The Happy Planet Index
The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is an index of human well-being and environmental impact that was introduced by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) in 2006. The index is designed to challenge well-established indices of countries’ development, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI), which do not take sustainability into account.
The HPI is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives. It doesn’t reveal the ‘happiest’ country in the world, rather it shows the relative efficiency with which nations convert the planet’s natural resources into long and happy lives for their citizens. Nations that score well show that achieving, long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources is possible.
The Index also shows that there are different routes to achieving comparable levels of well-being. High levels of resource consumption do not necessarily produce high levels of well-being, and that it is possible to produce high well-being without excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources. The second compilation of the global HPI, published in July 2009, shows that we are still far from achieving sustainable well-being and puts forward a vision of what we need to do to get there. The best scoring country in 2009 was Costa Rica, followed by the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, with Tanzania, Botswana and Zimbabwe featuring at the bottom of the list.
Come on a journey around the world to where our green economy hubs are mapping out the transition.