In the international arena a variety of proposals have been made to establish policies on natural resources, sometimes referred to as materials or dematerialisation policies. Any such policy will have to be monitored by means of appropriate indicators. However, the various indicators currently proposed in the international literature do not properly cover the issues policy-makers would like to see addressed. This position was recently elaborated in an article published by Sander de Bruyn, Ester van der Voet, Annemarth Idenburg, Jeroen van den Bergh and Harmen Verbruggen in the Dutch statistical journal ‘ESB’ of 16 April, 2004. The present report reprints that article and discusses some of the considerations involved in writing it.