Green Growth as an Opportunity for Business
Twenty-eight years after the Rio Summit, the countries embrace the vision for development by expanding the economy and addressing the environment pressure simultaneously. When both are exploited and achieved together we call it a “green growth”.
The green growth acknowledges the critical role of private sector and the importance of promoting the business, because the business use the natural resources and act as source of economy. It is the reason why greening a business is very crucial for green growth.
In fact, green business are the firms that produce environmental goods and services, which can include clean energy, sustainable transport, natural resources management, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and pollution prevention and control, also green business are the firms that green their business by changing their products and processes by taking into account the environment sustainability agenda.
We can highly benefit from investing in green businesses. This makes a good point, because it is the opportunity for improving the resource efficiency. As the planet’s resources are not enough to support the growing population, greening the business will help in better use of resources by making the waste management, reducing energy consumption during the production and use phases, designing the products that are easy to maintain, repair, upgrade, remanufacture or recycle, encouraging the consumers to switch, renting, lending and sharing services. This green way save energy, money, and conserve the environment.
Greening the business generate jobs, and improve the employee engagement. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s new report (1); a shift to a greener economy could create 24 million new jobs globally by 2030 if the right policies are put in place, and the new jobs will be created by adopting sustainable practices in the energy sector, using electric vehicles, and increasing energy efficiency in existing and future buildings.
Beyond that, the green business attracts investors, because it provides the profit from saving of resources through the use of renewable energy source such as water, wind, and solar. The green business drives up the profits that can be sustained for a long time which is important for both the investor and employee.
As moving towards the green growth it will require more eco-innovation to be able to meet the need of people and conserve the environment. In this way, the green growth encourage and motivate people to innovate in a way that the increase of economy and the environment conservation should be achieved together.
Rwanda in the journey of developing the green business
In Rwanda there is a progress in the transition towards a green economy, following the adoption of Rwanda’s Green Growth and Climate Resilience National Strategy (GGCRS) in 2011. Now, Rwanda is enforcing the business and industries to increase visibility and recognition of cleaner production practices in their production and activities.
In recognition of this fact, Rwandan industrialists have been encouraged to adopt Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) practices as a way of limiting industrial pollution and protecting the environment. In motivating the industries to green their activities, the industries are rewarded by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Rwanda for embracing resource efficient and cleaner production technologies as a way of preserving the environment through the RECP programme. In fact, the main objective of RECP Awards is to increase awareness on the benefits of adopting the Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production.
In 2018, the evaluation done on Rwanda’s GGCRS, in the programme of green industry and private sector development found that the number of best green production practices implemented by companies was increased to 274 from 220 in 2016 whereas number of new green technologies adopted increased to 47 from 39 in 2016. The number of companies in the Special Economic Zone implementing green production practices increased to 17 from 10 in 2016 (2).
As one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, Rwanda is acutely aware of the challenges that lie ahead. Therefore, to achieve its vision of a low-carbon and climate resilient economy by 2050, Rwanda has established the Green Fund (FONERWA), and the fund invests in the best public and private projects that have the potential for transformative change and that align with Rwanda’s commitment to building a strong green economy. The Green Fund also provides expert technical assistance to ensure the success of its investments. In 2018, The Rwanda Green Fund has received the United Nations Momentum for Change Award for its outstanding contribution in addressing the climate change.
So far, the fund has committed investments of about USD 40 million to 35 projects; created more than 137,500 green jobs, provided more than 57,500 households with improved access to off-grid clean energy and protected 19,500 hectares of land against soil erosion. These investments have also supported 104,000 people to cope with effects of climate change and planted 39,500 hectares of forest and also reduced the equivalent of 18,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
As part of its effort, in November 2018, the Government of Rwanda has organized the Africa Green Growth Forum to bring the private sector together with policy makers and investors to advance green growth and raise awareness about the potential of a new model of economic development.
Therefore, Rwanda’s mission to maintain a clean and healthy environment is progressing as by 2050, the Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategies envisages Rwanda as a developed country, with a strong services sector, low unemployment and low levels of poverty and where agriculture and industry will have a minimal negative impact on the environment, operating in a sustainable way, and enabling to be self-sufficient regarding basic necessities (3).
1. ILO.World Employment Social Outlook. Geneva : s.n., 2018.
2. MoE.Evaluation of the Green Growth and Climate Resilience. Kigali : s.n., 2018.
3. GoR.Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategies. Kigali : s.n., 2011.
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