Most Environmentally Friendly Countries 2021

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Being environmentally friendly, also called eco-friendly, nature-friendly, or green, means that you are engaging in processes and practices that are sustainable and reduce or minimize harm upon ecosystems and the environment. The term also applies to goods and services, laws, guidelines, and policies that claim reduced, minimal or no damage upon the environment and ecosystems.

Environmentally friendly product, processes, and practices impose no harm to the natural environment, help conserve resources like water and energy, and prevent contributions to air, water, and land pollution.

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a method of quantifying the environmental performance of a country’s policies. The 2020 Environmental Performance Index ranks 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across ten issue categories. These categories cover environmental health and ecosystem vitality.

The EPI measures each country's environmental trends and progress, which provides a foundation for governments to implement effective environmental policies. These measurements also allow countries to see how close they are to their established environmental policy goals. Below are the most environmentally friendly countries in the world based on their EPI score.

1. Denmark

Denmark has an EPI score of 82.5, making it the most environmentally friendly country in the world. It stands out for high scores in the biodiversity and habitat category and air quality. Denmark has some of the most efficient policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent climate change. Denmark has long put sustainability on its agenda with eco-friendly hotels, solar-powered boats, and organic food.

2. Luxembourg

Luxembourg has an EPI of 82.3. The small European country is known for its high scores in biodiversity and habitat and water resources. Luxembourg has made significant progress in protecting its environmental health despite its rapidly growing population and GDP.

3. Switzerland

Switzerland is the third-most eco-friendly nation in the world. With an EPI of 81.5, Switzerland has high rankings for environmental health, sustainability, water sanitation, and water resources. Switzerland’s public sector is increasingly requiring eco-friendly and resource-friendly products. The country is also one of the top recyclers in the world.

4. United Kingdom

The U.K. has an EPI score of 81.3. The U.K. has a perfect score of 100 for sanitation and drinking water, and management of solid household fuels. The country also ranks second for climate change and first for pollution emissions. These rankings are quite impressive, considering the U.K.’s population of 66.52 million.

5. France

France’s EPI score is 80, ranking it fifth in the world for eco-friendliness. France has a perfect 100 for water sanitation and pollution emissions. The country also ranks fourth for climate change and fifth for biodiversity. France has several environmental initiatives in place, such as using hydro turbines along its rivers and banning its supermarkets from throwing or destroying good quality unsold food.

6. Austria

Austria is the world’s sixth-most eco-friendly country and has an EPI of 79.6. Austria has some of the strictest standards in Europe for waste management, chemicals, and air pollution. Agricultural regulations are also stringent, specifically for pesticides and fertilizers. These regulations allow Austria to have a 100 for drinking water and pollution emissions.

7. Finland

Finland’s EPI score is 78.9. The country ranks first in the world for air quality with a score of 99.3 and first for sanitation and drinking water and heavy metals with scores of 100. About 35% of Finland’s power comes from renewable energy resources, and forest and wildlife conservation are high priorities.

8. Sweden

Finland’s neighbor Sweden ranks just one place below it for environmental friendliness with a score of 78.7. Sweden also ranks one place below Finland for air quality with a score of 98.2 and ranks high for both solid waste and lead. Sweden is one of the most sustainable countries, known for its use of renewable energy sources and low carbon dioxide emissions.

9. Norway

Finland and Sweden’s neighbor Norway is the ninth-most eco-friendly country in the world. Norway has an EPI score of 77.7. Its overall environmental health score is 98.5, with a perfect score of 100 for sanitation and drinking water and ranking fifth for air quality with a score of 97.9. The country’s current electricity production is 97% renewable, and by the end of 2020, the government aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.

10. Germany

Germany finishes the list of the top ten most environmentally friendly countries in the world. Germany’s EPI is 77.2. Germany has a score of 100 for sanitation and ranks fourth overall for biodiversity. Germany is on its journey to increasing its eco-friendliness with 10 policies bringing it closer to “a renewable energy revolution.”

