Environmental Impact Assessment of Countries

In our course today we were asked to investigate India’s position in terms of its Ecological Economic Efficiency.  In our research, we stumbled across this recent article put forward by a joint contribution of Harvard, Princeton, Adelaide University and University of Singapore.  The ranking looks at a number of variables such as  deforestation, carbon emission levels, habitat conversion,  fertilizer use, water pollution, etc.

What surprised me about this research is not only where India stands on a proportional global scale (32th), but where countries like USA (55th), Brazil (68th), Singapore  (1st) and Canada  (159th)place.  The article eventually concludes that as a nations wealth grows, so too does its environmental impact.  So if this is true, how can developed countries like the USA and Canada lead the way in implementing sustainable development policies? In other words, what strategies can we a citizens and companies follow to maintain our development, but do so in a sustainable fashion?

I found this article talking about sustainable engineering.  One thing it talks about is for Companies to upgrade/replace their manufacturing equipment to more modern and energy efficient machinery.  This may be possible for an established company with access to capital, but there has to be a balance between reducing your corporate carbon footprint and allowing developing nations (and enterprise) to develop.

What do you think?  Found any interesting articles or points of view?

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3 comments on “Environmental Impact Assessment of Countries
  1. Reading Jamser’s (?) Blog, I was disappointed to see my Canada so far down in the rankings, so wanted to see if there are other ranking scales where Canada does better…or worse!

    I found reference to the consumer survey by National Geographic (http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/file/GS_NGS_2010GreendexHighlights-cb1275487974.pdf) which ranks 17 countries based on the choices made by their consumers, the “you and me”s of the world, and what this means from an environmental perspective.

    The Greendex is a comprehensive measure of consumer behaviour in 65 areas relating to housing, transportation, food and consumer goods. In the 2010 Greendex, Canada remains second from the bottom, above the US for the third year in a row. So while this is disappointing for us Canucks, Canadian consumers continue to improve the sustainability of our purchasing choices. Where our behaviour trends us downward is in the transportation area. We generally have 1 (if not 2) cars and few of us use public transportation to get to and from work. And while we love to cycle, we do it for pleasure and not as part of our work life. Hard to cycle to work when the thermometer hits so far below zero and we have feet of the white stuff on the ground !

    If the announcement today (Government of Canada Announces Investment in Green Innovation for Canada’s Auto Sector) (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ic1.nsf/eng/06569.html ) bears fruit, our automobile habits may someday reverse the downward trend.

  2. jeremy says:

    If there is one useful purpose these and other ‘league tables’ have, it is embarrassing politicians — at least for a short time — until the same tables are published the following year. Just to cheer you up a little bit Nancy, Vancouver was recently ranked no.5 in the world’s most resilient cities list 🙂

  3. erinaulich says:

    Am I right in assuming you’ve experienced the UK schools ‘league tables’ Jeremy?! I did 7 years ago in the UK and am unfortunately now going through it once again in Australia.

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