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most sustainable countries

Sweden ‘Most Sustainable Country in the World’

most sustainable countriesSweden is the most sustainable country in the world, a ranking it earned for its use of renewable energy sources and low carbon dioxide emissions, as well as social and governance practices such as labor participation, education and institutional framework, according to a report by sustainability investment firm Robecosam.

The ranking aims to offer insight into investment risks and opportunities related to environmental, social and governance practices such as emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, and allows investors to compare countries to each other.

Australia, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway round out the top five. The United Kingdom ranks sixth, followed by Canada, Finland, the US and the Netherlands.

Countries with the lowest scores include Nigeria in the bottom spot, along with Egypt, Venezuela, Indonesia and Russia.

The sustainability report by Robecosam evaluated 59 countries, 21 developed and 38 emerging markets, on environmental, social and governance factors considered relevant to investors. A weighted set of indicators determined each country’s score with 10 being the highest.

Countries were judged on their environmental policies, emissions, energy use, energy sources, risk mitigation and biodiversity. For example, countries that rely heavily on fossil fuel imports are vulnerable to external price movements or shortages, which would result in a lower score, the report says.

A majority of investors view climate change as a material risk and as a consequence have retained — and in many cases advanced — their commitment to addressing climate change in their investment activities, according to research by consultant Mercer published earlier this month. This is despite wider economic challenges and continuing policy uncertainty, according to the third annual Global Investor Survey on Climate Change.

A report released last year in Doha by the World Energy Council urged governments to design long-term energy policies, enable market conditions that attract long-term investments and encourage research and development in energy technology. It said developed countries such as Sweden, Switzerland and Canada are the closest to achieving sustainable energy systems. Neither the US nor the UK made the top 10 list.

Earlier this year Volvo unveiled plug-in hybrid buses — which the company says reduce fuel consumption by at least 75 percent compared with diesel buses — in Gothenburg, Sweden as part of a field test. Volvo says the plug-in technology will also reduce carbon dioxide by 75 to 80 percent, compared with current diesel buses, and reduce total energy consumption by about 60 percent.

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8 thoughts on “Sweden ‘Most Sustainable Country in the World’

  1. Very misleading. This is more a measure of investment security rather than environmental performance. Take a close risk as the factors and weights.

  2. I think it depends how you view “sustainability” in this context. The word sustainable has been adopted by the environmental movement, when of course it can apply to a variety of conditions. In the above article, the author positions countries’ overall financial and environmental sustainability (maybe the word ‘resilient’ should have been used) as they are invariably linked. Those of us in the financial/insurance world absolutely are in support of environmental sustainability as it supports human health and natural capital as well as minimizes all sorts of risk.

  3. As a permanent resident of petrol-head Australia, I’m pretty sure 2nd place is a BIG error…
    Big population percentage still building and driving heavily subsidized V8 gas guzzelers, crappy building quality, big dirty coal shed exporting to the rest of the world…

  4. Australia exports 150,000,000 tons of coal each . CO2 concentrated +++ and its fuel source for domestic averages 78% coal. Do not believe the figures

  5. Australia is the largest exporter of CO2 (coal exports) on the planet
    Was no3 now no1. Is that a positive!!! to enable its rating to be raised. I do not think so.

  6. In Sweden, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was meticulously planned that way.

    The country has a utopian dream to reach excellence in everything related to the Swedes’ quality of life.

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