Though mainstream economic measures such as GDP are useful measures with great influence on both public and private decisions, they are flawed as measures of human welfare. In addition, they give little information as to whether the market is helping Europe make progress on its environmental goals and its commitment to sustainable development. There is a critical need in Europe for indicators and measurement systems that - working in conjunction with mainstream economic indicators - provide a useful measure of progress toward economic success, human well-being, environmental protection and long-term sustainability. There is now growing interest and momentum on the part of policy makers and researchers in developing these complementary headline indicators to better assess progress. The IN-STREAM project undertook the qualitative and quantitative assessments necessary for linking mainstream economic indicators with key well-being and sustainability indicators, providing needed insight into the synergies and trade-offs implicit in Europe’s simultaneous pursuit of economic growth and environmental sustainability. Based on qualitative and quantitative analyses, recommendations for new indicator approaches were proposed. Recommended indicators (and set of indicators) were those that perform best in terms of their robustness, feasibility and suitability to EU policy objectives. Strategies for implementing these approaches were identified and developed in consultation with stakeholders.

The website of the IN-STREAM Project:

Project duration

01.10.2008 - 30.09.2011


Europäische Kommission, 7. Rahmenprogramm, Brüssel, BE

Cooperation partner

Ecologic Institut, Berlin, DE
Universität Bath, Bath, UK
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Mailand, IT
Charles University, Prague, CZ
Institute for European Environmental Policy, London, GB
Institut für Energiewirtschaft und Rationelle Energieanwendung (IER), Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, DE
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, AT