Green Slovenia has placed fifth among 180 countries on the Environmental Performance Index – EPI, which is prepared by Yale University in cooperation with Columbia University and the World Economic Forum. Slovenia has progressed significantly since 2014, and its excellent placing confirms that it protects the ecosystem and human health very well.
Slovenia ranks behind Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark, reaching fifth place in Europe and the world. The EPI ranks how well countries perform in two policy areas: protection of human health and protection of ecosystems, which are scored in nine areas comprising 20 indicators. Finland ranks first with 90.68 points, followed by Iceland with 90.51 points, Sweden with 90.43 points and Denmark with 89.21 points. Slovenia garnered 88.98 points to reach fifth place.
The results of the survey presented at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos show that there have been positive global shifts in the areas of climate, energy, and access to drinking water and sanitation, all of which affect public health.
Slovenia has unique natural features, which are the basis for the country’s focus on sustainability. The story of the green country and the colour green is also included in the I FEEL SLOVENIA national brand. The colour, which expresses a balance between the serenity of nature and the diligence of Slovenians, is crucial to the brand’s recognition. It denotes pristine nature and our determination to preserve it and therefore focus on sustainable development.
The Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) is committed to ensure that the green and sustainable strategy is part of all its activities. In 2009, the Slovenian Tourist Board developed strategic orientations for green tourism and in 2014, they formed the Green Scheme of Slovenian tourism in cooperation with service providers and experts in the field of sustainable tourism, which is based on European (ETIS) and global (GSTC) criteria and recommends the adoption of GSTR (Global Sustainable Tourism Review) tools for measuring efficiency in the implementation of green practices. The green scheme is a system belonging to the umbrella of the SLOVENIA GREEN label, which will not only bring together efforts to promote sustainable development and enable the comparison between Slovenia and other green destinations of the world but also add national character to allow easier positioning of the green Slovenia in the world. In 2015, the Board has started to implement the scheme at the level of destinations and service providers. While one destination and six providers have already been granted the Slovenia Green title, there are, according to the Green scheme of Slovenian tourism, 15 more destinations currently in the evaluation test phase and 9 hoteliers in the phase of acquiring the title under the green tourism certification scheme.
This year is also special for Ljubljana, the European Green Capital of 2016. The capital of Slovenia demonstrates great environmental awareness, which has been recognised by the European Commission, which made it a green capital in June 2014 “for raising environmental awareness among citizens, the ‘Vision 2025’ sustainable strategy, the implementation of a series of green measures in the city in the last decade and an impressive network of public transport.” In April 2015, Ljubljana also received the ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’ award from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) as the most sustainability-focused destination. The jury highlighted that the image of Ljubljana had been “completely reshaped in accordance with a focus on sustainability.”