Switzerland is leading the world in pollution control and natural resource management, according to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index
Latvia, Norway, Luxembourg and Costa Rica also made the top five in the survey of 132 countries.
The Index was produced by researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
Researchers said Switzerland scored highly because of its ‘ecosystem vitality’ and environmental health. In particular it was commended for a strong performance in biodiversity and habitat protection, and in air control.
The bottom five were South Africa, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iraq.
Latvia, Azerbaijan, Romania, Albania and Egypt were noted for their improvements this year; Latvia in particular for eliminating coal power and for actively reforesting.