Understanding Sustainability in Trade

Sustainability as a subject is gaining more and more importance in the world as humans are realizing the impact they have on the environment. The future of the Earth is strictly related to our current practices. Therefore, in many different areas of life sustainable practices have been drawing attention. 

Trade is one of the subjects where sustainability becomes important. Due to being a large-scale operation, trade transactions often have a great impact on the environment due to the transportation process and the goods being transported. In that sense, it is fundamental to understand sustainability and how it could play an important role in trade practices. In this article, we have tried to explain what sustainability is, how it relates to trade and ways trade can become sustainable.

What Is Sustainability?

When considered as a broad term, sustainability is a term that refers to the goal of humans safely co-existing on Earth for a long period. According to UN World Commission on Environment and Development, “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 

Yet, there is not a definitive description of sustainability and the existing ones may vary. Even though there is not a clear description, it is usually explained through three dimensions. These three dimensions are environmental, social and economic. 

Dimensions of Sustainability

The dimensions of sustainability emerged in the 2005 World Summit on Social Development. Sustainable development goals were defined in three categories: economic development, social development and finally, environmental protection. 

  • Economic Sustainability: It deals with the ecological and social consequences of economic activities. On the other hand, it ensures that humans have access to all the resources they need to continue their life, be independent and meet their needs.
  • Social Sustainability: It indicates that all members of a society are equal and have equal rights. Everyone can easily access their basic needs and resources which creates a healthy and safe social environment. 
  • Environmental Sustainability: It refers to balanced environmental systems where natural resources are not depleted. Natural resources are consumed at a slow rate and given enough time to replenish themselves.

Why Is Sustainability Important?

Sustainability has different aspects to take into account when its importance is in question. Sustainability is important in improving the quality of life on earth, and ensuring the ecological balance is kept. However, it may be difficult to understand its importance and look beyond these general terms. Let us take a deeper look into why sustainability is important. 

Creates A Better Future

The action of humans shapes the future of our world. We are often forgetful of the fact that without nature and ecological stability, we cannot survive. By adopting sustainable practices in everything we do, we can help to create a better future for everyone. By preserving our natural resources we help to ensure that future generations will be able to benefit from them. 

Less Energy Consumption

With businesses adopting sustainable practices, energy consumption in the world is reduced. Renewable energy is another important point for ecological balance. Simple changes in the way we consume energy can have a significant impact on the environment in the long run. 

Healthy Environment

When sustainable practices are implemented, it results in many positive changes. Water and air quality improve, renewable energy sources increase and landfills are reduced. Being sustainable will also decrease our carbon footprint which will, in return, reduce the toxins released to the environment. As a result, it creates a healthy environment to live in for everyone involved.

What Is Sustainability in Trade?

In essence, sustainability in trade takes the same basic ideas in its approach to business and trade transactions. For sustainable trade to take place, commercial exchanges of goods should create environmental, social and economic benefits. 

This, of course, goes hand in hand with the three dimensions of sustainability we mentioned earlier. Overall, sustainable trade should create economic value while preserving natural resources and improving social conduct. 

Ways Trade Can Be More Sustainable

As environmental issues are getting more attention in recent years, ways to become more sustainable are gaining importance. On a personal level, individuals are trying to reduce their waste and carbon footprint by living more eco-friendly lifestyles. The same idea has started to emerge in businesses. Business owners are becoming more aware of the environmental impact they create and take initiatives to be more sustainable. 

Similarly, sustainability in trade has become one of the hot topics since traditional trade practices can have a negative impact on the environment on a larger scale. In recent years, there have been new initiatives emerging on the subject. New developments take place to make trade practices more sustainable each and every day. Let us discover what those initiatives are and how they can benefit the environment.    

New Initiatives by Governments

At the end of 2021, over 70 countries came together to collaborate on environmental sustainability and trade. The goal of the gathering was to discuss the trade policies that were linked to actions affecting the climate. In a different setting, over 60 governments also came together to discuss plastic pollution and trade. Their focus was plastic alternatives and managing waste in a sustainable manner among other topics. Initiatives such as these ones can help humans review the trade policies and reduce the barriers to eco-friendly goods as well as services. 

UN Environment Assembly

At the annual gathering of the UN Environment Assembly that took place in early 2022, countries focused on establishing a committee for plastic pollution. Even though the details regarding the subject are not yet clear, the aim is to reduce the impact of plastic pollution in oceans as well as on land.

New Rules

EU is coming up with new rules and policies in regards to sustainability and trade. In 2021, the European Commission released a proposal to prevent carbon leakage. It is also planned that a draft strategy will be released in regard to sustainable textiles and a sustainable products policy. The aim of all these initiatives is to improve traceability and transparency while also improving the value chains.

Turkish Goods Places Importance on Sustainable Trade

As Turkish Goods, we strive to make the import process as smooth and secure as possible for the parties involved. Our experts find the best products for you and take care of the entire process to create a satisfying trade experience. In addition to this, Turkish Goods understands the impact trade can have on the environment and adopts sustainable practices to help create a better future for everyone. 

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