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Sweden is known for a lot of things. Be it for ABBA, Spotify, the commonly known Swedish meatballs that are a must during every IKEA visit, or the Swede’s beloved Fika tradition. Since 2015 one can add the leading position in the Country Sustainability Ranking to that list. In fact, no other country has disputed the pioneer’s spot since the country took its first lead. But what does it actually take to get named first on that chart?
Generally speaking, the Country Sustainability Ranking represents an exhaustive framework that conduces to analyze countries' environmental, social and corporate governance (i.e. ESG). The named factors that make up the ESG, are crucial when measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a company. Universally, these aspects help to determine the future financial performance of companies more precisely. The Country Sustainability Ranking mainly focuses on ESG components like aging, competitiveness, and environmental risks – releasing an insight into a country’s strengths and weaknesses that are usually not covered. In total, the ranking judges 60 countries in reference to their environmental policies, emissions, energy use, energy sources, risk mitigation, and biodiversity.
Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, we at The Humble Co. gotcha! Frankly, we’ll present you the actions that made the land with the so-called Venice of the North as capital, earn the ranking as the most sustainable country in the world; because that’s the truly interesting part, isn’t it ?
So, here go the HOT FACTS:
Swedes love to be sustainable. Be it purchasing eco-labeled products, adding unique vintage treasures to their wardrobes instead of shopping new pieces, or recycle used items. – Swedes are commonly above the European average respective sustainable actions. This is, indeed, a well-earned result of public awareness about environmental issues linked to the public’s actual eagerness and ambition to follow a more sustainable lifestyle.
Sweden strives to become the world’s first fossil-fuel-free nation by 2050.
Sweden was the first country that initiated a carbon tax for carbon-intensive fuels like oil and natural gas (1995). As a result, the country’s dependence on fossil fuels got heavily cut down.
Sweden possesses the highest percentage of renewable energy in the European Union.
Swedes are real pros at reducing the trash that is sent to their landfills. In fact, less than 1 percent of household waste ends up in trash-dumps. Really, 49 percent of household waste is being recycled, meanwhile roughly 50 percent of garbage is combusted in power plants. In total there are 34 ‘waste-to-energy’ power plants in Sweden, that are burning trash instead of coal or gas to produce energy for millions of homes. Truly, according to Avfall Sverige (i.e. Swedish Management and Recycling Association), four tons of trash contains energy equivalent to one ton of oil, 1.6 tons of coal, or five tons of wood waste.
There are a number of so-called passive houses placed within Sweden. These houses are powered by energy that is gained from people’s body heat, electrical appliances, and sunlight.
In summary, besides Sweden’s use of renewable energy sources and low carbon dioxide emissions, the country especially earned the ranking of being the most sustainable country in the world through public awareness. In fact, it’s the result of the unique mixture of citizen engagement, high ambition levels, and international solidarity. As Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish environmental activist on climate change, states ‘The first thing I have learned is that you are never too small to make a difference.’ – So, always remember YOUR ACTIONS MATTER! #gohumble