The idea of sustainability is already becoming popular around the world. Some international countries are already ahead by becoming more advanced in their sustainable technologies. A recent study conducted by Columbia and Yale University shows that when we rank these countries based on several factors of sustainability, they rank higher than the United States. In this blog we will take you on a trip around the world, checking out the top 10 sustainable countries around the world.
Our top 10 list of sustainable countries are as follows:
- Costa Rica
chart credit : CarbonPig
Columbia and Yale University designed a rating system for these countries which they call Environmental Performance Index.This system is based on the performance of all nations of the world in the high priority environmental issues. The two broad areas taken into consideration were policies of the nations concerning protection of human health from environmental impacts and protection of the ecosystem. High priority environmental concerns include management of water, air quality and climatic changes.
This index, which was prepared based on 178 countries around the world, suggests that we are making progress in improving drinking water quality and sanitation around the world. The countries showing most progress are those who have kept up with the safety standards of the Millennium Development Goals, which have clear strategies, metrics and targets, and assessments on sanitation and water.
Countries with a less defined target seem to have fallen behind and showed a poorer performance by being more concerned with making money than creating sustainable environment for their citizens.
Iceland is at the top of the list among the top 10 sustainable countries because it has excelled in the areas of environmental management and sustainability. Iceland’s sustainability performance initiatives are determined by the Ministry for the Environment and the Environmental Agency of Iceland (these are two policy making government bodies of Iceland). This country has a notably low rate of air pollution, low environmental burden of diseases on humans, and high air and water quality for both humans and the ecosystem. Its policy towards effective climate change, pristine forests and management of timber reserves also deserve praise. Iceland’s score in the EPI is 93.5.
Switzerland ranks second in the EPI index. Switzerland is famous for its high snow covered Alps and its natural beauty. The countries policy towards resource management and advanced sustainability practices has made this country one of the most sustainable countries around the world. The innovative policies of Switzerland have allowed them to come up with sustainable solutions to meet the challenges which they constantly face due to global warming and icecap melting. Swiss agriculture depends on the melted glacier water. Switzerland also has a vast lumber resource and over 100k jobs there, which are related to forestry and lumber resources. The Swiss Federal Office of the Environment is governmental body that oversees environmental issue within Switzerland and helps to make the country more sustainable. Switzerland scored 89.1 on the EPI index.
3. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is known for its tourist attractions and natural beauty as well. With its dense rain forest and beautiful ocean beaches, it is one of the top eco-heavens on earth. Apart from being one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Costa Rica is also one of the most sustainable countries in the world. The sustainability of the country is driven by the Telecommunications department and the Ministry of Environment and Energy. Its dedication to forestry and water management has made this country rank at number 3 on the EPI index with a score of 86.4.
When it comes to water management, environmental health, and forestry, Sweden has top notch performance that makes it one of the most sustainable countries in the world. It is ranked at number 4 with an EPI score of 86.0
Norway is another Scandinavian country known for its natural beauty. Norway’s environmental policies and active management regimes make it one of the top sustainable countries in the world. Its environmental performance is maintained by a government run body called The Climate and Pollution Agency under the direction of the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment. Norway ranks five with 81.1 points on the EPI chart.
Mauritius, off the coast of Madagascar, has been exhibiting excellent skills in the environmental management sector (especially in fisheries, forestry, and agriculture). Mauritius is one of the top environmentally conscious countries of the world with the help of the Mauritius Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. Mauritius scores 80.6 points on the EPI.
I am sure you have used French perfumes or tasted French wines, but you might not have known that France also pioneers in sustainability. France has gained high scores in the sustainability index because it has significantly reduced the emission of green house gases throughout the country. France has very strict legislations regarding their environmental policies and sustainability. It stands at number 7 with 78.2 points on the EPI.
Austria is one of the most sustainable countries in the world, whose heritage and natural beauty is linked with the high Alps of Europe. Austria has a very small span with only 84K kilometers of land and home to 8 million people. The most notable feature of Austria is that its land is covered by 46% of natural forest. Austria has managed its lands and forests for many decades by keeping it sustainable. The Federal Environment Agency makes sure that Austria’s forests and all other natural resources are managed in sustainable way. Austria has secured its place at number 8 spot in terms of sustainability.
Cuba has been placed at the number 9 spot due to its efforts in natural resource management sectors. Cuba has earned the title of “sustainable country” since 1981, and has been keeping its performance considerably consistent. The law 33 passed in Cuba since 1981 has been a key factor in boosting its performance as a sustainable country.
Columbia is a Latin American country that many of us know as a coffee producing country and is also one of the top sustainable countries in the world. Columbia boasts of having the most bio-diverse natural forestry and therefore it becomes the responsibility of the whole world to preserve the natural forestry of Columbia. The Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development puts a great effort in keeping their score high as a sustainable country. Currently Columbia holds the number ten spot.