Statisticians avoid getting involved in data analysis, leaving data users on their own in interpreting the results of their work. This is particularly unfortunate in a new area of applied statistics such as environmental accounting with which few are really familiar. Earlier this year data producers and users explored, in a national seminar, possible policy applications of the results of a "green accounting" project in the Philippines. The main findings of the author's contribution to the seminar, on which the present paper is based, are that environmental accounts: (1) present evidence of sustainable economic performance in the country during the relatively short-time period of 1988–1994; (2) provide information for environmental cost internalization; (3) may guide investment to environmentally sound production processes; (4) help to specify and monitor policies of natural wealth conservation, distribution and management; and (5) reveal major data gaps. The paper concludes that environmental accounts help to assess the sustainability of economic growth in terms of broadly defined capital maintenance. The sustainability of development, however, would have to be measured by alternative or supplementary physical indicators linked to quantifiable standards or targets.