The Nordic countries (Finland, Norway and Sweden) have the reputation of being extremely conscious of the environment. Thus, it is no surprise that these three countries ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd on the 2002 Environmental Sustainability Index Report released at the World Economic Forum.


The Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) measures a country’s overall progress toward environmental sustainability using the following five core components:

1.  the state of a country’s environmental systems,

2.  stresses put on those systems through pollution and exploitation,

3.  level of human vulnerability to environmental changes,

4.  social and institutional capacity to deal with environmental challenges,

5.  and cooperating in international environmental efforts through global stewardship (2002 Environmental Sustainability Index).



This website was developed by Devon Hylander, graduate student, American University, for the final project of Dr. Zaharna’s International Public Relations class. 23 October 2004.


For Sweden with the times

För Sverige i tiden

Royal Motto of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav (1973-present)

The ESI can be compared to a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP measures economic success. The ESI measures environmental success (Nordics Rank Highest in Environmental Index).


Sweden, the country on which this website is based, ranked 3rd in the ESI out of the 142 countries studied. As a comparison, the list below shows the five most populated countries as of 2002 and their respective ESI ratings.

Brazil                 20

United States    45

Indonesia         100

India                  116

China                 129

(U.S. Census Bureau)


Sweden has a long history of being in touch with nature. The Swedish national anthem is an example of the Swedes passion for nature. The anthem pays tribute to the beauty of the mountains, the sun, the sky and the green fields of Sweden (Svensson, 1996, p. 66). Furthermore, nearly half the land in Sweden is uncultivated forest (p. 14). Yet another indication of the importance of a healthy environment.


Keeping in mind Sweden’s environmental past and present, this website examines the McDonald’s Corporation and its quest for a better public image in Sweden. After 30 years in Sweden, operating 82 restaurants, McDonald’s was ranked nearly last among Swedes for most admired companies due mostly in part to poor environmental performance.  In 1998, McDonald’s decided to take action to change their image, and over the past 15 years, it has had corporate wide repercussions (Stepping Stones).


Furthermore, this website reviews the Swedish people and land, the economy, the government, the media, the environmental policy and the culture within the context of the environmental beliefs of the Swedish citizens.


Click through the links at the bottom to learn more about Sweden and the McDonald’s environmental program.