• The Environmental Performance Index assesses 180 countries on their environmental health and vitality of their ecosystems.
  • European countries dominate the top 10.
  • Index aims to identify where more work is needed and guide policy-makers.

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) looks at sustainability around the world. It ranks countries – 180 of them – on environmental health and the vitality of their ecosystems.

Top of the tree? Denmark.

Indeed, the whole top 10 is European countries, including Switzerland, Luxembourg and Austria.

You have to go down to 12th, and Japan, to leave the continent. You can view the full list here.

sustainability environment planet ecosystems environmental health
32 indicators are arranged into 11 issue categories and two policy objectives.
Image: EPI

Why measure performance?

The index's authors say that measuring performance helps identify where more work is needed and how close countries are to environmental policy targets.

"EPI indicators provide a way to spot problems, set targets, track trends, understand outcomes, and identify best policy practices," they write.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The World Economic Forum's Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

Contact us to get involved.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also reminded us of the "profound interdependence of all nations and the importance of investing in resilience", they add.

You can read more about the methodology on the EPI website.

A 'Great Reset'

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Economic Forum's Great Reset initiative is calling on the world to rebuild the foundations of our economic and social system.

We should look towards a fairer, more sustainable and more resilient future. "If there is one critical lesson to learn from this crisis, it is that we need to put nature at the heart of how we operate," HRH The Prince of Wales said at the launch.