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Friday, April 13, 2018
Honolulu World's Best City Sanitation?
By News Release @ 12:28 AM :: 5354 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment, Hawaii Statistics

Honolulu No. 1 in sanitation in worldwide ranking

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, April 13, 2018

Honolulu – In a new report released by international consulting firm Mercer, Honolulu ranked No. 1 globally in sanitation. The sanitation ranking is based on an “analyses (of) cities’ waste removal and sewage infrastructure, levels of infectious disease, air pollution, water availability and quality.”

Along with its No. 1 ranking in sanitation, Honolulu is ranked No. 36 in overall quality of living worldwide, and No. 3 among all U.S. cities. The report can be accessed at the following link:

“Those of us that live in Honolulu know what a beautiful place it is, and it’s always encouraging to know that the rest of the world is paying attention,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “This kind of recognition is a credit to the hard working city employees who take care of our sewers and water treatment facilities, and even residents that go out of their way to pick up trash off our city streets.”

“Our entire department is extremely honored to have contributed to this distinction, and we are very proud of our staff that deal with both solid waste and wastewater,” said Department of Environmental Services Director Lori Kahikina. “However, we need to remain vigilant and continue to maintain a high level of public service, while also striving to improve and becoming more efficient.”

Ernest Lau, Manager and Chief Engineer of the Board of Water Supply, said: “The Board of Water Supply takes pride in delivering safe, dependable and affordable water to everyone on the island of O‘ahu. Our team works very hard to ensure the quality of our drinking water and that it is available, when needed, 24/7.”

“This ranking reminds us that a great quality of life is a direct result of a healthy environment,” said Josh Stanbro, executive director of the Office of Climate change, Sustainability and Resiliency, who also serves as the city’s chief resilience officer. “Clean water and clean air make our island an amazing place to live, and we can only keep it that way with continued investment in infrastructure and each citizen taking care of our ʻāina.”  

Mercer evaluates living conditions in more than 450 cities worldwide.  

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SA: The teams checking us out might have missed reports of sewage treatment plant problems, of park bathrooms being closed for repairs, of various issues with bulky item pickup.

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  • Vienna ranks highest for quality of living for the 9th year in a row
  • Honolulu ranks first for city sanitation, an important factor in cities’ attractiveness
  • 20th anniversary edition: emerging cities increasing living standards to attract mobile talent
  • UK’s highest ranked city, London, ranks 41st for quality of living, 67th for sanitation  

News Release from Mercer, March 20, 2018 (excerpt)

Despite economic volatility in Europe due to uncertainty around Brexit as well as increased political volatility in the region overall, many of its cities still offer the world’s highest quality of living and continue to remain attractive destinations for expatriates on assignment, according to Mercer’s 20th annual Quality of Living survey. Cities in emerging markets, though challenged by economic and political turmoil, are catching up with top ranking cities following decades of investing in infrastructure, recreational facilities and housing in order to attract talent and multinational businesses.

Vienna tops the ranking for the 9th year running and is followed by Zurich (2), Auckland and Munich in joint 3rd place. In 5th place Vancouver completes the top five and is the highest ranking city in North America. Singapore (25) and Montevideo (77) are the highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America respectively.

“With increasing globalisation and changing demographic of the workforce - attracting and retaining the right talent is set to be one of the key challenges for businesses over the next five years,” said Ilya Bonic, Senior Partner and President of Mercer’s Career business. “An increasingly diverse workforce is both more mobile and digital with highly diverging requirements and aspirations in terms of career, lifestyle and ultimately where and how they want to work. Companies need to consider these factors in their value proposition to both their local and their expatriate employees.”

Mercer’s authoritative survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive and is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. In addition to valuable data on relative quality of living, Mercer’s surveys provide hardship premium recommendations for more than 450 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 231 of these cities.

This year, Mercer provides a separate ranking on City Sanitation, which analyses cities’ waste removal and sewage infrastructure, levels of infectious disease, air pollution, water availability and quality - all important aspects of a city’s attractiveness for both talent and businesses. Honolulu tops the City Sanitation ranking, followed by Helsinki and Ottawa in joint second, whereas Dhaka (230) and Port au Prince (231) fill the bottom places.

“How successful an international assignment is hinges on the personal and professional wellbeing of the individual expatriate and the welfare of their families,” said Slagin Parakatil, Principal at Mercer and Global Product Owner for its Quality of Living research. “As well as a significant hinder to a city’s, business and talent attractiveness, poor quality of living can considerably impact on an expatriate’s lifestyle. Younger generations, millennials in particular, often have high expectations in terms of lifestyle, leisure and entertainment opportunities. Companies sending expatriates abroad need to get the full picture of conditions on the ground in order to compensate their employees appropriately for any decrease in living standards.”

“Equally those organisations considering opening an office in a new location should make a short, medium and long term assessment of the city’s infrastructure. Decision makers increasingly acknowledge that globalisation is challenging cities to inform, innovate and compete to attract people and investments – the key to a city’s future,” added Mr Parakatil.


In North America, Canadian cities rank highest for quality of living with Vancouver (5) again taking the regional top spot. San Francisco (30) is the highest ranking US city, followed by Boston (35), Honolulu (36), Seattle (44), and New York (45). Increasing crime rates cause Los Angeles (64) to drop six places. Dropping two places, Monterrey (112) is the highest ranking city in Mexico, while its capital, Mexico City, drops one to rank 129th.

In South America, Montevideo (77) ranks highest for quality of living, followed by Buenos Aires (91) and Santiago (92). Caracas (193) and Port au Prince (228) are the lowest ranking cities in the region.

Dropping 21 places, the city of San Juan (96) sees the highest drop in the ranking globally.

In the City Sanitation ranking, Honolulu (1) the highest in the region and globally, followed by Ottawa (2). Montevideo (71) is the highest ranking South American city. ….



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