Germany ranked 8th best country in the world for the sustainable expat

Germany ranked 8th best country in the world for the sustainable expat

Expats in Germany have declared themselves extremely satisfied with their adopted country’s approach to green living - so much so that the federal republic has been voted the eighth best destination in the world for the sustainable expat. 

The expat Environment & Sustainability ranking

Global networking company InterNations has just published the results of its first-ever Environment & Sustainability ranking, a list of the best and worst countries worldwide for the sustainable expat. 

Based on the results of their annual Expat Insider report, a survey of more than 15.000 expats across 181 countries worldwide, the ranking rates expats’ personal satisfaction with a number of environmental and sustainability factors, including:

  • Air quality
  • Natural environment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Availability of green goods and services
  • Energy supply
  • Local waste management and recycling infrastructure
  • Government’s environmental policies
  • Population’s interest in environmental issues

The 2020 Environment & Sustainability ranking is topped by Finland, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Switzerland, while the bottom five spots are taken by India, Kuwait, Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam. 

Germany scores well on green living

Coming in eighth place, Germany achieved an impressive overall score and received especially good results in the Products & Utilities subcategory, where it places seventh worldwide. 

It also ranked among the top 10 in the Policies & People subcategory, with three out of four expats agreeing that the German population is very interested in environmental issues - compared to 48 percent globally. 80 percent of respondents also feel that the German government supports policies to protect the environment; the global average for this was just 55 percent. 

The survey found that expats in Germany are also really satisfied with the availability of green goods and services (86 percent compared to 63 percent globally). Indeed, Germany ranked within the global top five in this category, falling just behind Finland, Denmark and Sweden, with neighbouring Austria nabbing the top spot. 

Expats also expressed satisfaction with Germany’s energy supply (83 percent versus 62 percent globally), as well as its waste management and recycling infrastructure. It received its worst score - although still above average - in the Quality of Environment subcategory, ranking 28th out of 60. Nonetheless, nine out of 10 expats are happy with the natural environment in Germany and 90 percent rate water and sanitation positively. 

The best and worst destinations for the sustainable expat

The top 10 countries in the world for sustainability were as follows:

  • 1. Finland
  • 2. Sweden
  • 3. Norway
  • 4. Austria
  • 5. Switzerland
  • 6. Denmark
  • 7. New Zealand
  • 8. Germany
  • 9. Canada
  • 10. Luxembourg

And the worst-performing countries were:

  • 51. Hong Kong
  • 52. Malta
  • 53. Kenya
  • 54. Philippines
  • 55. Thailand
  • 56. Vietnam
  • 57. Indonesia
  • 58. Egypt
  • 59. Kuwait
  • 50. India

For the full ranking, along with a detailed breakdown of the scores, visit the InterNations website



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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