China Sustainable Development Indicator System (CSDIS)
DESCRIPTION: Although the concept of sustainable development has been widely accepted in China, the use of sustainability metrics is still in an early stage. Due to the lack of clear definition of the number and applicability of the metrics that should be used, Chinese corporations and governments have a great deal of flexibility in randomly choosing indicators, which impedes meaningful comparison on sustainability performance and makes it harder to provide standardized policy directives. In order to effectively evaluate the balancing development of China’s economy, society and environment, this study integrates various statistical methodologies to design a robust new sustainability metrics framework and indicator set that covers the economic, environmental, social and institutional aspects of sustainability for Chinese cities. / Our first stage of work resulted in a publication of a joint white paper which was released during CCIEE’s 4th Global Think Tank Summit in June 2015, and we officially launched the first annual ranking in Beijing in December 2017 and at Columbia University in January 2018. / Our joint work will complement decision-making in sustainability policy and our broader research on sustainability metrics. It will also promote healthy and sustainable development of the Chinese economy, provide a unique example and model for other countries, and improve mutual understanding among different countries on sustainable development. Our first stage of work has resulted in a publication of a joint white paper which was released during CCIEE’s 4th Global Think Tank Summit at the end of June 2015, and a press conference was held during the Summit on the collaborative project and its preliminary work.
OUTCOMES: The Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) have developed the China Sustainable Development Indicator System (CSDIS), a ranking system that compares the sustainability performance of Chinese cities and provinces. Utilizing an integrated approach, which categorizes indicators by subject area while also considering the causal relationship among the fields, we have designed a robust new sustainability metrics framework and two indicator sets that cover the economic, environmental, social and institutional aspects of sustainability for Chinese cities and provinces.
BLOG: Advancing Sustainable Development in China
Panel Event: Sustainability Measurement in China - Fostering a Race to the Top