Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic Canada
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Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic Canada Indice de progrès véritable - Atlantique The Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick 6th Workplace Wellness Conference Economics as if People Mattered. 1. As we enter the new millennium: How are we doing as Canadians?.

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Genuine progress index for atlantic canada indice de progr s v ritable atlantique the heart and stroke foundation of

Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic CanadaIndice de progrès véritable - AtlantiqueThe Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick6th Workplace Wellness ConferenceEconomics as if People Mattered

1 as we enter the new millennium how are we doing as canadians
1. As we enter the new millennium:How are we doing as Canadians?

  • Are we better off or worse off than our parents?

  • Are our communities safer and stronger?

  • Are we healthier and wiser?

  • Are our jobs and livelihoods more secure?

  • Are our air and water cleaner?

  • Are our natural resources healthier?

  • Are we leaving Canada a better place for our children?

What kind of world are we leaving to our children we have more stuff but
What kind of world are we leaving to our children?We have more “stuff”……BUT

  • The natural world -- some disturbing signs:

  • Less fish in the oceans

  • Fewer old forests

  • Depleted soils

  • Fewer species of animals and plants

  • Are we leaving our children a poorer natural world?

  • A dangerously warming world?

What kind of world are we leaving to our children
What kind of world are we leaving to our children?

  • … And some disturbing socio-economic signs:

  • A more insecure world -- less safe, more fearful

  • Declining job security and real incomes for many

  • Greater inequality and more child poverty

  • Higher rates of stress, obesity, childhood asthma

  • Voluntary activity declining

  • Is this progress……..?

Economics as if people didn t matter
Economics as if People Didn’t Matter

We currently measure how well off we are as a society by how fast the economy is growing.

The language of health: A growing economy is “robust” “healthy” “dynamic.”

If people spend less money, consumer confidence is “weak.”

If economy shrinks, we have a “depression”

Current measures of wellbeing based on gdp
Current Measures of Wellbeing Based on GDP:

  • Count crime, war, sickness, pollution, addiction and stress as contributions to economic growth and prosperity.

  • Count the depletion of our natural resources as gain. The more trees we cut down, the more fish we catch, the more fossil fuels we burn, the faster the economy will grow.

Current measures of wellbeing
Current Measures of Wellbeing

  • Ignore the value of voluntary work and unpaid household work.

  • Count longer work hours as contributions to economic growth and prosperity.

  • Ignore the value of free time.

  • Assign no value to health, security, wisdom, environmental quality or strong communities.

Current measures of wellbeing1
Current Measures of Wellbeing

  • Give no value to equity: The economy can grow even as inequality and poverty increase = 1990s

  • In sum: Make no distinction between economic activities that create benefit and those that cause harm: Misleading signals to policy makers

  • “More” is always “better” when GDP is used to measure wellbeing

This impacts workplace wellness
This impacts workplace wellness

  • Measuring success materialistically (income, possessions, “getting ahead”)/ working poor

  • Both lead to culture of long hours, dual earners, women’s double burden of paid + unpaid work

  • In turn leads to stress, loss of free time, less time with children, physical inactivity, obesity (StatCan), voluntary activity down 4% in N.B.

Total work hours couple with children canada 1900 and 2000
Total Work Hours, Couple with Children, Canada, 1900 and 2000

1900 2000

Male, paid work 58.5 42

Female, paid work -- 36.5

Male, unpaid work N.A. 22.4

Female, unpaid work 56 33.6

Total work hours 114.5 134.5

Indicators are powerful
Indicators are Powerful 2000

  • What we measure:

    - reflects what we value as a society;

    - determines what makes it onto the policy agenda.

