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Finland the eighth most sustainable society

Long-term progress:
Finland’s Sustainable Society Index score is only six on a scale of one to ten.
Short-term progress:
Finland’s score fell slightly between 2010 and 2012, and its ranking among other countries is down from five to eight.
Progress in relation to targets:

Sustainable Society Index

Sustainable Society Index
Source: Sustainable Society Index. Sustainable Society Foundation. 2013.


Finland was placed eighth in the 2012 Sustainable Society Index, three places down from 2010.

Finland’s index score has been around six since the index was first published in 2006. The score of the number one nation, Switzerland, is seven. Even that is some distance from the score of ten that would deliver a society fulfilling all three dimensions of sustainability – human, environmental and economic wellbeing.

Since many environmental problems are global in nature, achieving sustainability in any single country would not suffice. The mean of the indices for all 151 countries included in the exercise remains at 4.7.

Finland is among the top nations under most indicators measuring human and economic wellbeing. For instance, in the category of personal and social development, Finland is the best in the world – thanks to its educational opportunities, equality, good governance and small income differences.

However, with respect to indicators evaluating environmental wellbeing, Finland ranks 103. Many countries are ahead in the use of renewable energy, while our high standard of living and northern location result in high levels of consumption and of greenhouse gas emissions. Countries that do well in environmental wellbeing categories often rank low in terms of human and economic wellbeing.


  • Sustainable Society Index. Sustainable Society Foundation. 2013.


Published 2015-09-01 at 12:18, updated 2015-10-14 at 13:58