Most Environmentally Friendly Countries 2021

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Most Environmentally Friendly Countries 2021

Country EPI Ranking Env. Performance Index Env. Health Ecosystem Vitality 2021 Population
Switzerland187.4293.5783.328,715,494
France283.9595.7176.1165,426,179
Denmark381.6098.2070.535,813,298
Malta480.9093.8072.30442,784
Sweden580.5194.4171.2410,160,169
United Kingdom679.8996.0369.1368,207,116
Luxembourg779.1295.0768.48634,814
Austria878.9786.3874.039,043,070
Ireland978.7795.9267.344,982,907
Finland1078.6499.3564.835,548,360
Iceland1178.5798.4165.34343,353
Spain1278.3994.2167.8546,745,216
Germany1378.3788.6871.5083,900,473
Norway1477.4997.8663.915,465,630
Belgium1577.3889.3769.3911,632,326
Italy1676.9685.8871.0260,367,477
New Zealand1775.9695.9662.634,860,643
Netherlands1875.4692.2664.2517,173,099
Israel1975.0194.1462.258,789,774
Japan2074.6992.9962.48126,050,804
Australia2174.1297.9558.2325,788,215
Greece2273.6091.0361.9810,370,744
Taiwan2372.8469.8574.8323,855,010
Cyprus2472.6087.9662.371,215,584
Canada2572.1897.5155.2938,067,903
Portugal2671.9190.4759.5310,167,925
United States2771.1993.9156.04332,915,073
Slovakia2870.6063.8775.085,460,721
Lithuania2969.3372.5767.182,689,862
Costa Rica3067.8576.4462.135,139,052
Bulgaria3067.8569.6066.686,896,663
Qatar3267.8074.1863.542,930,528
Czech Republic3367.6868.6967.0110,724,555
Slovenia3467.5772.3464.402,078,724
Trinidad And Tobago3567.3681.4457.961,403,375
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines3666.4867.3865.88111,263
Latvia3766.1272.8061.661,866,942
Turkmenistan3866.1073.5361.156,117,924
Seychelles3966.0277.7258.2298,908
Albania4065.4665.6765.322,872,933
Croatia4165.4567.0464.394,081,651
Colombia4265.2271.0561.3351,265,844
Hungary4365.0157.6769.909,634,164
Belarus4464.9869.5561.949,442,862
Romania4564.7858.6768.8519,127,774
Dominican Republic4664.7164.8664.6110,953,703
Uruguay4764.6584.7251.273,485,151
Estonia4864.3173.2458.351,325,185
Singapore4964.2372.1458.965,896,686
Poland5064.1158.7167.7237,797,005
Venezuela5163.8975.7455.9928,704,954
Russia5263.7975.4855.99145,912,025
Brunei5363.5796.6641.52441,532
Morocco5463.4767.4360.8237,344,795
Cuba5563.4275.7655.2011,317,505
Panama5662.7166.9659.874,381,579
Tonga5762.4962.5162.48106,760
Tunisia5862.3581.1249.8311,935,766
Azerbaijan5962.3348.5571.5210,223,342
South Korea6062.3073.3054.9651,305,186
Kuwait6162.2870.5556.774,328,550
Jordan6262.2086.6945.8710,269,021
Armenia6362.0756.8565.562,968,127
Peru6461.9256.4965.5333,359,418
Montenegro6561.3372.6153.81628,053
Egypt6661.2168.6156.28104,258,327
Lebanon6761.0883.2546.306,769,146
Brazil6960.7067.4456.21213,993,437
Sri Lanka7060.6164.7057.8821,497,310
Equatorial Guinea7160.4049.6667.551,449,896
Mexico7259.6966.0455.46130,262,216
Dominica7359.3869.4552.6772,167
Argentina7459.3079.8845.5845,605,826
Malaysia7559.2266.6354.2832,776,194
Antigua And Barbuda7659.1876.5347.6198,731
United Arab Emirates7758.9067.8852.929,991,089
Jamaica7858.5868.4851.982,973,463
Namibia7958.4646.3466.542,587,344
Iran8058.1674.0147.5985,028,759
Belize8157.7965.0952.93404,914
Philippines8257.6555.6458.99111,046,913
Mongolia8357.5161.9754.543,329,289
Chile8457.4973.7346.6619,212,361
Serbia8457.4961.1855.038,697,550
Saudi Arabia8657.4772.8147.2535,340,683
Ecuador8757.4272.5847.3117,888,475
Algeria8857.1880.9541.3444,616,624
Cape Verde8956.9460.9054.30561,898
