Top Five Greenest Countries in the World [LIST]

The biennial Environmental Performance Index rates and ranks countries according to their sustainable practices.

Jan 14, 2015
wooden map on the world on a grassy green background

How green is your country? [Shutterstock]

After measuring the happiest countries in the world and the countries that do the most social good, researchers have now set out to determine the greenest countries on the globe. The Environmental Performance Index is a report that comes out every two years, and gives countries a ranking and score on their greenness. Compiled by researchers from Yale University and Columbia University, the report looks at 20 different factors that measure a country’s performance in such areas including: air quality, access to drinking water, biodiversity and CO2 emissions.
In 2014, some 178 countries were rated and ranked, giving recognition where it’s due and shining a light on nations who can significantly improve their environmental practices.  We are happy to introduce to you to the top five superstars who are leading the way as beacons of national sustainability.  
Where does your country fall in the list?

1. SWITZERLAND

Year after year Switzerland is acknowledged for its advanced commitment to keeping green. Part of what makes it the greenest country of all is that the government charges fees for waste and water management as well as enforcing environmental taxes. The Swiss are also super bike friendly!
DRIVING THE POINT HOME: Swiss citizens are charged 1 euro for every bag of trash they throw out, leading to a more environmentally-conscious populace.

Swiss flag on the top of Mannlichen (Jungfrau region, Bern, Switzerland)

The Mannlichen mountain in the Jungfrau region, Bern, Switzerland. [Shutterstock

2. LUXEMBOURG

This tiny and prosperous country is focused on being green with its National Plan for Sustainable Development that works to reduce energy and waste. Since 2008, the country’s citizens have decreased waste emissions by 28%.
DRIVING THE POINT HOME: Protecting nature and biodiversity is a top priority and Luxembourg is increasing its efforts to educate the public, as well as develop strategies to safeguard local wildlife.

Top view of Abbey de Neumunster in Luxembourg

Top view of Abbey de Neumunster in Luxembourg [Shutterstock]

3. AUSTRALIA

The land of Oz is proud to be recognized for its green efforts. As the sixth largest country in the world, around 91% of the land is covered in native vegetation - even the deserts! 
DRIVING THE POINT HOME: The Australian government passed the Emissions Reduction Fund in an effort to reduce emissions by providing an incentive for landowners, businesses, state and local governments, organizations and individuals to adopt environmentally-friendly practices and technologies.

Wooden path at Observatory Point Great Ocean Drive Western Australia

Wooden path at Observatory Point Great Ocean Drive Western Australia [Shutterstock]

4. SINGAPORE

This Southeast Asian country is full of luscious parks and green public spaces, which is in line with the government’s commitment to enhancing their ecological profile. In a bid to support more clean technology, government assistance is given to businesses in the field.
DRIVING THE POINT HOME: Over a five year period, the Singaporean government will invest over one billion dollars to support sustainable development programs, with a major focus on energy and water efficiency.

The bridge at Gardens by the Bay. [Shutterstock]


5. CZECH REPUBLIC

Due to the country’s rapid growth in the past 20 years, the Czech government devised a Strategy for Sustainable Development in 2004 to ensure a higher standard of living for its citizens and for the environment.
DRIVING THE POINT HOME: The Czech Republic puts an emphasis on environmental-friendly tourism. To ensure that travel is not harmful to the planet, the country makes sure that providers of tourism services, tour operators and tourist destinations are all certified as green-friendly, and regulated by the Ministry of the Environment.

View over historic center of Prague with castle, Czech Republic

View over historic center of Prague, Czech Republic. [Shutterstock]

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