The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index scores and ranks 176 countries according to their capability to sustain or increase wealth in a resource-constraint, globalised world. The Index was first developed and published in 2012, based on a competitiveness model that incorporates all aspects required to sustain wealth, the environment, and social cohesion. The four main pillars of the competitivenesses model are:

. Natural Capital (the availability of natural resources)
. Resource Efficiency (to assess the industrial competitiveness)
. Sustainable Innovation (as a measurement of the capability to sustain economic activities in a competitive global market)
. Social Cohesion (the foundations of smooth operation and secure investments).

The four pillars of sustainable competitiveness consist of a total of 72 performance data indicators collected by the World Bank and various UN agencies. Both the latest available data and data trends over the past 5 years have been factored into the Sustainable Competitiveness Index. Key findings of the 2013 Index include:

. The Scandinavian nations have tightened their grip on the top four positions, followed by Central and Northern European Nations. Canada (7) is the only non-European country in the top 10
. The large economies keep their position within the rankings: Japan (12), UK (25), US (27). Brazil (28) is highest ranked amongst the BRIC countries
. Asian nations (Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and China) remain leading in terms of sustaining innovation capabilities
. Natural Capital and Resource Efficiency rankings are topped by countries with high availability of water resources, favourable climate conditions, and rich biodiversity. Clear distinctions are visible between countries within the same development stages. Large parts of the human population are living in countries with high natural capital depletion combined with low resource efficiency (China, India), raising concerns regarding the capabilities to achieve sustainable wealth.
. The Social Cohesion ranking is headed by Scandinavian and Northern European countries, indicating that a strong social fabric is a result of the combination of economic development and equality initiatives.