes of material prosperity and environmental sustainability. The influence of the latter is discussed in more detail on this page. 

Since solidarity, agency, GDP per capita and environmental performance represent different value-driven purposes and different sources of human wellbeing, the combination of these indexes provides a broader overview of the quality of life than do indexes of economic prosperity and environmental sustainability alone. 

Economy and society are embedded in the natural environment

Viewed as a whole, environmental sustainability is important because it permits the continued pursuit and satisfaction of individual and social goals. Many of the prominent challenges of the 21st century, including environmental issues such as climate change and environmental degradation, arise from a decoupling of economic prosperity (measured in terms of GDP) from social prosperity (in terms of people’s wellbeing in their communities). Also environmental constraints influence the amount of goods and services that can be produced and consumed, thus protecting sources of raw materials necessary for satisfying human needs.

Environmental Performance Index

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks countries on 24 performance indicators across ten issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality. Source: Wendling et al. (2018)

Because the EPI is released biennially in even-numbered years, the reported EPI score in the baseline year (2007) is taken from the EPI report 2008. The score for 2018 is replaced with the EPI score from 2016. 

Please note: Due to innovations in the methodology and data of the Environmental Performance Index, no time series and country comparisons are presented here. More information about the EPI can be found on the Environmental Performance Index website

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