The World's 10 Greenest Countries

Yale University's Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a key indicator of a country's ecosystem vitality and environmental health. A country is assessed using 32 indicators that fall under 11 issues which include air quality, sanitation and drinking water, heavy metals, waste management, biodiversity and habitat, ecosystem services, fisheries, climate change, pollution emissions, agriculture, and water resources. The primary goal is to give quantitative measurements for assessing a country's environmental performance in several policy categories in comparison to explicitly stated objectives. The following is a list of the countries with the highest EPI scores worldwide. 

10. Iceland

Iceland
Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station in south Iceland.

The island nation of Iceland has long been appreciated for its environment-friendly policies. With a score of 62.80 on the EPI 2022, the country finds itself as the world's 10th greenest country. The well-developed renewable hydro and geothermal energy sectors of Iceland power the nation's energy-intensive industries. The country promotes eco-friendly ways of life including ecotourism. Development of products using green technology is encouraged by the government. Iceland also working to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 by reducing the carbon footprint of the nation using green technology and sustainable living.

9. Switzerland

Switzerland solar panels
Solar panels in Switzerland are commonly used as renewable energy resource.

Ninth-place Switzerland, with an EPI score of 65.9 has dropped down 6 positions from number 3 in 2021 on the EPI. The country is highly rated in terms of water resources, water cleanliness, sustainability, and environmental health. It has implemented several measures to guarantee that the environment is preserved while also being sustainable. Environmentally and resource-friendly items are becoming more and more necessary in Switzerland's public sector. Additionally, it ranks highly among the world's recyclers. Switzerland employs all available forms of solar and geothermal energy, as well as heat pumps and wind turbines, to generate electricity. However, hydroelectric power accounts for 56% of the country's renewable energy sources, meaning all those mountains, lakes, and rivers are put to good use. Over the years, rules have been passed in Switzerland that have encouraged the growth of agriculture and prohibited the construction of new infrastructure there. Due to the nation's efforts, the environment has been preserved, enabling it to be one of the greenest worldwide. Its significant qualities include clean air, stunning lakes, and mountains.

8. Austria

austria train
Bicycling and using the public transport system are some of the greenest ways of commute. In Vienna, Austria. Editorial credit: MikeDotta / Shutterstock.com

With a score of 66.5 this mountainous landlocked nation in Europe was ranked eighth on the EPI scale. Austria attains this index by continuously working to preserve the natural conditions of its surroundings. It has taken several significant steps, including integrating environmental preservation into its social and economic goals. In Austria, living in harmony with the environment is a way of life. Many buildings in cities like Vienna and Salzburg are environmentally friendly, and there are free ski shuttles and hiking vans to promote the use of public transportation. Cities like these are also rich with parks. To reduce the effects pollutants have on the environment, Austria has also worked hard in fields including waste management, chemical, and air pollution. Furthermore, agriculture and forestry in the country are based on the foundation of sustainability and have recently made many persistent advancements in these fields. This is evident in the prohibition against the use of pesticides in agriculture. Additionally, Austria has taken steps to safeguard its forest and minimize deforestation. It is now among the greenest nations in the world, thanks to all of these factors.

7. Slovenia

Triglav National Park in Slovenia.

With a score of 67.30, Slovenia country makes becomes the greenest country in East Europe and the 7th greenest globally. The country's ambitious efforts in recent times to protect its natural heritage under the Natura 2000 initiative of the EU bore fruit and is one of the top reasons for the country's high ranking in the EPI. It protects over 30% of its territories. 

6. Luxembourg 

Luxembourg
Luxembourg has a significant green cover. Over 33% of the country is forested.

The tiny European nation of Luxembourg, which ranks sixth in the world on the EPI scale after sliding down from the 2nd position of 2021, is well-known for its excellent ratings in the areas of biodiversity, habitat, and water resources. The total EPI score for Luxembourg is 72.3; it ranked especially well in biodiversity conservation and acidification management categories of the EPI. Despite its fast-expanding GDP and population, Luxembourg has achieved tremendous advancements in environmental protection. Luxembourg is actively modernizing its public transportation system to alleviate traffic. Furthermore, Luxembourg has increased its reliance on renewable energy during the previous five years, doubling its solar power and tripling its wind power. 

5. Sweden

Sweden
An environment-friendly electric bus waiting to be charged in Sweden.

