Theindicators are those that assists in comprehending where exactly you are andwhich way you are heading & how far you have reached from where you want tobe.
Imitating the same notion with respect to environment gives us the realdefinition of sustainability indicators. Through indicators, we understandwhere our environment currently is, which way it is heading and how far ourenvironment is from where it is supposed to be. A strong and robust indicatorwarns you about the problem before it gets too severe to handle and assists youin understanding what needs to be performed in order to repair the problem. Theweak connection between the economy, environment, and society are indicated bythe indicators of sustainable development.
Sustainable development indicatorsmay include texts, maps, graphics and tabular data. A bunch of systematicallyselected indicators can be used, permitting a good coverage of the major issuesand ore transparency. With the use of same set of indicators over time,provision for monitoring of progress is enabled, given steady coverage from oneassessment phase to another. An effective indicator should be relevant andreliable, easy to understand, cost effective and usable. For example, the ISEW(index of sustainable economics-economic indicator), it basically deducts fromthe GDP corrections for damaging results of economic actions and adds to theGDP corrections for significant activities such as outstanding domestic labour.
ISEW also accounts for the reduction of resources by calculating the cost toreplace a barrel of oil equivalent with the similar amount of energy from arenewable source. Where as Indices are the measure of sustainability which offersadditional wide perspective on growth than economic aggregates such as GDP.Some of the common indices are HDI, EF, ESI, EPI and WEF. Taking HDI as anexample, Human Development Index (HDI) basically combines several indicators. Theseindicators include life expectancy, education and GDP (gross domesticproduct). Specifically, it covers life expectancy at birth, literacy ofthe adult population, enrolment in primary, secondary and higher education,gross domestic product per capita. Difference between indicators and indices isthat an index consists of multiple indicators merged into a compositeaggregated unit.
The selection of indicators for use in the index engages theuse of a series of criteria to safeguard that appropriate indicators areselected.