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Skeletons out of the closet: effectiveness of conceptual frameworks for communicating sustainable development indicators

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  • Jari Lyytimäki

    (Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, Finland)

  • Ulla Rosenström

    (Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, Finland)

Abstract

Finland is one of the forerunners in sustainable development reporting, with abundant long term statistics on environmental, social and economic issues. In this article, we introduce the Finnish experience on producing and disseminating sustainable development indicators. We describe four indicator initiatives prepared and published during the last decade and discuss the role of different conceptual frameworks for preparing and presenting the indicators. The requirements for a good conceptual framework are reviewed and the effectiveness of different frameworks for different purposes is discussed based on the cases presented. We conclude by stressing the importance of paying more attention to indicator set frameworks instead of individual indicators and using specifically tailored frameworks for specific uses. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Jari Lyytimäki & Ulla Rosenström, 2008. "Skeletons out of the closet: effectiveness of conceptual frameworks for communicating sustainable development indicators," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 301-313.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:16:y:2008:i:5:p:301-313
    DOI: 10.1002/sd.330
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keith Pezzoli, 1997. "Sustainable Development: A Transdisciplinary Overview of the Literature," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(5), pages 549-574.
    2. Joachim H. Spangenberg, 2004. "Reconciling sustainability and growth: criteria, indicators, policies," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 74-86.
    3. Bill Hopwood & Mary Mellor & Geoff O'Brien, 2005. "Sustainable development: mapping different approaches," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 38-52.
    4. Ali Bagheri & Peder Hjorth, 2007. "Planning for sustainable development: a paradigm shift towards a process-based approach," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 83-96.
    5. Simon Bell & Stephen Morse, 2007. "Story telling in sustainable development projects," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 97-110.
    6. Musters, C. J. M. & de Graaf, H. J. & ter Keurs, W. J., 1998. "Defining socio-environmental systems for sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 243-258, September.
    7. Patrick McAlpine & Andrew Birnie, 2006. "Establishing sustainability indicators as an evolving process: experience from the island of Guernsey," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 81-92.
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