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India’s Rise in Sustainability: A Closer Look at the 2023 Sustainable Trade Index Rankings

Sustainability Rankings
In 2023, sustainability takes centre stage for India and the world as nations continue their relentless pursuit of a more environmentally, economically, and socially resilient future. The Sustainable Trade Index (STI), an annual ranking developed by The Hinrich Foundation in partnership with the IMD World Competitiveness Center, provides a crucial insight into the sustainability of global economies. This year’s STI reveals exciting trends and shifts, underlining the importance of sustainable practices on a global scale. In this article, we’ll delve into the 2023 edition of the STI, the top-ranking countries, and what this means for India and its journey toward sustainability.

The Sustainable Trade Index Explained

The Sustainable Trade Index (STI) serves as a vital tool for India’s policymakers, government, and researchers, designed to foster meaningful discussions about the intricate relationships between global trade and sustainability. The index evaluates 30 of the world’s most influential economies across three key pillars: Economic, Societal, and Environmental. These pillars are supported by a comprehensive set of 71 individual indicators.

India’s Position in the 2023 STI

India, with a score of 26.0, occupies the 24th position in the STI rankings. This marks an improvement of two positions for India, reflecting the nation’s ongoing efforts to enhance sustainability. While India may not be at the top of the list, it has shown commendable progress in sustainable practices.

India’s Performance in the Three Pillars

1. Economic Sustainability: India’s economic performance is noteworthy, with initiatives aimed at sustainable economic growth, such as renewable energy investments, sustainable agriculture practices, and a growing emphasis on green industries. This bodes well for India’s long-term economic sustainability.
2. Societal Sustainability: India has made strides in improving societal indicators, including healthcare access, education, and gender equality. Social welfare programs have played a significant role in this progress, demonstrating India’s commitment to a more equitable society.
3. Environmental Sustainability: The country is gradually transitioning to greener and cleaner practices, with increased adoption of renewable energy sources, afforestation efforts, and measures to combat pollution. India’s actions toward environmental sustainability are critical in addressing its environmental challenges.

Room for Improvement

While India’s performance in the STI has improved, there is still significant room for enhancement. The government and various stakeholders should focus on tackling issues such as air and water pollution, waste management, and sustainable urban planning. Investments in renewable energy and sustainable transportation can further elevate India’s sustainability ranking on the global stage.

India’s Progress in the Global Context

The 2023 Sustainable Trade Index highlights the global context of sustainability and how India fits into the picture. India’s improvement in sustainability rankings is a positive sign that the nation is moving in the right direction. While challenges persist, the progress made in the economic, societal, and environmental aspects is a testament to India’s commitment to sustainable development.

Key Takeaways for India

1. Economic Sustainability: India’s initiatives toward sustainable economic growth are crucial in securing its future. Investments in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and green industries are promising signs for India’s economic sustainability.
2. Societal Sustainability: The improvements in healthcare, education, and gender equality underscore India’s dedication to building a more equitable society. Continued efforts in this direction are vital.
3. Environmental Sustainability: The transition to greener practices, including renewable energy adoption and pollution control measures, is essential in addressing India’s environmental challenges.


India’s journey towards sustainability, as revealed by the 2023 Sustainable Trade Index, is marked by commendable progress. The nation’s dedication to economic growth, societal welfare, and environmental conservation is evident. While there are challenges to be overcome, India’s positive momentum in these three pillars of sustainability shows promise. As India continues to tackle environmental issues and embrace sustainable practices, the insights from the STI serve as a valuable reference point for the nation’s sustainable future.