So far, the elementary question of whether one country's or region's economy is moving towards sustainability or away from it cannot be answered with unanimous consensus on the 'measuring rod(s)' to be employed. The main assumption of this article is that sustainability assessment needs a set of multi-dimensional indicators. From this assumption a question arises: how could such indicators be aggregated? Often, some indicators improve while others deteriorate. For instance, when incomes grow, SO2 might go down while CO2 increases. It has to be noted that this is the classical conflictual situation studied in multi-criteria decision theory. The use of a multi-criterion framework for making operational the 'measuring of sustainability' is discussed here by means of illustrative examples and more formal arguments. © Springer 2005.
- Composite indicators
- Ranking procedures
- Social multi-criteria evaluation
- Sustainability benchmarking