The 30 countries leading the way in environmental credentials

As ongoing concerns continue regarding the long-term sustainability of our planet, thanks in part to the increase in carbon emissions, many nations around the world have been focussing on improving their environmental practices.

The environmental performance index (EPI) is a method designed to assess the environmental credentials of nations around the world, using nine key categories: agriculture, air quality, biodiversity and habitat, climate and energy, forests, fisheries, health impacts, water resources, and water and sanitation.

Using this method, the EPI is able to rank the environmental credentials of the top 30 countries based on how well they protect both human health and natural ecosystems across these various categories.

So who are the most environmentally-conscious countries in the world?Who are the most environmentally-conscious countries in the world?

According to the EPI, the top 10 for environmental credentials are all European countries, with Scandinavia leading the way in particular. Finland (in first position), Iceland (second), Sweden (third) and Denmark (fourth) make up the top four, reflecting the region’s societal commitment to greener living.

Finland are ranked number one, thanks to the country’s long-standing commitment to becoming a carbon neutral society by 2050, with the nation having already taken major steps to achieving this ambition.

In second place are Iceland, who despite having a population of just 338,000 (around half the size of Washington D.C), boast one of the world’s three largest geothermal power stations – Hellisheiði.

The rest of all-European top 10 includes: Slovenia (5th), Spain (6th), Portugal (7th), Estonia (8th), Malta (9th), and France (10th).

The highest-ranked country outside of Europe is New Zealand, who are in 11th place, while Singapore, who are ranked 14th, are Asia’s only representative in the top 30. The UK is placed 12th, thanks to the country’s commitment to wind power, while the USA ranks 26th, one place below Canada in 25. Germany rounds off the top 30.

Check out the following graphic to see where your country ranks:

Source: The world's greenest countries