In a society that is becoming more aware about making the future sustainable, it is often a matter of discourse whether or not green governance is efficient enough. Green Governance is expected to be an essential driver for restructuring, recategorising, and rebuilding the relationship between humans and green technological revolution. It can play an influential role in the economic development of a sustainable future.Topics in this article
The differing perspectives and definitions about Green Governance highlight the confusion around the term and its expectations. If we go by the more common definitions of the term, it can be said that Green Governance is the method to coordinate the workings of all the leading forces of society to create one goal, i.e., a sustainable future.
However, it should be noted that Green Governance is a broad term and it is defined by its purpose. When we spoke with Marcos Alejandro B. who is leading the process for a Circular Road Map for a local government about what Green Governance meant to him, he said,
“Everyone is providing a different meaning or understanding of the words ‘green’ and ‘sustainability’. They can be stretched in many ways. In my personal opinion, the work of green governance is to support, work, and develop communities or groups of communities who are working in harmony with the natural ecosystems surrounding them.”
He pointed out that the concern of green governance shouldn’t just be about preservation but also growing together. Green Governance is about understanding the dynamic surroundings of the ecosystems – both the anthropic as well as the natural. He points out,
“The idea of green governance is that we preserve nature. But it is equally important to engage communities who utilise the natural resources wisely and distribute them in an equitable way.”
We are familiar with the four common factors of vulnerability when it comes to development and the same apply to sustainability as well.
It can be a complex matter to prioritise for governing bodies exactly which factor should be treated first. For example, if physical factors are prioritised while overlooking economic factors it could lead to potential downfall in the economic structure of the society. At the same time if only social factors are considered without the environmental factors that would mean that even the social factors aren’t entirely sustainable.
When asked about how these vulnerable factors can be considered, Marcos Alejandro B said,
“There is no specific formula to address that because every society is living in a different reality. Hence, the priorities are different. The priorities need to develop in a holistic way, understanding that no element is isolated in the whole in the system.”
He also pointed out the importance of equity where if one section of society owns more than the other sections combined, it not only creates economical imbalance but also gives rise to environmental problems. Governing bodies need to ensure that communities and businesses are harnessing the potential to create new technologies that support efficient use of the finite natural resources.
Corporations are quickly realising the relationship between corporate social responsibilities (CSR) and Green Governance. As one of the primary users of natural resources, corporations come under the direct radar of green governance who are responsible for ensuring that corporations operate as sustainably as possible. The link between green governance and corporations come in with corporate governance – a body of board members, directors, and stakeholders who overlook a company’s functions and are directly affected by it. They are, therefore, required to be transparent, accountable, knowledgeable about green development, and take liability where required.
Green governance alone cannot drive the change, neither can corporations left unregulated about the use of finite resources. The two have to share same ideas and concepts at some point to create that alignment. Here are some essential sets of principles, according to Marcos Alejandro B. that should be considered:
“Everyone needs to use the vocabulary, the communication tools in the same way.”
Now you know that Green Governance is an imperative when it comes to driving the change to sustainability. Green governance, along with corporate coordination, can have the capability to make actual contributions for the change.
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Sustainability, circular economy, economic growth, and social development are my passions. With over 15 years of experience working in a circular economy, I have experience with material flow, life cycle assessment, zero waste programs, environmental risk assessment, environmental management system, human development, and community engagement. Throughout my career, I have worked in and with numerous industries (chemistry, pharmaceuticals, automotive, energy, food and beverage, pulp and paper, and mining) and policymakers in Latin America and Europe. In addition to circular economy and sustainability, I am also experienced in partnership building, stakeholder engagement, and human development. I have been a member of several international non-profit organisations’ committees focused on sustainability, circular economy developments, community development, and social justice.