Browsing by Subject "Green economy"

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  • Luukkanen, J.; Kaivo-oja, J.; Vähäkari, N.; O’Mahony, T.; Korkeakoski, M.; Panula-Ontto, J.; Phonhalath, K.; Nanthavong, K.; Reincke, K.; Vehmas, J.; Hogarth, Nicholas (2019)
    A novel 'Sustainability Window' (SuWi) approach is applied for simultaneous analysis of the pillars of sustainable development; social, environmental and economic, of Lao PDR. This new method employs a variety of indicators for a comprehensive and holistic analysis of sustainable development and green inclusive economy. The analysis is grounded in the assumption that economic development is required for social development, but that simultaneously development needs to be guarded or limited to protect the environment that underpins it. As all three dimensions of sustainable development are interlinked, a comprehensive analysis requires an analytical approach that is simultaneous. The analyses provide information on minimum levels of economic development that are needed to fulfil social sustainability criteria, in tandem with the maximum economic development that avoids breaching environmental sustainability criteria. If actual economic growth lies between these minima and maxima, we can interpret that development is more sustainable with respect to the relationships embodied by the selected social and environmental indicators. The main source of data is the database of the Sustainable Society Index (SSI) developed by the Sustainable Society Foundation (SSF). The indicators used by SSI have been chosen for the Sustainability Window analysis as they can be used to assess both 'weak' and 'strong' interpretations of sustainability. Weak sustainability is defined operationally as no increase in the environmental or carbon emissions intensity of the economy, while strong sustainability is defined as no increase in absolute emissions. Further, a novel Environmental Efficiency Gap analysis has been included in the Sustainability Window. This provides information about the necessary improvement in GDP production efficiency with respect to environmental emissions. Sustainability Window combined with Environmental Efficiency Gap analysis, provides critical knowledge for planners and decision makers. It provides strategic indications of how to aim for social and environmental sustainability through economic investment and growth targets. These new methods can be used in transdisciplinary research of sustainable development and can also assist in national and regional comparisons. In the case of Lao PDR, the analysis needs to be broadened for more fundamental understanding of the gaps and weaknesses. SuWi can be used to assess the sustainable development needed to address the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The SuWi does not provide direct policy recommendations as such, but helps to inform decision makers about the direction of development pathways towards these key goals. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • D'Amato, D.; Droste, N.; Allen, B.; Kettunen, M.; Lähtinen, K.; Korhonen, J.; Leskinen, P.; Matthies, B. D.; Toppinen, A. (2017)
    Despite their evidently different assumptions and operationalization strategies, the concepts of Circular Economy, Green Economy and Bioeconomy are joined by the common ideal to reconcile economic, environmental and social goals. The three concepts are currently mainstreamed in academia and policy making as key sustainability avenues, but a comparative analysis of such concepts is missing. The aim of this article is thus to comprehensively analyse the diversity within and between such concepts. The results are drawn from a bibliometric review of almost two thousand scientific articles published within the last three decades, coupled with a conceptual analysis. We find that, for what concerns environmental sustainability, Green Economy acts as an 'umbrella' concept, including elements from Circular Economy and Bioeconomy concepts (e.g. eco-efficiency; renewables), as well as additional ideas, e.g. nature-based solutions. In particular, Circular Economy and Bioeconomy are resource-focused, whereas in principle Green Economy acknowledges the underpinning role of all ecological processes. Regarding the social dimension, Green Economy is more inclusive of some aspects at local level (e.g. eco-tourism, education), while there is an emerging discussion in Bioeconomy literature around local processes in terms of biosecurity and rural policies. When considering weak/strong sustainability visions, all concepts remain limited in questioning economic growth. By comparing the different sustainability strategies promoted by these concepts we do not advocate for their substitutability, but for their clarification and reciprocal integration. The findings are discussed in light of the concepts' synergies and limits, with the purpose to inform research and policy implementation. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • D'amato, Dalia; Bartkowski, Bartosz; Droste, Nils (2020)
