Social governance issues such as carbon emissions, social cohesion, civil liberties, and environmental governance are the focus of a report designed to provide investors with deeper insight into issues that could affect a country’s credit rating. Along with this information are factors not typically considered by traditional sovereign ratings, such as climate change. This report from the Swiss investment group RobecoSAM ranked 59 countries based on a ‘whole’ consideration of success.
These findings are not at all surprising to those of us concerned with healthy transit, love of bicycling, clean electricity, and socially beneficial policies. Northern Europeans, along with Australia and Switzerland, top the list, with Sweden in particular coming out on top in any consideration of sustainability. They have responsibly and peacefully worked to earn a history (in the last century) focused on humanitarian value systems reflected in their transit, government, and educational systems. Sustainability just simply is part of all this.
Scandinavian countries are renowned for their environmental credentials, from significant renewable energy supplies to their love of cycling. So it is perhaps not so surprising to discover a new study has named Sweden the most sustainable country in the world.
The United Kingdom ranked number six on the list, scoring 7.57 out of 10. It scored highly on governance issues, such as how it deals with an ageing population, and six out of 10 for how it deals with environmental risks.
But Sweden came top of the list, earning high scores across almost all criteria and contrary to many developed countries, also scored well on environmental factors such as the use of renewable energy sources and CO2 emissions
Australia was ranked second on the list, scoring 7.87/10, compared to Sweden’s 8/25. Switzerland landed in third place with a score of 7.83. Denmark, Finland and Norway were also ranked in the top 10. Nigeria and Egypt fell to the bottom of the list, with particularly low scores on managing social issues.
Clean air, clear water, safe transit, all of these commonsense factors contribute to individual and social health.
Another note from the report include that more countries had lower insurance premiums. “Our statistical analysis helps us identify which sustainability criteria are financially relevant, which in turn helps us make better-informed investment decisions,” Johan Duyvesteyn, senior researcher at Robeco Quantitative Strategies.
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