The breadth of information that is required for appraising the sustainable development performance of our institutions is far larger than an economic understanding of wealth is capable of capturing. This paper argues that health and not wealth provides a more appropriate goal and measurement framework for sustainable development. The argument considers current industrial practice in which the emphasis has shifted from micro‐economic to physical‐units measures of performance such as in mass‐balancing as well as in environmental management system standards. The ecological aspects of production units are considered as the source of significant information which is beyond the scope and capabilities of economics to represent. A description is then provided of a tool that is being developed to account for the sustainable development achievements of islands tourism enterprises in Greece, Italy and Scotland. The goal of this tool, as well as sustainable development itself, is to measure increases in health and not in wealth.
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