New Zealand has scored seventh place out of more than 140 countries for its environmental sustainability, the New Zealand Herald daily reported on Monday, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The Environmental Performance Index, a collaborative effort between Yale and Columbia Universities in the United States, was designed as a way of quantifying and benchmarking the environmental performance of each country's policies.
New Zealand scored 88.9 overall on the index, achieving a perfect 100 in the areas of water and sanitation. It scored 99 for environmental health and 78.8 for ecosystem vitality, but the lowest scores were for pesticide regulation, marine protected areas, biodiversity and emissions.
The United States placed 39th, far behind other developed states such as Britain, 14th, and Japan, 21st.
Australia ranked 46th, with low scores for water stress, pesticide regulation, climate change and emissions.
The top-ranked country was Switzerland, with an overall ranking of 95.5.