The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) welcomes recommendations made by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee urging the government to reconsider dropping the ‘environmental equality’ Sustainable Development Indicator (SDI).

In evidence submitted to the Committee, CIWEM voiced concerns over the removal of the previous indicator number 60: environmental equality, which CIWEM believes to be a fundamental social element of sustainable development. The Committee supported this recommendation in the report ‘Measuring well-being and sustainable development: Sustainable Development Indicators,’ published 29 November 2012.

Environmental equality measures populations living in areas with, in relative terms, the least favourable environmental conditions. CIWEM argued that the removal of this indicator is short sighted and undermines the social element of sustainable development fundamentally.

CIWEM Executive Director Nick Reeves, OBE said: “Environmental equality is fundamental to sustainable development and resilient communities. Communities, especially those most deprived, need basic environmental qualities around them. We integrate, grow and thrive through connecting to nature, sometimes through the presence of the tiniest green space nearby. With this mind, CIWEM applauds the Environmental Audit Committee’s recommendation to retain this vital indicator. We hope the government understand the significance of environmental equality to sustainable development, and takes these recommendations on board.”

  1. The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is an independent professional body and a registered charity, advancing the science and practice of water and environmental management for a clean, green and sustainable world

  2. CIWEM evidence submitted to the Environmental Audit Committee in October 2012 can be found at:

  3. Environmental Audit Committee Report ‘Measuring well-being and sustainable development: Sustainable Development Indicators’ can be found at:

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