  • E.g.: Family-friendly work arrangements (cf Scandinavia)

  • E.g.: Voluntary work decline

  • Analogy of student assignments

All that is economics as if people didn t matter robert kennedy
All that is economics as if people didn't matter. Robert Kennedy:

“Too much and too long, we have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things....The (GDP) counts air pollution and cigarette advertising and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

There is a better way
There is a better way! Kennedy:

Four hundred leading economists, including Nobel Laureates, said:

“Since the GDP measures only the quantity of market activity without accounting for the social and ecological costs involved, it is both inadequate and misleading as a measure of true prosperity....New indicators of progress are urgently needed to guide our society....The Genuine Progress Index (GPI) is an important step in this direction.”

Economics as if people mattered

  • GPI Atlantic founded 1997 to address that need: independent non-profit.

  • Mandate: Create better measures of progress

  • Nova Scotia pilot project for Canada, working closely with Statistics Canada

  • Can provide more accurate and comprehensive measures of workplace wellness

Measuring genuine progress
Measuring Genuine Progress Kennedy:

In the Genuine Progress Index (GPI):

  • Natural resources are seen as capital assets subject to depreciation and requiring re-investment.

  • Crime, sickness, disasters and pollution clean up are counted as costs rather than contributions to well-being.

  • Voluntary work, unpaid household work, free time, health, educational attainment are valued.

Measuring genuine progress1
Measuring Genuine Progress Kennedy:

In the Genuine Progress Index (GPI):

  • Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, crime, poverty, ecological footprint are signs of genuine progress that make the index rise. Unlike measures based on GDP, "less" is sometimes "better" in the GPI.

  • Growing equity makes the GPI go up.

Nova scotia genuine progress index twenty two components natural capital
Nova Scotia Genuine Progress Index: Twenty-two Components Kennedy:Natural Capital:

  • Soils and Agriculture

  • Forests

  • Marine Environment/Fisheries

  • Water Resources / Water Quality

  • Nonrenewable Subsoil Assets

Nova scotia genuine progress index twenty two components environment
Nova Scotia Genuine Progress Index: Twenty-two Components Kennedy:Environment:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Sustainable Transportation

  • Ecological Footprint Analysis

  • Air Quality

  • Solid Waste

Nova scotia genuine progress index twenty two components time use
Nova Scotia Genuine Progress Index: Twenty-two Components Kennedy:Time Use:

  • Value of Civic and Voluntary Work

  • Value of Unpaid Housework & Childcare

  • Work Time and Underemployment

  • Value of Leisure Time

    = Vital issues for Workplace Wellness

Nova scotia genuine progress index twenty two components socioeconomic
Nova Scotia Genuine Progress Index: Twenty-two Components Kennedy:Socioeconomic:

  • Income Distribution

  • Debt, External Borrowing and Capital Movements

  • Valuations of Durability

  • Composite Livelihood Security Index

Nova scotia genuine progress index twenty two components social capital
Nova Scotia Genuine Progress Index: Twenty-two Components Kennedy:Social Capital:

  • Health and Wellness (5 reports)

  • Educational Attainment

  • Costs of Crime

  • Human Freedom Index

Work to date
Work to Date Kennedy:

  • 35 full reports: 13 of 22 components complete

  • Community GPI (two rural communities)

  • Beyond Nova Scotia

    • National Round Table, Health Canada

    • Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, BC

    • Replications (e.g. Cost of Obesity in N.B.)

  • Press and policy penetration

Partnerships Kennedy:

  • Statistics Canada, Environment Canada, National Crime Prevention Centre, Canadian Population Health Initiative, HRDC, many community groups

  • Dalhousie Univ. Population Health Research Unit

  • St. Mary’s University Time Use Research Program

  • Maritime Centre of Excellence for Womens Health

  • Cape Breton Wellness Centre, UCCB

Examples of gpi results for nb
Examples of GPI Results for NB: Kennedy:

Valuing Voluntary Work

  • New Brunswickers contribute 105 million hrs/yr

  • Equivalent of 55,000 full-time jobs

  • Services worth $1.4 billion / year, invisible in our conventional measures of progress

  • 1990s: voluntary work down 4% - time stress

Valuing equity gdp tells us how much income but not how income is shared
Valuing Equity: Kennedy:GDP tells us how much income, but not how income is shared:

