the global sustainable competitiveness index

the sustainable competitiveness model

The Sustainable Competitiveness Index is built and calculated based on the sustainable competitiveness model that covers 73 data indicators grouped in 4 pillars:

  • Natural Capital is the based to sustain a society and economic activities: the given natural environment within the frontiers of a country, including availability of resources, and the level of the depletion of those resources.
  • Resource Intensity is a measurement of efficiency, and thus an element of competitiveness: the efficiency of using available resources(domestic or imported) as a measurement of operational competitiveness in a resource-constraint World.
  • Sustainable Innovation is key to sustain economic development in the globalised market: the capability of a country to generate wealth and jobs through innovation and value-added industries in the globalised markets
  • Social Cohesion is the fundamental stability required to maintain interruption-free economic activities: the health of populations, equality, security and freedom within a country

Individual indicators for the 4 pillars are shown in graphics on the right.

data sources

In order to exclude subjectivity, only quantitative data has been taken into account.

Only data from reliable sources was included in the index. Most data points and data series were extracted from the World Banks statistical database as well as from the combined UN database that contains statistical data across several UN agencies.

taking into account developments and trends: analysis over time

Current or recent data on its own limits the perspective to a momentary picture in time. However, the momentary status is not sufficient to gain a true picture of the sustainable competitiveness, which is, by definition, forward-looking. Of equal importance are therefore the development and recent trends of the indicators and their performance. Analysing trends and developments allows for understanding of where a country is coming from – and,  more importantly - indicates the direction of future developments. Increasing agricultural efficiency, for example, indicates a country's capability to feed an increasing population in the future, or the opposite if the trends are decreasing. Where sufficient data series are available, the trend was calculated for the latest 5 years available and scored to evaluate the current level as well as the future outlook and sustainability potential of a country based on recent developments.


The raw data as provided by the various databases consist of numerical values. While values can be ranked against each other, they cannot be compared or added to other values (two apples plus three oranges are not equal to five pineapples). It is therefore necessary to extract a scalable and comparable score from the raw data as a first step. In the second step, the relative importance of the indicator is assessed against other indicators to calculate the sustainability performance.

The Sustainable Copmpetitiveness Model

Natural capital indicators (click to enlarge)

Resource intensity indicators (click to enlarge)

Sustainable innovation capability indicators (click to enlarge)

Natural capital indicators (click to enlarge)

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