The United Nations (Brundtland report) has defined sustainability through the principle of equality between the generations "sustainable development is the “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Estonian people are the developers of Estonian society, economy and culture. In Estonia the principles of sustainability, the desired state by the year 2030 and the methods for achieving it have been agreed upon in the national sustainable development strategy Sustainable Estonia 21 passed by Riigikogu in 2005. Sustainable Estonia 21 is based on the Estonian Act on Sustainable Development passed by Riigikogu in 1995.
The strategy Sustainable Estonia 21 provides four interrelated development goals: achievement of growth of welfare of the population and increase in social cohesion to ensure viability of Estonian cultural space and ecological balance. It is important that progress towards these four goals is equally focused on because too quick progress in one of the areas cannot compensate for the development gap in anotherIn order to be able to measure progress in achieving the above named goals Riigikantselei (State Chancellery) in cooperation with ministries and non-governmental organizations has selected indicators for analysing the development trends significant for Estonia and describing the areas important for Estonia from the perspective of sustainability in the following fields: viability of Estonian cultural space, welfare, social cohesion and ecological balance. On the basis of these indicators the publications “Säästva arengu näitajad. Indicators of Sustainable Development” 2009 and a new publication 2011 have been issued both on paper and in electronic form.
In 2002 and 2006 Statistics Estonia issued the publications “Säästva arengu näitajad. Indicators of Sustainable Development” based on the list of sustainable development indicators compiled by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and Eurostat, and connected with the chapters of Agenda 21.
The Dashboard of Sustainability takes one step further displaying the core set of sustainability indicators for European countries. The Dashboard of Sustainability aims at making the information more easily comprehensible by using the traffic light logic: red – bad, yellow – average, green – good.
When analysing the information of the Dashboard it must be kept in mind that all indicators are of equal value.
The Dashboard software has been developed by the European Commission Joint Research Centre and Consultative Group on Sustainable Development Indicators. Estonian Dashboard can be downloaded from here. More detailed information and links to various dashboards available at the Dashboard website of the European Commission Joint Research Centre.
The software of the Dashboard is free. We hope that the indicators are of assistance in analysing sustainability of Estonia.