The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index


The 2016 Global Sustainable Competitiveness Report

The Sustainable Competiveness Ranking 2016 reveals some surprising, and other not-so-surprising results:

  • Sweden is leading the Sustainable Competitiveness – followed by the other Scandinavian economies
  • The top 20 are dominated by Norther European countries, including the Baltic states and Slovenia
  • The only non-European countries in the top 20 are New Zealand (12) and Japan (15)
  • Germany ranks 14, the UK 21, and the World’s largest economy, the US, is ranked 32. The US ranks particularly low in resource efficiency, but also social cohesion. If not tackled, the combination of the two is likely to undermine the global status of the US in the future
  • Of the large emerging economies, China is ranked 37, Brazil 41, Russia 45, and India 152.
  • Asian nations (South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and China) lead the Intellectual Capital ranking. However, achieving sustained prosperity in these countries might be compromised by Natural Capital constraints and current high resource intensity/low resource efficiency
  • The Social Cohesion ranking is headed by Northern European (Scandinavian) countries, indicating that Social Cohesion is the result of economic growth combined with social consensus

 

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The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index 2016
(PDF, 58 pages)
Analysis of US sustainable competitiveness:
What The Donald


The 2015 Global Sustainable Competitiveness Report

The Global Sustainable Competiveness Ranking 2015 is topped by Iceland for a second year running, followed by the Scandinavian nations. Key take-aways, some surprising, others not-so-surprising, include:

  • Iceland is leading the Sustainable Competitiveness Index for a second year - the country that refused to bail out its banks in the aftermath of the financial crisis 2007/2008.
  • The Sustainable Competitiveness Index is topped by Scandinavian nations four the 4th consecutive year. The leaders are followed by other North-Western European Nations. Only Japan (10th) breaks into the Nordic phalanx in the top ten.
  • The only non-European country in the top 20 are Japan (10), New Zealand (15) and Canada (19)
  • The World’s largest economy, the US, is ranked 40th. The UK is ranked 47th. Russia is above both on 33.
  • Of the booming emerging economies, Brazil is ranked 23, China 24, South Korea 39, and India 133.
  • The Natural Capital sub-rankings are topped by countries with a rich biodiversity, favourable climate and sufficient water resources. Distinctions are also visible between the more industrialised countries, indicating that some countries will face lower obstacles with the coming raw material and energy scarcity
  • Asian nations (Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and China) lead the Sustainable Innovation Competitiveness ranking. However, achieving sustained prosperity in these countries might be compromised by Natural Capital constraints and current high resource intensity/low resource efficiency
  • The Social Cohesion ranking is headed by Northern European (Scandinavian) countries, indicating that Social Cohesion is the result of economic growth combined with  some sort of social consensus
  • Sovereign bond ratings do not take into account the underlying sustainability factors -they do not fully reflect investor risks.

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The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Report 2015
(PDF, 58 pages)



The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index 2014

Contrary to a GDP ranking, the Sustainable Competitiveness score is based on scoring current performance data as well as performance trends (increase/decrease) over the past 5 years. The combination of absolute comparison and trends reflects a momentary picture and indicates the future potential of a country. The Sustainable Competiveness Ranking 2014 reveals some surprising, and other not-so-surprising results:

  • The Sustainable Competitiveness Index is topped by Scandinavian nations four the 3rd consecutive year. Only Japan (2nd breaks into the Nordic phalanx. The leaders are followed by other North-Western European Nations. The only non-European country in the top 20 are Canada (9), Japan (12), and New Zealand (14).
  • The World’s largest economy, the US, is ranked 27th. Of the booming emerging economies, Brazil is ranked 28th, South Korea 30th, China 38th, Russia 48th, and India 126th.
  • The Natural Capital sub-rankings are topped by countries with a rich biodiversity, favourable climate and sufficient water resources. Distinctions are also visible between the more industrialised countries, indicating that some countries will face lower obstacles with the coming raw material and energy scarcity
  • Asian nations (Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and China) lead the Sustainable Innovation Competitiveness ranking. However, achieving sustained prosperity in these countries might be compromised by Natural Capital constraints and current high resource intensity/low resource efficiency
  • The Social Cohesion ranking is headed by Northern European countries, indicating that Social Cohesion is the result of economic growth combined with  some sort of social consensus


The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Report 2013

The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index scores and ranks 176 countries according to their capability to sustain or increase wealth in a resource-constraint, globalised world. The Index was first developed and published in 2012, based on a competitiveness model that incorporates all aspects required to sustain wealth, the environment, and social cohesion. The four main pillars of the model are: natural capital (the availability of natural resources), resource efficiency (as a measurement of industrial competitiveness), sustainable innovation (as a measurement of the capability to sustain economic activities in a competitive global market) and social cohesion (the foundations of smooth operation and secure investments).

Key findings of the 2013 Index include:

  • The Scandinavian nations have tightened their grip on the top four positions, followed by Central and Northern European Nations. Canada (7) is the only non-European country in the top 10
  • The large economies keep their position within the rankings: Japan (12), UK (25), US (27). Brazil (28) is highest ranked amongst the BRICS countries
  • Asian nations (Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and China) remain leading in terms of sustaining innovation capabilities
  • Natural Capital and Resource Efficiency rankings are topped by countries with high availability of water resources, favourable climate conditions, and rich biodiversity. Clear distinctions are visible between countries within the same development stages. Large parts of the human population are living in countries with high natural capital depletion combined with low resource efficiency (China, India), raising concerns regarding the capabilities to achieve sustainable wealth.
  • The Social Cohesion ranking is headed by Scandinavian and Northern European countries, indicating that a strong social fabric is a result of the combination of economic development and equality initiatives.

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The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Report 2013



Sustainable Competitiveness Vs. WEF Competitiveness

A comparative analysis with the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) (the "Davos Man" competitiveness index), which focuses purely on business-related competitiveness indicators shows

  • The WEF index is based to 70% on the WEF’s “executive opinion survey”. The Sustainable Competitiveness Index in contrast is based to 90% on performance data and trends of performance data
  • The WEF Index shows a very high correlation to current GDP per capita rankings. The Sustainable competitiveness correlation to GDP is distinctively lower, indicating that sustainable competitiveness leads to higher wealth and not vice-versa
  • Analysis of competitiveness scores and growth rates and changes to growth rates shows a negative correlation for the WEF Index, suggesting that the competitiveness model does not fully reflect future competitiveness

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Sustainable Competitiveness Vs. WEF Competitiveness



Achieving Sustainable Competitiveness

A review of the findings and how diferent aspects of national sustainable competitiveness affect future development:

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Achieving Sustainable Competitiveness

 



The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Report 2012

Data collected by the World Bank, the IMF and various UN has been analysed to calculate a sustainable competitiveness score. The data has been compared for 176 countries around the World to establish the Global Sustainable Competitiveness Ranking.

Key findings include:

  • The Sustainable Competitiveness Index is topped by the Scandinavian countries, followed by North-Western European Nations
  • The Natural Capital and Resource Intensity rankings are led by less know countries with a rich biodiversity, favourable climate and sufficient water resources. Clear distinctions are visible between the more industrialised countries, indicating that some countries will face lower obstacles with the coming raw material and energy scarcity than low-efficient countries
  • Asian nations (Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea) top the Sustainable Innovation Competitiveness ranking. However, achieving sustainable development for these countries might be compromised by Natural Capital constraints and current high resource intensity/low resource efficiency
  • The Social Cohesion ranking is headed by Northern European and Scandinavian countries, indicating that Social Cohesion is the result of economic growth combined with social consensus

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The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Report 2012

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