Economics Professor Collaborates with United Nations to Develop Measurement Standards for Green Economies


Professor Eduardo Zambrano presented his research findings to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) this past spring as part of an ongoing effort to build a composite measure of social, environmental and economic progress.

Zambrano worked with a team of UNEP researchers and international scholars to build a methodology for tracking progress in three key dimensions of a “green economy” — social inclusivity, environmental sustainability, and economic efficiency. For each dimension, the team identified targets to aspire to, thresholds to stay away from, and formulated a methodology to measure comparative progress towards those targets. Zambrano and the other team members traveled to UNEP meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, in April and June, to present the findings.

The project supports the organization’s mission to improve the comprehensive well-being of its member countries and monitor the sustainability of such well-being. Zambrano was selected for the team based on his past work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in which he assisted in the redesign of the Human Development Index and the design of the Gender Inequality Index.

As the leading international organization for addressing environmental issues, UNEP is well positioned to play a critical role in developing and supporting green economy progress indicators. Zambrano’s involvement with UNEP is ongoing, and the Green Economy Progress Index is set to be released by UNEP by the end of the year.

In addition to his excellent work abroad over the past year, Zambrano was also recognized by the Orfalea College of Business as the 2015 Distinguished Teacher of the Year.