The point of ranking a countries environmental status is to follow the lead of the top performers and correct the mistakes we are making. These rankings encourage a country to take better care of its environment.
The EPI report that Yale University published is the basis of our ranking, EPI stands for Environment Performance Index. Countries are given a number between 0 to 100 as their EPI. The higher the number, the more environment-friendly they are.
This index is calculated by taking 32 different parameters into account. Environment specialists calculate this index with the information available on national and international organizations.
Here’s the list of the current top 20 cleanest countries in the world.
1. Denmark (82.5)
Denmark is the most environment-friendly country in the world and it has achieved that with many sensible environmental policies.
These policies focus on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Denmark also has impressive biodiversity and its citizen are environment conscious.
2. Luxembourg (82.3)
Luxembourg has the second-highest EPI score of 82.3. In recent years, the population of Luxembourg has seen an increase along with its GDP.
But the country has still managed to continue environmentally sustainable behavior. Luxembourg has plenty of greeneries as the country is mostly rural with less than 600,000 people living there.
3. Switzerland (81.5)
Switzerland was able to score the third-highest EPI because of its excellent water sanitation and restoration. Switzerland is also leading in waste recycling.
Its goal is to achieve 100% renewable energy and 50% restoration of land and ocean by 2050.
4. United Kingdom (81.3)
The UK is the fourth cleanest country in the world. It did particularly well in drinking water and sanitation, with a perfect EPI score of 100.
Its wastewater treatment system is also nearly perfect with an EPI score of 98.5. UK also had high waste management and biodiversity score.
It scored perfect EPI for marine protected areas and species protection index,
5. France (80.0)
France did particularly well in the Heath category. It scored 91.5, which is quite high. It also has a perfect sanitation system. Its biodiversity score is 88.3.
It had a perfect score in the global terrestrial biome category, national terrestrial biome category, species protection index category, and marine protected area category.
6. Austria (79.6)
Austria has a population of 8.85 million and urbanization of 58.75%. Its urban population is much lower than its peers.
It does give Austria an advantage when it comes to environmental protection.
Austria has a score of 100 in sanitation. In the biodiversity category, it scored 85.5.
7. Finland (78.9)
Finland has the cleanest air you can breathe. Its air quality is rated 98.8.
It also has perfect sanitation and drinking water scores. Its biodiversity is not as impressive though.
Finland scored 75.5 in the biodiversity category.
8. Sweden (78.7)
Sweden also has very clean air. It scored highly in the sanitation and drinking water category.
Its waste management score is 99.8 and its wastewater treatment score is a perfect 100.
Sweden’s biodiversity is rated 72.5.
9. Norway (77.7)
Norway is the ninth cleanest country in the world with an EPI of 77.7. It is one of the countries with the cleanest air.
It scored highly, 98.5. in the health category as well. Norway’s biodiversity score is 71.5.
10. Germany (77.2)
Germany has a high biodiversity score of 88.8. It also did well in the solid waste management category and wastewater treatment category.
German sanitation system got a perfect score. Germany also has clean drinking water available for its citizens.
11. Netherlands (75.3)
The Netherlands has a high score of 91 in the health category. The country also performed impressively in the sanitation and drinking water category.
Its solid waste management system is also exemplary and has scored a 100.
12. Japan (75.1)
Japan is the world’s twelfth cleanest country with an EPI of 75.1. It got a high score in the health category, which is 90.3.
Their sanitation system is also rated highly, Japan’s biodiversity score is 76.6.
13. Australia (74.9)
Australia’s population is nearly 25 million. 86.24% of their population is urbanized. Despite that, it has scored 83.7 in the biodiversity category.
It also has a high score in the health category. Australia still needs to work on its sanitation and waste management systems.
It scored 92.7 in the wastewater treatment category and 81 in the drinking water category.
14. Spain (74.3)
Spain has an overall EPI of 74.3. The biodiversity score of Spain is 87.6. It has also done well in the sanitation category.
Its drinking water score is 94.6 and wastewater treatment score is 91.5.
15. Belgium (73.3)
Belgium is a highly urbanized country, with more than 98% of its population being urbanized.
Considering that, it is impressive that Belgium has maintained a biodiversity score of 87.4.
16. Ireland (72.8)
Ireland has a relatively small population of about 4 million. It has scored exceptionally high in the health category.
Its sanitation and drinking water category scores are also impressive. It has scored a perfect 100 in the drinking water category.
17. Iceland (72.3)
Iceland is a small country with a population of 350,000 people. But it is highly urbanized, with almost 94% of its population living in the urban region.
It has scored 98.1 in the health category, outperforming its peers by a long shot.
18. Slovenia (72.0)
Slovenia has a lot of biodiversity present in its 20272.50 sq. km. land area. It also did well in the sanitation category. Its wastewater treatment score is 89.1.
19. New Zealand (71.3)
New Zealand performed excellently in the air quality category.
It scored 97.4 in that category, making New Zealand one of the countries that have the cleanest air in the world. Its biodiversity score is 84.
20. Canada, Czech Republic & Italy (71.0)
Canada, Czech Republic, and Italy have all scored 71.0 EPI, sharing the title of the world’s twentieth cleanest country.
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed our list of the 20 cleanest countries in the world. Comment below if you were surprised by any of the entries that made our list.