Believe it…India is the most environment friendly country in the world !


Yes, that’s true, India has been voted the most environment friendly & green country in the world by none other than National Geographic. The Annual Survey “Greendex” carried out by Nat Geo and Globescan shows that out of 17 main economies surveyed India does least to harm the our environment.

Greendex has derived these results based on people’s transportation patterns, household energy and resource use, consumption of food and everyday consumer goods, and what consumers do to minimize the impact these activities have on the environment.

The Most Environment Friendly Countries in the world


Key Indian Highlights on Greendex Report

  • India has ranked 1st on Greendex for 2nd time in a row and have also showed greatest increase in the score from last year (3.2 points).
  • Indians are less likely to have home heating and hot running water (42 percent for both), and many who do commonly use on-demand electrical water heaters (44 percent versus the 17-country average of 13 percent).
  • India Ranks top on transportation Sub Index as Indians tend not to have large vehicles who typically are gas guzzlers (49 percent neither own, rent, nor lease cars or trucks); furthermore, those who do seldom drive alone (13 percent—versus the average of 38 percent—down from 19 percent in 2009).
  • Indians prefer motorcycles or scooters (67 percent) or use public transportation (81 percent do so at least once a month). After the Chinese, Indians are the 2nd most likely to choose to live close to their destinations (59%), and they are among the most likely to prefer to walk or cycle to their usual destinations (63 %).
  • 35% Indians eat self grown food several times a week or daily, more than any other country in the world. Also, Consumers in India rarely consume meat, including chicken (24%), fish & seafood (21%) and beef (13%).
  • When it comes Goods Sub-index, India again ranks at top as Indian consumers prefer to buy used rather than new (42%) and to repair rather than to replace (68%). They also increasingly buy products that are environmentally friendly  (60%).
  • Indians are also becoming increasingly concerned about environmental problems in general (76%). More Indians feel guilty about their impact on the environment (58%). In particular, they are more likely than most to worry about climate change or global warming (83%), fresh water shortage (85%), and loss of species and habitat (70%).

Now a big question to readers which I am sure must have come to your mind already. Are these “environmentally friendly habits” of Indians more out of compulsion (like money, traffic, roads etc. ) or by choice ? What say ?

Full 2010 Greendex Report (PDF)

  1. Ullash Kotian says

    Guys you may blame anybody but remember india was one of the first country to popularize project tiger to save the forest

  2. Rahul says

    As I have pointed out previously on this forum India as a nation has 2 components – India and Bharat!

    India is the people reading this blog, driving to work, shopping in AC malls over the weekend, own generators, water purifiers, educated, eating out etc etc etc etc

    Bharat is the rest of them. Now out of roughly 1.2 billion people 700 – 800 million qualify as Bharat! Check out the series on how India classifies BPL status on WSJ.

    Their lack of access to the better things in life makes the whole country look good!

    India is hiding behind Bharat’s back on this front!!

  3. Altaf Rahman says

    Lets make dudh ka dudh, pani ka pani.

    For some one arguing that we care more for environment than money, and showing the example of driving smaller vehicles, let me ask how many people buy ‘organic food’ in support of environment?
    The answer is most of our decisions are money oriented. When env is on our side, well its a feel good factor. When money and env are on opposing sides, we know the answer for my question.
    Pls read page 99. It says Brazilians prefer to buy green electricity though I assume it costs more (we Indians have no such choice). In page 100 only chinese take decisions based on env concerns.

  4. Priyanka says

    We can see by other countries on the list too like Brazil, Mexico.. we all are in the same boat where its a matter of availability rather than eco-consciousness to live green friendly lives.

  5. Arun Prabhudesai says

    Madhav, bang on target…

    Bottomline is – We are saving environment but not because we want to, but becoz our circumstances are such that we are forced to do it :)

  6. Madhav Shivpuri says

    No wonder we have green color on our flag!

    Agree with Altaf. In fact I think we win because of circumstances than out of choice. Just a quick check:

    Water – there is no running water. So how would you even waste it?

    Electricity- what’s that? Even in a metropolis like Bangalore there are many hours on many days in a year without electricity, so your per capita consumption would obviously be less.

    Petrol – Yes. Bikes save the day. But is there even a decent public transport system in this country? How many average Indians can afford to drive cars to work?

    I didn’t read the report but:

    – how does a urbanite sitting at his office desk or at a internet cafe answer a survey that results in “35% Indians eat self grown food several times a week or daily”? Surely because more than 50% of our population is agrarian. Does that make sense?

    “Indian consumers prefer to buy used rather than new”- is it because of cost or to have help the environment?

    “repair rather than to replace”- is it because our TV’s and refrigerator’s seen as an investment? In our house we used the same color TV for 12yrs before its color tube screwed up. Of course, we promptly got that repaired for a few hundred rupees than buy another TV. The TV continued to serve us another decade before my family grew over it and replaced the TV before the last world cup just so that it would not die on us when the action was underway !

    Wow – that sounds to me that we have been a country of some innocent decisions leading to a great green country!

  7. Altaf Rahman says

    Actually I am more alarmed than happy to know that we have done some thing great.
    To explain the complex issue, I would like to tell you that in some GCC countries, when ever some road accident happens, the police straight away show bias and tend to put the fault on Non locals in booking cases. Most of the time expats are resigned to their fate though they are not at fault.
    Finally at the end of the year the authorities come up with statistics showing that most of the road accidents happen due to untrained expats. Thats when it hurts. They book us with out reason on the strength of being locals and on support of the records, they boast that they are the best drivers.
    The reason why I am telling this is, records can be manipulated to show entirely opposite result.
    In the above article, I entirely believe (as suggested by the author in the last para) that all the above good deeds are not due to our love of environment.
    I have tried to read the report of NG.
    If you read the last para of 7th page, you will clearly understand that the results are based on online interviews with people. Whats more we are masters of faking issues. When some one asks us a question, even before we try to understand the issue, we try to think of what would be a correct answer. We are masters of fake. I can easily imagine, people saying that they are angels, struggling in the harsh world, they feel pain at env degradation etc. Its like calling head of states and asking them is their country alright? They will say, sab kuch think thak hai, infact nothing is more thik thak than my country. No need to substantiate the statement by facts. You can confirm anything.
    But if you read page 100, you will realize that we reduce electricity consumption only due to cost considerations. We dont care for env facts.
    The first fact of the above article says Indians dont use home heating systems. Why do we need that? We are a hot country!!
    We use two wheelers just to navigate efficiently in the traffic jams and that too coz they give 100 km per liter. Public transport is free, just avoid buying tickets. If you see checking, just get down. So much for env!!
    As I have seen in the case of GCC citizens driving skills based on records, we are so much loving environment.
    Have they seen the open drains flowing into our rivers? Has anyone imagined the poison is choking marine life? Have they seen the garbage so blatently spread everywhere? How much decease it is causing, how much methane it is releasing into atmosphere? Have they seen how much forest is converted to agriculture land and how much agriculture land into commercial land? We are choking nature’s lungs.
    But we should not be asking such questions, in times of celebrations. We are the greenest country. Lets celebrate!!

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Altaf, excellent parallel drawn between GCC citizens driving skills and our love for environment. As I have always said about these surveys – Always take them with a pinch of salt. Most of the surveys are based on people interviews, which can be erroneous or even out-right opposite as people tend to speak something, but do entirely different things in real life situation…

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