In Québec, according to the Sustainable Development Act , “sustainable development” means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development is based on a long-term approach which takes into account the inextricable nature of the environmental, social and economic dimensions of development activities.
Measuring the results of Québec’s sustainable development approach requires three levels of indicators: sustainable development indicators (level 1), indicators for monitoring the Government Sustainable Development Strategy (level 2), and indicators for monitoring the sustainable development actions of Québec departments and agencies (level 3). Each level is independent but may benefit from information taken from another level.
The Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) coordinates the elaboration of sustainable development indicators. In accordance with section 3.1 of the Act respecting the Institut de la statistique du Québec , the Institut collaborates with the MELCC and concerned departments and agencies by providing expert advice on statistics and sustainable development indicators. Finally, the Institut updates and disseminates the sustainable development indicators as well as certain indicators used to monitor the Government Sustainable Development Strategy.