Cost of obesity in new brunswick
Cost of Obesity in New Brunswick Kennedy:

  • Overweight rates up 2.5 times since 1985

  • 41% have BMI >27, highest in Canada (29%), compared to 16.5% (1985); youth rates double

  • = 750 preventable deaths/year = 3,000 PYLL

  • Health care direct cost = $96 million = 7.5%

  • Total economic cost = $200 million, 1.4%GDP Tobacco costs $290 million / year

Other risk factors in n b
Other Risk Factors in N.B. Kennedy:

  • 1/2 exercise regularly (3+ times per week); 27% never exercise or exercise < 1x / week

  • Average 3 hours 23 minutes TV / day

  • Eat out more; spend 28% less time preparing food than 1992

  • More than 25% = high levels chronic stress

Costs of second hand smoke in the workplace
Costs of Second-Hand Smoke in the Workplace Kennedy:

  • 30% of Nova Scotians smoke, the highest rate of any province in the country (CTUMS 2000).

  • 38% of 20-44 year olds smoke.

  • 42% of children under 12 are regularly exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the home.

  • 24% of Nova Scotians are exposed to ETS at work.

The deadly and costly effects of smoking
“The Deadly and Costly Effects of Smoking” Kennedy:

  • Smoking kills 1650 Nova Scotians a year

  • Smoking costs NS $168 million/year in health costs

  • Second-hand smoke kills 200 Nova Scotians a year,(140 from heart disease, 60 from cancers).

  • Second-hand smoke costs $21 million a year in health costs and $57 million in productivity losses

The deadly effects of ets
The Deadly Effects of ETS Kennedy:

  • ETS causes heart disease, lung cancer, nasal sinus cancer and respiratory ailments in adults.

  • ETS causes sudden infant death syndrome, fetal growth impairment, bronchitis, pneumonia, middle ear disease and asthma exacerbation in infants and children.

Recent research also shows
Recent Research Also Shows: Kennedy:

  • ETS has been linked to cervical and breast cancer, stroke, and miscarriages in adults; and to asthma induction, decreased lung function, cystic fibrosis, and cognition and behaviour problems in children

Restaurant bar and casino workers most at risk
Restaurant, Bar and Casino Workers Most at Risk Kennedy:

  • In restaurants, second-hand smoke levels are twice as high as in other workplaces without smoke bans.In bars and casinos they are 3-6 times as high.

  • Food service workers have a 50% higher rate of lung cancer than the general population.

  • Excess mortality for workers in smoking lounges, bars, restaurants, casinos and bowling alleys is 15-26 times higher than OSHA’s “significant risk” level.

  • “Establishment of smoke-free bars and taverns was associated with a rapid improvement of respiratory health….”Eisner, 1998

Costs of second hand smoke ns 1999
Costs of Second-Hand Smoke, NS, 1999 Kennedy:

  • Deaths 200

  • Potential years of life lost 2,900

  • Hospitalizations 1,400

  • Hospital Days 15,000

Direct health care costs of ets 1999 mill
Direct Health Care Costs Kennedy:of ETS ($1999 mill.)

  • Hospitals 15.2

  • Ambulance Services 0.3

  • Physician fees 1.5

  • Prescription Drugs 3.2

  • Other Health Care Costs 0.3

  • Total Direct Health Care Costs 20.5

Indirect costs of ets 1999 millions
Indirect Costs of ETS Kennedy:($1999 millions)

  • Productivity loss (sickness) 0.7

  • Productivity loss (mortality) (6% discount rate) 57.1


  • Sources: Costs based on Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse, The Costs of Substance Abuse in Canada, Colman, The Cost of Tobacco in Nova Scotia, pages 15-20, and mortality rates in Glantz and Parmley, (1995), op. cit., and Steenland, (1992),op. cit..

Smoke free workplaces will save lives and money
Smoke-Free Workplaces Will Save Kennedy:Lives and Money

  • 80% of ETS exposure is in the workplace.

