Sweden has been dubbed the most sustainable country in the world in a new ranking, beating the UK which came in sixth place.
A new report rated a total of 59 countries on a range of environmental and social issues, including how a country’s government deals with an ageing population, the type of policies and structures in place to promote competitiveness and its dependence on foreign sources of energy.
The UK was also beaten by Australia, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway with a 7.57 rating out of 10 – scoring six for how it deals with environmental risks. Sweden however earned high scores across almost all criteria (8 out of 10), including environmental factors such as the use of renewable energy sources and carbon emissions.
Runner-up to the Swedes was Australia, scoring a total of 7.87 out of 10, followed by Switzerland with 7.83, 7.71 for Denmark and 7.68 for Norway. Nigeria was at the bottom of the list with 2.51 points.
The report by Swiss investment group RobecoSAM was designed to give investors a sneak peak into the investment risks and opportunities of each country, allowing them to compare countries on strengths and weaknesses.
Johan Duyvesteyn, Senior Researcher at Robeco Quantitative Strategies said: “We look at the story behind the country’s sustainability score. Our statistical analysis helps us identify which sustainability criteria are financially relevant, which in turn helps us make better-informed investment decisions.”
Last year a survey of 475 senior executives in different countries including the UK, Brazil and US found those in UK businesses are better-placed and more likely to have a sustainability programme.