Each year, Yale’s EPI judges the highest-performing countries in the world based on their dedication to environmental welfare.
Unsurprisingly, the top five countries were European. The EPI creates an index by assigning each country a score out of 100. The score is based on a number of specific metrics and individual scores are averaged for each country to create the rankings.
From the data supplied by the EPI, I’ve selected the top five best performing countries of 2016:
5. Slovenia – 88.98
Slovenia is our first ranking, coming it at an incredibly respectable 5th place. It took 8th spot for habitat and biodiversity and ranked 15th for forests. The only real negative to come from Slovenia’s ranking was that they were ranked badly for their air quality. Nitrogen dioxide an PM2.5 common airborne pollutants continue to pose problems for the residents of Slovenia.
Despite this, Slovenia still ranks the highest in the world for habitat protection – receiving perfect scores for terrestrial protected areas and species protection.
4. Denmark – 89.21
Denmark strolled in at number 4, scoring 89.21 overall. Like many Scandinavian countries, Denmark ranked very positively (20th) for health impacts, water and sanitation, water resources, biodiversity and habitat.
However, they ranked a low 128th on fish stocks, so their fisheries have much to improve upon over the course of 2017.
Denmark also offered 2 billion dollars to its “Green Growth Initiative” which is specifically designed to support eco-friendly services, environmental protection alongside economic growth.
3. Sweden – 90.43
Sweden have always been phenomenal in terms of environmental welfare. They ranked 5th in health impacts, tenth in climate and energy and made the top 20 for both water and sanitation and water resources.
Sweden also earned near-perfect scores on drinking water quality and general wastewater treatment, according to statistics conducted by the EPI.
You’d think Sweden would trump the forest ratings wouldn’t you? Well, similar to Finland, Sweden performed below average on their forest upkeep. This is largely down to unsustainable logging practices.
(IKEA is not to blame!)
2. Iceland – 90.51
Another beautiful country surrounded by free-flowing water, lush forests and wide open landscapes. Iceland narrowly missed out on top spot, scoring an incredible 90.51. It ranked 3rd on health impacts as well as climate change and energy, it also grabbed 4th spot for air quality!
Iceland’s stand-out trait surrounds its uniquely natural geology. Roughly 25% of its power is produced geothermally, that’s more than anywhere else…on Earth.
Adding to that impressive stat, 100% of Iceland’s electricity comes from renewable sources, such as wind, hydro-power, according to the N
EA (Iceland’s National Energy Authority).
Finland – 90.68
Helsinki is commonly known to be not only one of the most beautiful places in the world, but also the most eco-friendly. It’s taken the top spot on the index, scoring a phenomenal 90.68, ranking 4th in health impacts, 8th in fisheries and makes the top 20 in climate and energy, biodiversity and habitat, water resources and air quality.
Despite Finland’a ecological prowess over the rest of the world, it didn’t score entirely well on the forest and agriculture categories, coming in at 87th and 106th.
To make up for these results, Finland has made a “societal commitment to achieve a carbon-neutral society that does not exceed nature’s carrying capacity by 2050.”