  • Smoke-free workplaces cut cigarette consumption among smokers by 20%.

  • Smoke-free workplaces can save 400-500 lives a year, $50 million in avoided health costs, and $150 million in avoided productivity losses.

And savings to employers
And savings to employers: Kennedy:

  • It costs Canadian employers $2,280 more to employ a smoker compared to a non-smoker. Conference Board of Canada

  • Smoke-free workplaces can save NS employers $25 million a year in avoided absenteeism and smoking areas costs, and lower insurance premiums.

  • “Strong economic incentives exist for rapid adoption of smoke-free workplaces.”American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Are smoke bans bad for business
Are Smoke Bans Bad for Business? Kennedy:

  • Without exception, every objective study using actual sales data finds that smoke-free legislation has no adverse impact on restaurant, bar, hotel and tourism receipts.(Studies conducted in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Arizona, Texas, Utah, Vermont, North Carolina, and British Columbia.)

  • Two of the 16 studies found an initial decline in receipts in the first 1-2 months following enactment, but no overall or aggregate decline in the longer term.

  • Several studies find smoke-free legislation is good for business as non-smokers eat and drink out more often.

The researchers conclude
The Researchers Conclude: Kennedy:

  • “Legislators and government officials can enact health and safety regulations to protect patrons and employees in restaurants and bars from the toxins in secondhand tobacco smoke without fear of adverse economic consequences.... these data further discredit tobacco industry claims that smoke-free bar laws are bad for the bar business. Quite the contrary, these laws appear to be good for business.”Glantz1997 and 2000 (California)

The evidence clearly shows
The Evidence Clearly Shows: Kennedy:

  • Second-hand smoke causes heart disease, cancer and respiratory illness. Smoke-free workplace legislation will save the lives of hundreds of Nova Scotians, prevent serious illnesses, and save $200 million in avoided health costs and productivity losses.

  • Restaurant, bar and casino workers are exposed to the highest levels of ETS and have the greatest health risks.

  • Designated non-smoking areas and ventilation do not work. Only 100% smoke-free environments protect employees/patrons.

  • Smoke-free legislation will not harm restaurant, bar, hotel and tourism sales, and may be good for business.

Valuing natural capital
Valuing Natural Capital Kennedy:

For example, forest functions / values include:

  • Preventing soil erosion/sediment control

  • Protecting watersheds

  • Climate regulation/carbon sequestration

  • Providing habitat for wildlife / biodiversity

  • Recreation, tourism, aesthetic quality

  • Providing timber

Clearcut harvesting and loss of age and species diversity in ns have resulted in the loss of
Clearcut harvesting and loss of age and species diversity in NS have resulted in the loss of:

  • valuable species

  • wide diameter, clear lumber - fetch premium prices

  • resilience and resistance to insect infestation

  • wildlife habitat, - decreasing populations of birds

  • forest recreation values that impact nature tourism

  • valuable old-growth dependent medicinal plants

This represents a substantial depreciation of a valuable natural capital asset
This represents a substantial depreciation NS have resulted in the loss of:of a valuable natural capital asset.


  • a decline in forested watershed protection and a 50% drop in shade-dependent brook trout

  • soil degradation and the leaching of nutrients that can affect future timber productivity

  • a substantial decline in carbon storage capacity and an increase in biomass carbon loss

  • a decline in other essential forest ecosystem services.

Ecological footprint nova scotia and canada 1961 1999
Ecological Footprint NS have resulted in the loss of:Nova Scotia and Canada, 1961-1999

Ecological footprint projections canada 1995 2020
Ecological Footprint Projections NS have resulted in the loss of:Canada 1995-2020

Can we do it percentage waste diversion in nova scotia
Can we do it? NS have resulted in the loss of:Percentage Waste Diversion in Nova Scotia

Competitiveness and genuine progress
Competitiveness NS have resulted in the loss of:and Genuine Progress