Cal Poly Economics Professor Works with U.N. on Index for Green Economies

ZambranoCal Poly Economics Professor Eduardo Zambrano was among a team of international scholars working to develop an index the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) could use to monitor green economies.

Zambrano will return to Geneva, Switzerland, later this month to present a methodology to monitor progress toward meeting key environmental, economic and inclusiveness targets and keeping countries away from undesirable thresholds.

He will showcase the team’s methodology in action with environmental and economic data regarding natural resource productivity, access to basic services, pollution, ecosystem restoration, and wealth inequality. His team also built a dashboard of key indicators to track the sustainability of a country’s wellbeing.

The key to the measurement exercise is executing a comparison between the opportunities open to present and future generations, according to Zambrano.

“Economic growth isn’t always inclusive or sustainable; policies must therefore be implemented to ensure that the benefits are broadly shared within and across generations,” he said.

As the leading international organization for addressing environmental issues, UNEP is well positioned to play a critical role for developing green economy indicators and for working with key partner organizations to forge policy consensus and promote implementation. Zambrano was asked to join the UNEP initiative because of his work with the United Nations Development Programme, where he helped create the Gender Inequality Index and redesign the Human Development Index as a way to quantify some of the U.N.’s most pressing objectives.

Zambrano was also honored with the Orfalea College of Business Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award. He was nominated by his peers in the college for his ability to bring real-world scenarios into the classroom to engage and inspire his students.