The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a method of quantifying and numerically marking the environmental performance of a state's policies. This index was developed from the Pilot Environmental Performance Index, first published in 2002, and designed to supplement the environmental targets set forth in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
The EPI was preceded by the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), published between 1999 and 2005. Both indexes were developed by Yale University (Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy) and Columbia University (Center for International Earth Science Information Network) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The ESI was developed to evaluate environmental sustainability relative to the paths of other countries. Due to a shift in focus by the teams developing the ESI, the EPI uses outcome-oriented indicators, then working as a benchmark index that can be more easily used by policy makers, environmental scientists, advocates and the general public.
As of January 2012 four EPI reports have been released - the Pilot 2006 Environmental Performance Index, and the 2008, 2010, and 2012 Environmental Performance Index. For the 2012 report, a new "Pilot Trend EPI" was developed to rank countries based on the environmental performance changes occurred during the last decade, allowing to establish which countries are improving and which are declining.
In the 2014 EPI ranking, the top five countries were Switzerland, Luxembourg, Australia, Singapore, and the Czech Republic. The bottom five countries in 2014 were Somalia, Mali, Haiti, Lesotho, and Afghanistan. The United Kingdom was ranked in 12th place, Japan 26th place, the United States 33rd, Brazil 77th, China 118th, and India came in 155th. The top five countries based on their 2012 Pilot Trend EPI were Estonia, Kuwait, El Salvador, Namibia and Congo.
|INDICATORS||1. Environmental Burden of Disease||2. Adequate Sanitation||4. Indoor Air Pollution|
|3. Drinking Water||5. Urban Particulates|
|6. Local Ozone|
|INDICATORS||7. Regional Ozone||9. Water Quality Index||11. Conservation Risk Index|
|8. Sulfur Dioxide Emissions||10. Water Stress||12. Effective Conservation|
|13. Critical Habitat Protection|
|14. Marine Protected Areas|
|INDICATORS||15. Growing Stock||16. Marine Trophic Index||18. Irrigation Stress|
|17. Trawling Intensity||19. Agricultural Subsidies|
|20. Intensive Cropland|
|21. Burnt Land Area|
|22. Pesticide Regulation|
|INDICATORS||23. Emissions per capita|
|24. Emissions per electricity generated|
|25. Industrial carbon intensity|
The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is constructed through the calculation and aggregation of more than 20 indicators reflecting national-level environmental data. These indicators are combined into nine issue categories, each of which fit under one of two overarching objectives. This section provides an overview of how the EPI is calculated.