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Sweden named world’s ‘most sustainable’ country after ESG analysis



A new report by Swiss investment group RobecoSAM, which scores countries on sustainability based on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, has hailed Sweden as the world’s most sustainable country.

The report looks at realms of conditions within a country, which includes transparency, ageing population policies, education, energy use and life expectancy.

Combining all of these together, the report gives each country a sustainability score, and the countries are ranked accordingly.

The scores demonstrate great success for Scandinavian countries, with Sweden topping the list with a sustainability score of 8.25 out of 10, closely followed by Australia, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway.

The UK came in at sixth in the list, scoring 7.57 out of 10, then Canada, Finland, the US and the Netherlands.

China, which has frequently come under fire in recent years for its climate change policies, came in at 48th. Although it is the most populated country on Earth, it recently revealed it could scrap the one-child policy that came into place in 1971, in an attempt to restore a healthy balance between the working age and pensioners .

China also announced plans to tackle climate change by putting energy efficiency at the heart of its energy policies.

The poorest performer on the list was Nigeria, which scored 2.51 out of 10. Also in the bottom five were Russia, Indonesia, Venezuela and Egypt.

Johan Duyvesteyn, senior researcher at Robeco Quantitative Strategies, said, “Our statistical analysis helps us identify which sustainability criteria are financially relevant, which in turn helps us make better-informed investment decisions.”

Further reading:

Investors propose disclosure on sustainability performance

Stock exchanges announce commitment to sustainable investment

US investors hold firms to account over climate-related challenges

Ceres urges investors to integrate sustainability policies

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2013