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7 GREEN CONCEPTS: Key strategies for a sustainable future

During my career of over 25 years, my passion and commitment have been dedicated to the promotion and implementation of green concepts. My expertise in this field is complemented by a master’s degree in environmental economics, which has allowed me to deeply devote myself to understanding and applying green concepts.

Each of these concepts offers unique challenges and opportunities, and together they form a powerful framework for achieving sustainability on a global scale. As someone who is fully committed to achieving a sustainable future, I am happy to share my opinions and approaches to these concepts.

Sustainable Development: Development that meets the needs of the present without endangering future generations.
Green Economy: An economy oriented towards sustainability, pollution reduction, and social justice.
Circular Economy: A system that maximizes the reuse of resources and minimizes waste.
Measures to Prevent Climate Change: Efforts and policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Global goals set by the UN to eliminate poverty, protect the environment and promote prosperity for all.
ESG Criteria: Standards for businesses that include environmental, social, and governance aspects.
Green Growth: A strategy that encourages economic efficiency and innovation without harming the environment.

Sustainable development

Emergence of the Concept: 1987, with the Brundtland Report.
Leading Process: United Nations (UN).
Meaning: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Context: Foundation for Global Policies for Sustainable Development.
Current Status: The concept itself faces challenges such as climate change, inequality, and pollution. However, there are also significant advances, especially in the area of renewable energy sources and sustainable infrastructure, which are leading the way
Personal Opinion: Sustainable development is one of the oldest green principles and is a key concept that requires an integrated approach and cooperation at all levels. Its realization is critical to ensuring a sustainable future for all. However, its applicability is far from practical, but an excellent foundation for all subsequent concepts.

Green Economy

Emergence of the Concept: End of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s.
Leading Process: Various international organizations and governments.
Meaning: An economy that reduces pollution and emissions, sustains natural resources, and supports social justice.
Context: Promotes economic growth and sustainability.
Current Status: Constantly growing, with a focus on green jobs, sustainable businesses, and innovation. It promotes efficient use of resources and energy efficiency.
Personal Opinion: A green economy is fundamental to achieving sustainability. I believe it is possible through innovation and transformation of traditional industries. In general, the green economy emphasizes green industries/sectors. My master’s topic was in the area of green economy and explaining what it means. There are multiple qualifications and divisions in various sectors. If you are interested in more, contact me.

Circular Economy

Emergence of the Concept: 1970s, with increasing importance in the 2010s.
Leading Process: The European Union and various corporations.
Meaning: An economic system that minimizes waste through reuse, recovery, and recycling of materials (resources).
Context: A solution to limited resources and waste.
Current Status: On the way to global acceptance, with increasing awareness of the need to reduce waste. Many companies are already integrating this philosophy into their business models.
Personal Opinion: The circular economy is key to achieving sustainability, especially in a world where resources are limited. In my opinion, it is the best solution for many environmental problems. A major aspect of this is that it has the incentive factor with the private sector because a circular economy means saving resources, which means lower costs and higher margins. This is the concept I would choose over all the others because it is the most practical. In my opinion, this concept also includes energy efficiency.

Measures to Prevent Climate Change

Emergence of the Concept: 1990s.
Leading Process: UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.
Meaning: Efforts to reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions.
Context: Global initiatives and responses to climate change. The main focus of the countries.
Current Status: Increased global action and commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, greater efforts are needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Personal Opinion: Managing climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge we face as humanity. Climate change mitigation and adaptation measures are concepts I have worked on a lot in the last 20 years, starting from Clean Development Mechanism training, drafting Concept Notes for projects, measuring greenhouse gas savings, to concepts for the Green Climate Fund. However, I have become a big skeptic of this concept, because it is mostly administered (prepared and measured), too much is promised, and too little is done.

ESG Criteria

Emergence of the Concept: Early 2000s.
Leading Process: Investment funds and regulatory bodies.
Meaning: Criteria that focus on environmental, social, and governance aspects of a company.
Context: Guide to Sustainable and Responsible Investments.
Current Status: Considerable increase in attention to ESG investments, with companies increasingly focusing on sustainable practices.
Personal Opinion: I got acquainted with ESG criteria when I was hesitating to invest in different ETF funds. I did a lot of research and comparisons. ESG criteria play a vital role in reorienting capital towards sustainable businesses. They are key to promoting transparency and accountability in the business sector. ESG criteria are a kind of label that defines businesses or funds as ecologically ethical. However, I personally don’t believe too much in the concept, because it is based on reporting and labeling – as a friend of mine would say, a simple PR.

Green Growth

Emergence of the Concept: Early 2000s.
Leading Process: OECD and various governments.
Meaning: A strategy for economic growth that is sustainable for the environment.
Context: Confluence of economic growth and sustainability.
Current Status: There is increasing support from governments and the private sector, with a focus on green technologies and innovation. By including digitization in green growth, a strong momentum can be created for the development of the economy.
Personal Opinion: Green growth is essential to creating resilient and sustainable economies. I believe this is the path to a future that values and protects our natural resources. Green growth is an economic concept. Green growth is the process of favoring economic growth and development, including the conservation of natural resources. The main goal of green growth is to achieve a strong, sustainable, and inclusive economy, by improving productivity, increasing investor confidence, opening new markets, and contributing to fiscal consolidation, while managing environmental risks and promoting social equality.

Goals for Sustainable Development

Emergence of Concept: 2015, United Nations.
Leading Process: United Nations.
Meaning: Global goals to eliminate poverty, protect the environment, and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030.
Context: A universal call to action.
Current Status: Significant progress in some areas, but challenges remain in achieving all 2030 targets.
Personal Opinion: The SDGs are a foundation for global cooperation and action. I believe they are critical to creating a better and more sustainable world. Personally, I see the SDGs as indicators and a barometer for the success of sustainable development. Many times I suggest that organizations and companies take some of the goals, adopt them (those outside their sector of operation), and try to report according to them. In my opinion, every social enterprise, apart from financial profitability indicators, should adopt at least one SDG indicator and use it as its success indicator.

Igor Mishevski

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