Protecting the environment is a theme that runs through many of the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development, from combating climate change to safeguarding the world’s forests and oceans.

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) attempts to measure the extent to which countries implement policies to protect their natural environments, by calculating 20 separate indicators across areas such as air quality, agriculture, climate and energy.

The higher the overall score, the better the country has performed.


Eight of the top 10 countries are found in Europe, with Singapore and Australia completing the top of the ranking. The Czech Republic has made the most progress over the past decade, increasing by 3.47 percentage points.

The overall score can be broken down and explored by indicator on the interactive Environmental Performance Index website.

The EPI is a joint project between the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy (YCELP) and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and support from the Samuel Family Foundation and the McCall MacBain Foundation.

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Author: Sebastian Brixey-Williams is a Digital Content Producer at Formative Content.

Image: A woman walks with her greyhound dogs along a path in the Durand forest near the French border to Switzerland, in Ferney Voltaire. April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse