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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

A Closer Look at Oceania

In 2020, over 15,000 expats shared their take on life abroad. Find out what they had to say about the topics environment & sustainability in Australia & New Zealand.

7.      New Zealand

Ranking 7th out of 60 countries, New Zealand lands among the global top 10 countries in the Environment & Sustainability Ranking. This is especially due to its great performance in the Policies & People subcategory (4th): 85% of the expats in New Zealand agree that the government supports policies to protect the environment (vs. 55% globally), and 79% agree the population is very interested in environmental issues (vs. 48% globally). “New Zealand values the environment”, summarizes a US American expat. After Sweden (1st), Denmark (2nd), and Finland (3rd), New Zealand is voted the best non-Nordic country in this regard.

The country also features in the top 10 worldwide for the Quality of Environment subcategory (6th), with the natural environment (3rd) as the highest-ranking factor: 96% of the survey participants are satisfied with it (vs. 82% globally). “The environment is the best,” a Taiwanese expat agrees. Even though water and sanitation (17th) affect the overall ranking of this subcategory slightly negatively, five in six expats (83%) are still satisfied with this factor (vs. 72% globally) — 49% even very much so (vs. 34% globally). What is more, New Zealand ranks 12th for Products & Utilities, with 79% of expats satisfied with the availability of green goods and services (vs. 63% globally), as well as the energy supply (vs. 62% globally). 

18. Australia

Coming in 18th place out of 60 countries, Australia performs best in the Quality of Environment subcategory (11th). Expats love its natural environment (8th), with 95% rating this factor positively, compared to 82% globally. “The Australian environment is pleasant,” says a German expat. Expats are also satisfied with the quality of the air (13th), as well as water and sanitation (14th), with almost six in seven respondents (85%) rating the latter positively (vs. 72% globally).

The country also performs well in the Products & Utilities subcategory (20th), with almost three-quarters of expats (74%) satisfied with the availability of green goods and services, compared to 63% worldwide. Additionally, 68% of respondents rate the local waste management and recycling efforts positively (vs. 60% globally). Only the factor energy could be improved slightly, ranking 31st out of 60 countries worldwide.

Australia ranks lowest in the Policies & People subcategory (25th), and particularly low for its government’s support of environmental issues (34th). In fact, only 51% of expats perceive the Australian government as supportive of policies to protect the environment (vs. 55% globally). But the local population seems to push for more: More than two-thirds of expats (68%) agree that the population is very interested in environmental issues (vs. 48% globally).