Mauritius9056.6377.4542.751,273,433
Saint Lucia9156.1871.0346.28184,400
Bolivia9255.9861.6452.2111,832,940
Barbados9355.7684.7336.45287,711
Georgia9455.6957.1054.753,979,765
Kiribati9555.2648.4859.78121,392
Bahrain9655.1565.2848.411,748,296
Nicaragua9755.0462.2050.276,702,385
Bahamas9854.9973.6842.52396,913
Kyrgyzstan9954.8654.7854.926,628,356
Nigeria10054.7636.6466.84211,400,708
Kazakhstan10154.5666.7046.4618,994,962
Samoa10254.5061.9449.55200,149
Suriname10354.2062.4648.68591,800
Sao Tome And Principe10454.0152.7354.87223,368
Paraguay10553.9358.1051.157,219,638
El Salvador10653.9163.9947.196,518,499
Fiji10753.0961.7047.35902,906
Turkey10852.9671.5640.5785,042,738
Ukraine10952.8764.4445.1643,466,819
Guatemala11052.3354.9750.5718,249,860
Maldives11152.1473.2338.09543,617
Moldova11251.9760.2946.424,024,019
Botswana11351.7037.1961.372,397,241
Honduras11451.5155.9548.5410,062,991
Sudan11551.4950.0952.4344,909,353
Oman11651.3275.9834.885,223,375
Zambia11750.9731.5763.9118,920,651
Grenada11850.9369.8238.34113,021
Tanzania11950.8345.0054.7161,498,437
China12050.7431.7263.421,444,216,107
Thailand12149.8846.2152.3369,950,850
Micronesia12249.8059.8843.07116,254
Libya12349.7981.8028.456,958,532
Ghana12449.6644.4253.1531,732,129
Timor Leste12549.5451.0248.561,343,873
Senegal12649.5247.5550.8317,196,301
Malawi12749.2139.9355.3919,647,684
Guyana12847.9361.5538.86790,326
Tajikistan12947.8526.2662.249,749,627
Kenya13047.2542.9650.1254,985,698
Bhutan13147.2235.2755.18779,898
Vietnam13246.9647.1246.8698,168,833
Indonesia13346.9245.4447.90276,361,783
Guinea13446.6245.0247.6913,497,244
Mozambique13546.3746.3646.3732,163,047
Uzbekistan13645.8850.6742.6933,935,763
Chad13745.3441.3647.9916,914,985
Myanmar13845.3235.6051.8054,806,012
Ivory Coast13945.2539.5549.0527,053,629
Gabon14045.0543.0446.392,278,825
Ethiopia14144.7832.8052.77117,876,227
South Africa14244.7336.8150.0160,041,994
Guinea Bissau14344.6743.6045.382,015,494
Vanuatu14444.5550.4640.61314,464
Uganda14544.2833.6451.3847,123,531
Comoros14644.2447.0642.37888,451
Mali14743.7143.7243.7020,855,735
Rwanda14843.6831.0352.1213,276,513
Zimbabwe14943.4140.5845.3015,092,171
Cambodia15043.2339.8145.5116,946,438
Solomon Islands15143.2249.6738.93703,996
Iraq15243.2061.4631.0241,179,350
Laos15342.9425.1554.807,379,358
Burkina Faso15442.8344.2241.9121,497,096
Sierra Leone15542.5441.8043.038,141,343
Gambia15642.4247.9938.722,486,945
Republic Of The Congo15742.3920.8956.735,657,013
Bosnia And Herzegovina15841.8463.8727.153,263,466
Togo15941.7838.2544.148,478,250
Liberia16041.6243.7340.215,180,203
Cameroon16140.8139.1841.9027,224,265
Eswatini16240.3232.5445.511,172,362
Djibouti16340.0452.8931.471,002,187
Papua New Guinea16439.3547.2634.099,119,010
Eritrea16539.3446.1234.813,601,467
Mauritania16639.2450.0132.054,775,119
Benin16738.1736.3639.3712,451,040
Afghanistan16837.7436.7638.4039,835,428
Pakistan16937.5016.8051.30225,199,937
Angola17037.4433.7939.8833,933,610
Central African Republic17136.4229.1641.264,919,981
Niger17235.7441.9431.6125,130,817
Lesotho17333.7829.7836.452,159,079
Haiti17433.7445.2426.0811,541,685
Madagascar17533.7342.3927.9628,427,328
Nepal17631.4410.5445.3829,674,920
India17730.579.3244.741,393,409,038
Dr Congo17830.4119.7037.5692,377,993
Bangladesh17929.5611.9641.29166,303,498
Burundi18027.4325.6928.5912,255,433

Most Environmentally Friendly Countries 2021