    The bioeconomy is currently being globally promoted as a sustainability avenue involving several societal actors. While the bioeconomy is broadly about the substitution of fossil resources with bio-based ones, three main (competing or complementary) bioeconomy visions are emerging in scientific literature: resource, biotechnology, and agroecology. The implementation of one or more of these visions into strategies implies changes to land use and thus ecosystem services delivery, with notable trade-offs. This review aims to explore the interdisciplinary space at the interface of these two concepts. We reviewed scientific publications explicitly referring to bioeconomy and ecosystem services in their title, abstract, or keywords, with 45 documents identified as relevant. The literature appeared to be emerging and fragmented but eight themes were discernible (in order of decreasing occurrence frequency in the literature): a. technical and economic feasibility of biomass extraction and use; b. potential and challenges of the bioeconomy; c. frameworks and tools; d. sustainability of bio-based processes, products, and services; e. environmental sustainability of the bioeconomy; f. governance of the bioeconomy; g. biosecurity; h. bioremediation. Approximately half of the documents aligned to a resource vision of the bioeconomy, with emphasis on biomass production. Agroecology and biotechnology visions were less frequently found, but multiple visions generally tended to occur in each document. The discussion highlights gaps in the current research on the topic and argues for communication between the ecosystem services and bioeconomy communities to forward both research areas in the context of sustainability science.
  • D'Amato, Dalia; Droste, Nils; Chan, Sander; Hofer, Anton (2017)
    The Green Economy is a strategic development concept of the United Nations incorporating a broad array of potential meanings and implications. It is subject to academic conceptualisation, operationalisation, reflection and criticism. The aim of our paper is to conceptualise a subset of the multi-faceted and at times polarised debate around the implications and applications of the Green Economy concept, and to provide reflective grounds for approaches towards the concept. By using qualitative content analysis and a participatory approach, we investigate perceptions of young researchers from various disciplines working on issues related to the Green Economy. The spectrum of disparate perceptions observed among the respondents is accommodated within a two-dimensional model. The dimensions are 1) the degree and nature of desired societal change in relation to the current economic model and set of institutions; and 2) the role of research in delivering such change. We discuss the model in light of the existing literature.
  • D'amato, Dalia; Droste, Nils; Winkler, Klara; Toppinen, Anne (2019)
    The continuous emergence of new ideas and terms simultaneously enables and impedes the advancement of sustainability, because of an increasingly complex conceptual landscape. This study aims at highlighting combinations of sustainability concepts (circular, green and bioeconomy) and of development models (growth, steady-state, degrowth) which selected researchers have considered priorities for pursuing sustainability transformations. Thirteen leading scholars working on sustainability issues were asked to rank 36 statements describing activities related to either circular, green, bio, growth, steady-state or degrowth economy. Using Q methodology, an exploratory approach to the identification of shared or diverging opinions, three archetypical perspectives were identified across the respondents: 1. circular solutions towards economic-environmental decoupling in a degrowth perspective; 2. a mix of circular and green economy solutions; 3. a green economy perspective, with an emphasis on natural capital and ecosystem services, and critical towards growth. Economic growth was perceived negatively across all perspectives, in contrast to the current lack of political and societal support for degrowth ideas. Neither did bioeconomy-oriented activities have support among the participating researchers, even though half of the respondents were working with bioeconomy issues, which are currently high on the political agenda. The lack of support for pro-growth and bioeconomy solutions are unexpected results given the current political discourses. While the results are not to be generalised beyond the sample, they provide valuable orientation for emerging and under-investigated research and policy directions. If bioeconomy policies are to be implemented on a broader scale, it seems worthwhile evaluating the acceptability of the bioeconomy agenda among various societal actors. Furthermore, our results point to the (still under-explored) potential of formulating synergic circular, green and bioeconomy policies, possibly without a focus on economic growth.