What is green growth and how can this transition be promoted?

18 Feb 2021


August 22, 2020 marks the Global Overshoot Day: on this date, humanity has spent all the resources that the Earth can generate in one year. From that day on, we will have felled more trees, caught more fish and cultivated more land than nature can provide us with in a year. We will also have produced more greenhouse gases than our forests and oceans can absorb. In the face of the climate emergency, it is necessary to review our consumption and production patterns and adopt more environmentally friendly behaviour, as our economic growth is unsustainable for the planet. Can we use resources reasonably without curbing economic growth? It is entirely possible: green growth makes it possible to implement economic development that is sustainable in the long term while remaining within a sustainable development approach. What actions can be taken to promote green growth? Are there training courses available to adopt a sustainable business model? We tell you everything in this new article.

What is green growth?

Achieving green growth means promoting economic growth and development while taking care not to alter the natural capital - the resources on which our future depends. Green growth aims to respect biodiversity, natural resources and working conditions. The green economy also means limiting greenhouse gas emissions by removing fossil fuels from our consumption.

According to the OECD, implementing a green growth strategy allows for the continuation of our society's economic model of capitalism and sustainable growth, taking into account a rational use of resources. In order to adopt a strategy for sustainable economic development, structural reform of business activities, both in decision-making and operational processes, is necessary. Of course, these changes must be gradual: they are part of an ecological transition process.

For or against green growth?

Green growth is a sensitive subject, at the heart of many ecological, political and economic debates. Greenwashing, for example, is a dubious practice: many national and multinational companies brand green growth only to restore or maintain their brand image, without taking any real action for the environment.

Some do not believe in green growth, particularly in view of exponential population growth, and prefer growth reduction strategies aimed at maintaining GDP growth below 1% per year, given that resources are not infinite. Scientists, on the other hand, argue that growth is possible even without resources and decouple resource consumption from growth, making green growth possible.

You have understood that green growth places ecology and sustainable development as new growth drivers. Thanks to an increase in the efficiency of our economic system, we could, according to this theory, reduce our consumption of raw materials while continuing our economic growth.

The challenges of green growth for businesses

Being part of a green growth approach is becoming a necessity for companies and meets a number of challenges:

  • a better brand image ;
  • more economic opportunities;
  • a reasoned use of resources due to the increase in their price (such as gas, oil, paper...);
  • energy sovereignty;
  • minimal costs and investments compared to those that will have to be made if climate change persists.

Training in sustainable development is therefore essential for companies. Training in ecological transition enables them to have a global vision and to be able to implement actions in favour of sustainable development within their company. This training concerns all citizens, whatever their profession and position: the climate emergency can no longer be ignored and implies changing our energy and raw material consumption habits.

Sustainable development paths for green growth

  • A circular economy: this economic model consists of producing services and goods in a sustainable way, limiting waste and the production of waste. This implies, for example, using sustainable materials, collected in a more environmentally friendly way, and limiting the use of disposable objects.
  • Recycling and zero waste: this involves selecting recyclable materials and limiting the production of polluting waste. These practices exclude the use of disposable products, which are not reusable, and over-packaging.
  • Thermal renovation: our homes and premises must be insulated and renovated in order to limit heat loss. This limits energy consumption and environmental impact.
  • Energy efficiency or energy efficiency: this makes it possible to minimise energy consumption for the same service provided. Attending a training course on energy efficiency allows you to become familiar with artificial intelligence and the many new technologies in order to think about the opportunities for more responsible digital behaviour.
  • Eco-production: producing in an ecological way is entirely possible. It is a question of banking on a sober economy, while improving competitiveness. It is based on several principles: optimisation of flows (waste, water, energy), processes and products, strategy and governance, and buildings.

You have understood it: green growth makes it possible to maintain economic growth in the world, within companies, while taking into account global warming and environmental constraints. It allows for the protection of the environment while maintaining our energy performance and our economy: it is the transition towards a more climate and ecologically sound economy and management of resources.

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