Sweden comes in the fifth place on the list with an overall EPI score of 72.70. Sweden is renowned for its use of renewable energy sources and minimal carbon dioxide emissions, making it one of the most environmentally friendly countries. It introduced a carbon tax in 1995, making it one of the first nations to do so globally. Utilizing renewable energy significantly helps to lower the amount of carbon in the air, creating a cleaner and safer environment in Sweden. Additionally, it received 100-percent marks for air quality and water resources categories for PM2.5 exposure. It also did exceedingly well in protecting marine areas and preventing the loss of grassland and wetland loss. Sweden has remained a green country because it has one of the best environmental governance systems in the world.

4. Malta

A Maltese lizard on a rock in Malta. The country is host to a diversity of ecosystems with some endemic species.

The European Union island nation of Malta ranked fourth in the 2022 EPI with a score of 75.20. The country scored the top rank in several categories assesed by the EPI, especially biodiversity and ecosystem service management. It also performed well in controlling the acidification rate, reducing pollutants causing climate change and providing clean drinking water to its citizens.

3. Finland

Finland forests
By conserving forests and using renewable energy resources, Finland ensures a green, clean environment for its citizens.

With an EPI score of 76.50, Finland is the third greenest country in the world. The country received top scores in managing grassland loss, acidification control, wasterwater treatment, sanitation and drinking water provisions, and several other areas. Finland gets over 35% of its energy from renewable sources, and protecting its forests and biodiversity is a top priority. Helsinki also has Europe's most famous bike rental program. There are several paths throughout the country where you may run, stroll, and cycle. Finland's environmental agency has made great efforts to prevent the generation of greenhouse emissions and to encourage the use of renewable energy sources by its population. The utilization of wind power is significant in the country. Furthermore, Finland has made significant advancements in budgeting for sustainable development since 2018. National research initiatives and innovation networks have included the United Nation's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals agenda

2. United Kingdom

uk climate
Young citizens of the UK advocating for the protection of the environment.

The U.K. ranked highest for management of solid home fuels, sanitation, and drinking water, and climate change policies which helped it rank second with a score of 77.70on the EPI scale. Currently, the U.K. is home to 8,879 wind turbines that provide the nation with sustainable, clean energy. The nation also comes in #1 for pollution emissions and second for climate change subcategories of assessing EPI. Considering that there are 66.52 million people living in the U.K., these ranks are extremely astounding. While charging more polluting automobiles, several cities promote cycling and electric vehicles. The nation is pleased with its dedication to leaving the environment in a better condition than it found it. The core of this commitment is sustainable agriculture. The UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology significantly aids in the creation of resilient farming systems that preserve biodiversity and are robust to climate change. They seek to preserve and improve healthy soils, pure water, pollination, and organic pest management.

1. Denmark

Bicyclists in Denmark
Residents of Copenhagen bicycling to work on a busy weekday. Cycling is one of the most environment-friendly means of commuting.

Denmark is recognized as the world's most environmentally friendly nation, with an EPI score of 77.90. Denmark stands out for having excellent ratings in the categories of "biodiversity and habitat" and "air quality." The Danish government has put eco-friendly measures in place to encourage people to utilize public transportation more frequently and reduce their usage of private vehicles, which contributes to decreasing air pollution. Numerous bike trails have also been built to encourage the usage of bicycles. Additionally, Denmark has a long history of creating and utilizing renewable energy. Denmark has long prioritized sustainability, advocating clean products like eco-friendly hotels, solar-powered boats, and organic food, in addition to enacting some of the most effective legislation in the world to cut greenhouse gas emissions and stop climate change.

These nations must set an example for all other nations around the world. They have demonstrated to everyone that stable economic growth is feasible while both lowering energy use and preserving the environment.

Rank Country EPI Score (2022)

