Going Green

Going Green

12 January, 2017
Eco Nations
Top 5 Greenest Countries
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According to Yale University, these countries are definitely doing something right!

Each year, global leaders and policymakers eagerly await the results of Yale’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI) to see how their country has fared in terms of human health and the environment, with 180 countries pitted against each other based on specific metrics. The aim of the system is to build a practical tool for which countries can learn from one another to create a more sustainable world.

This year saw some positive changes, with improvements in carbon and energy management, health impacts, and water

1 FINLAND

With a quarter of their territory in the Arctic, thousands of rivers and inland lakes, and a heavy reliance on forestry, Finland’s climb to the top of the charts hasn’t been easy; however, their ‘waste not’ attitude and dedication to progressive sustainability policies have certainly earned them their current title. Example? The government has rolled out programmes to train their younger generations on how to upcycle and fix basics household items, as well as more complex machinery, appliances and vehicles. Finns also recycle nearly all of their glass, and nine out of ten plastic bottles. Score: 90.68 and sanitation. Habitat protection for terrestrial and marine environments was also on the up. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news. Air pollution has worsened, a quarter of the world’s wastewater is still routinely untreated, and most of the world’s fisheries are “in a state of collapse”. Unsurprisingly, several Scandinavian nations were listed as the environmental frontrunners, and all of the top ten countries were from Europe. All of them offer great models that Hong Kong and other parts of Asia can learn from, and build on, toward environmental leadership in our corner of the world!
Score: 90.68

2 ICELAND

After facing severe economic collapse, Iceland reduced their carbon footprint and turned their future around by investing in clean energy. Iceland now holds the honourable title of world’s leading clean-energy economy. Today, almost 100 per cent of Iceland’s electricity and heat is generated from domestic renewable sources, such as geothermal energy. Even fishers preserve their catch for longer using a drying
3‘geothermal heat’ process.
Score: 90.51

3 SWEDEN

Since Sweden’s shift from oil to district heating in the early 1990s, the country has been on a mission to reduce their carbon footprint. Sweden also claims Europe’s first carbon-neutral neighborhood, Malmo – which, amongst many other initiatives, uses an innovative waste management system that sucks household waste into a central tank underground, eliminating the need for emissions-heavy waste transportation. City Swedes do their part by partaking in urban farming on shared allotment gardens, and encouraging bee population growth with private beehives.
Score: 90.43

4 DENMARK

The Danes rely heavily on renewable energy, with the aim to have 50 per cent of their electricity consumption covered by wind power by 2020, and a long-term goal of phasing out coal completely by 2030. Denmark’s tap water is also among the cleanest and most drinkable in the world, whilst the bathing opportunities in their lakes and along the coasts are vast, thanks to a progressive national plan to reduce harmful substances such as agricultural fertiliser from entering the groundwater. Denmark is also a cycling nation, with nine out of ten Danes owning a bike.
Score: 89.21

5 SLOVENIA

With a staggering 60 per cent of the country covered in forest, Slovenia's pristine natural resources and national focus on sustainability places them at fifth on the chart. A strong strategy for conserving nature and building green tourism means that Slovenia has officially protected more than a fifth of their coastline and over a third of their land. Their drinking water is also among the purest in Europe.
Score: 88.98

By: Ecozine Staff
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