Global risk profile

Global risk profile

ESG Index 2022: a global decline of sustainability performance

Geneva, March 8, 2023 – The 2022 ESG Index released by Global Risk Profile (GRP) has revealed a decline in global scores compared to the previous year. The ESG index measures risks related to the environment, human rights, and the health & safety of people around the world. 

Despite the growing focus on ESG topics and sustainability goals, along with increased ESG initiatives and binding legislations with disclosure requirements, all regions analyzed, i.e. North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, show a clear decline in their average performance in the ESG Index between 2021 and 2022, suggesting a great deal of work remains to be done.

Environmental impact is the core issue, as scores for Human Rights and Health & Safety have remained relatively steady across the globe. The decline in environmental scores can be attributed to various factors, including the rebounding of economic activity following the COVID-19 pandemic, which increased greenhouse gas emissions and pollution levels. Inadequate waste management practices and insufficient protection of biodiversity also have long-lasting effects on the environment. This highlights the urgent need for stronger environmental policies and initiatives to mitigate the adverse effects of human activities on the natural world.

Europe maintains its gap with other regions of the world (29.45), well ahead of South America (40.33), North America (41.17), Oceania (41.77), Asia (48.17) and Africa (57.55).

The top three positions are once again held by Nordic countries, with Finland in first place, followed by Iceland in second and Norway in third. Sweden is ranked fourth, while Portugal ascended from ninth to fifth place, displacing Switzerland to the seventh position behind Italy (6th).

In this year’s global ranking, the United States is ranked 42nd, falling significantly behind Canada, which holds the 11th rank, but fares better than Mexico, which ranks at a distant 68th.

In Asia, both China and India have dropped in their respective rankings, with China falling by 11 positions to rank 118th, and India slipping from 139th to 145th. However, the most significant drop in Asia was by Mongolia, which lost 27 positions and now stands at the 91st rank. The implementation of measures to control the spread of Covid-19 has shed light on major human rights challenges in Mongolia, with regards to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and health workers’ treatment. Mongolia’s ranking is also affected by its inadequate environmental protection, with air pollution constantly on the rise.

The ESG Index ranking ends with Somalia (183rd), identified as the country with the highest ESG risk for the second year in a row. Preceding Somalia are the Democratic Republic of Congo (182nd), Chad (181st), the Central African Republic (180th) and Sudan (179th).

The complete 2022 ESGI results, including interactive data visualization and technical documentation, are available on a dedicated website: 


About the ESGI

The ESG Index (ESGI) measures issues related to three key areas: the environment (30%), Human Rights (50%) and Health & Safety (20%) and covers 183 countries and territories. Based on a set of 65 variables, the ESGI’s fifth edition offers a risk score on a 0-100 range, where 0 represents the lowest risk and 100 the highest risk. A rank and a risk evaluation are also provided for each jurisdiction.


About GRP

Global Risk Profile (GRP) is a leading Swiss company specializing in third-party risk management related services. Since its foundation in 2009, GRP has placed Due Diligence at the heart of its activities. Its services now range from compliance software solutions to Due Diligence checks & investigations with various coverage and scope, suitable for both multinationals and small businesses.


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