Applying SDGs – Determining Socio-Economic Indicators for Victoria’s Environment

by Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Victoria



‘Applying the SDGs to State of the Environment reporting – Determining Socio-Economic Indicators for Victoria’s Environment’.

Project implemented: 27 February 2018

Project goal

To determine socio-economic indicators for SoE reporting and align Victorian environmental reporting to the SDGs framework.

delivering on

why is this project important?

Applying SDG targets to environmental reporting is crucial for delivering meaningful reports that influence decision makers and ecologically sustainable development.

Key steps to make it happen

1Mapping to SDG targets

SoE indicators mapped against SDG targets. Of 169 targets, 21 are already in SoE reporting and 119 are out of scope.

2Determine new SDG targets

29 socio-economic targets required further investigation for data availability and prioritisation by environmental leaders.

3SDGs workshop

Real-time voting by 100 cross sector leaders prioritised 29 socio-economic SDG targets with potential for SoE reporting.


Workshop data and method described in a paper for ICSD in NYC, Sept 2018. Results included in 2018 Victorian SoE report.

The five most popular of the 29 targets determined through polling were:

Target 2.4: Ensure sustainable food production systems that increase productivity and maintain ecosystems, strengthen capacity to adapt to environmental shocks, and improve land and soil quality

Target 6.4: Increase water-use efficiency across all sectors

Target 12.2: Achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

Target 8.4: Improve efficiency in the consumption and production of resources and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation

Target 15.9: Integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into state and local planning, developmental processes, and accounts

The Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Victoria has been collaborating with the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) to develop a set of socio-economic indicators for the 2018 Victorian State of the Environment (SoE) report based on the SDG targets. The project, underway since 2017, has focused on narrowing the list of SDG targets to those that are relevant for the 2018 SoE report. An iterative method was developed, concluding with an interactive workshop in February 2018 to introduce key leaders across government, business and NGOs to these targets. Real-time online polling (using was used by all delegates to rank 29 SDG targets according to their subjective assessment of priority. 

The aim of the process is to determine/prioritise the socio-economic indicators for SoE reporting in Victoria. The methodology being developed is a first for Australia and the findings will be published and presented by the Commissioner at the International Conference for Sustainable Development in New York in September 2018.

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