1

Denmark

77.90

2

United Kingdom

77.70

3

Finland

76.50

4

Malta

75.20

5

Sweden

72.70

6

Luxembourg

72.30

7

Slovenia

67.30

8

Austria

66.50

9

Switzerland

65.90

10

Iceland

62.80

11

Netherlands

62.60

12

France

62.50

13

Germany

62.40

14

Estonia

61.40

15

Latvia

61.10

16

Croatia

60.20

17

Australia

60.10

18

Slovakia

60.00

19

Czech Republic

59.90

20

Norway

59.30

21

Belgium

58.20

22

Cyprus

58.00

23

Italy

57.70

24

Ireland

57.40

25

Japan

57.20

26

New Zealand

56.70

27

Spain

56.60

28

Bahamas

56.20

28

Greece

56.20

30

Romania

56.00

31

Lithuania

55.90

32

Seychelles

55.60

33

Hungary

55.10

34

North Macedonia

54.30

35

Botswana

54.00

36

Barbados

53.20

36

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

53.20

38

Sao Tome and Principe

52.90

39

Antigua and Barbuda

52.40

39

United Arab Emirates

52.40

41

Bulgaria

51.90

42

Dominica

51.20

43

United States of America

51.10

44

Namibia

50.90

44

Singapore

50.90

46

Poland

50.60

47

Panama

50.50

48

Portugal

50.40

49

Belize

50.00

49

Canada

50.00

51

Gabon

49.70

52

Ukraine

49.60

53

Saint Lucia

49.40

54

Kiribati

49.00

55

Belarus

48.50

56

Armenia

48.30

57

Israel

48.20

58

Grenada

47.90

59

Trinidad and Tobago

47.80

60

Cuba

47.50

60

Djibouti

47.50

62

Albania

47.10

63

Montenegro

46.90

63

South Korea

46.90

65

Chile

46.70

66

Ecuador

46.50

67

Venezuela

46.40

68

Costa Rica

46.30

69

Zimbabwe

46.20

70

Suriname

45.90

71

Brunei Darussalam

45.70

72

Jamaica

45.60

73

Mexico

45.50

74

Taiwan

45.30

75

Central African Republic

44.90

75

Eswatini

44.90

77

Equatorial Guinea

44.80

77

Mauritius

44.80

79

Serbia

43.90

80

Tonga

43.80

81

Afghanistan

43.60

81

Brazil

43.60

81

Jordan

43.60

84

Moldova

42.70

85

Bhutan

42.50

85

Comoros

42.50

87

Colombia

42.40

87

Kuwait

42.40

89

Dominican Republic

42.20

90

Bahrain

42.00

91

Cabo Verde

41.90

92

Argentina

41.10

93

Kazakhstan

40.90

93

Paraguay

40.90

95

El Salvador

40.80

96

Tunisia

40.70

97

Malawi

40.60

98

Guinea-Bissau

40.20

99

Bolivia

40.10

99

Republic of Congo

40.10

101

Peru

39.80

102

Bosnia and Herzegovina

39.40

103

Georgia

39.10

104

Azerbaijan

38.60

105

Guyana

38.50

106

Zambia

38.40

107

Uzbekistan

38.20

108

Thailand

38.10

109

Saudi Arabia

37.90

110

Nicaragua

37.70

110

Niger

37.70

112

Russia

37.50

113

Maldives

37.40

113

Micronesia

37.40

113

Uruguay

37.40

116

South Africa

37.20

117

Tajikistan

37.10

118

Turkmenistan

37.00

119

Dem. Rep. Congo

36.90

119

Vanuatu

36.90

121

Honduras

36.50

122

Gambia

36.40

122

Samoa

36.40

124

Marshall Islands

36.20

125

Uganda

35.80

126

Kyrgyzstan

35.70

127

Burkina Faso

35.50

127

Egypt

35.50

129

Timor-Leste

35.10

130

Malaysia

35.00

130

Solomon Islands

35.00

132

Sri Lanka

34.70

133

Iran

34.50

134

Tanzania

34.20

135

Togo

34.00

136

Senegal

33.90

137

Qatar

33.00

138

Cote d'Ivoire

32.80

138

Rwanda

32.80

140

Sierra Leone

32.70

141

Lesotho

32.30

142

Lebanon

32.20

143

Ethiopia

31.80

144

Eritrea

31.70

144

Mozambique

31.70

146

Guinea

31.60

147

Fiji

31.30

148

Kenya

30.80

149

Laos

30.70

149

Oman

30.70

151

Angola

30.50

151

Burundi

30.50

153

Cameroon

30.20

154

Cambodia

30.10

155

Algeria

29.60

155

Benin

29.60

155

Mongolia

29.60

158

Philippines

28.90

159

Mali

28.50

160

China

28.40

160

Morocco

28.40

162

Nepal

28.30

162

Nigeria

28.30

164

Indonesia

28.20

165

Chad

28.10

165

Mauritania

28.10

167

Guatemala

28.00

167

Madagascar

28.00

169

Iraq

27.80

170

Ghana

27.70

171

Sudan

27.60

172

Turkey

26.30

173

Haiti

26.10

174

Liberia

24.90

175

Papua New Guinea

24.80

176

Pakistan

24.60

177

Bangladesh

23.10

178

Viet Nam

20.10

179

Myanmar

19.40

180

India

18.90

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