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Economic ◌ ability

Image 1: SDGs (financial)

Is there a link between sustainability and finance and how is this link being evaluated?


Circular Economy

“Dealing with loops”
Circular Economy

It is a regenerative system based on lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and closed recycling loops. Circular economy minimizes resource input, waste, emissions, and energy leakage by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops. In this way products, components, and materials are kept at their highest utility and value.

The circular concept emerges from the understanding and analysis of earth’s biological systems. In terms of biomimicry, the ecological processes of natural ecosystems are the “primers” of conceiving the idea. Based on the ecosphere functions, the dynamic model is evolving.

The term encourages the shift from fossil fuels to the renewable energy sources (solar-wind-hydro-bio-geo), and enhance the role of diversity as a characteristic of resilience and productivity. It includes discussion of the role of money and finance as part of the wider debate, and opens the door to optimized performance measurement tools (i.e. Circular Economy Standard BS 8001:2017).

Image 2: Circular Economy

Water, waste and energy can all be recovered transforming what is discarded by some into valuable resources for others.

Thanks to technology and eco-design resources can be used for a variety of purposes. Water, solar radiation, wind, and waste can generate heat, energy, bioplastics, biofertilizers, biofuels e.t.c. The big majority of the new materials can be recycled, reprocessed and reused again and again.

The 7 Key Elements

  • Prioritize regenerative resources
  • Use waste as a resource
  • Design for the future
  • Preserve and extend what is already made
  • Collaborate to create joint value
  • Incorporate digital technology
  • Rethink the business model

Digital Ecosystem for Smart Cities & rural communities

Sustainable finance

Taking into consideration the massive quantities of data (estimated per day: 2,500 Petabytes) and the sustainability issues we have to deal with, how the smart communities operate, is going to depend on how people, businesses and governments fit together.

There are technico-economic challenges, with issues linking to the financing of capital investments, the shape of the markets, industrial restructuring, future employment, innovation, and the way major cities relate to the wider world. Social, climate and environmental issues are fundamental at this point.

Digital technology is changing the way we live. The fourth industrial revolution underlines plans focusing on terms of a smart, efficient, rational space.

Image 3 (Wallpapercave.com)

Sustainable banking and investments

Banks and businesses that base their actions first and foremost on the needs of people and the environment achieve better financial returns.

The sustainability strategy provides competitive edge, unleash innovation and delivering product efficiency. Hence, the steady growth and profitability have proved resilient.

Image 4: (sustainablehospitalitydesigns) Applying the sustainability lens to the bank’s mission and business. Τhis may include setting ethical standards for investing, thus promoting products with sustainability features at their design core.
Image 5: Corporate Sustainability — MITSloan Management Review

The sustainable banking industry is constantly changing shape, while the term itself seems to take on new meaning every year. Innovations like ATMs and online banking, changed finance industry by modifying the consumer’s relationship with their branch, and gave them unprecedented control over their money.The standardization of metrics and sustainable impact tools allows a more objective evaluation of banks and products in terms of sustainable development.

More banks are communicating long-term sustainable financing commitments, link products and services to corporate responsibility. Transforming existing business to incorporate sustainability and social responsibility might include:

  • recycling and energy efficiency indicators (environmental)
  • preferential loan rates for energy upgrading (environmental, culture)
  • paperless statements (environmental)
  • forward-thinking HR practices and community involvement (social)

Hence, these are significant steps towards establishing the credibility within the framework of a sustainable banking system.


Financial technology and circular economy

Fintech Companies

Using intelligent currency routing, distributed ledger technology, smart contracts and cryptocurrencies to reduce inefficiencies.

Financial technology — Fintech

Fintech companies and techniques contribute to the overall financial system in many ways.

Applications include:

  • Food trust and supply chain traceability
  • Reputation systems to build trust
  • Fractional ownership of assets
  • Improved identity applications through traceability of use/ownership
  • Disaster prediction and management
  • Traceability of investment and tracking of development funds

Fintech companies have recently announced the release of multi-currency cards. These are initiatives used to carry out worldwide transactions, following the shortest possible “route”.


Blockchain technology

The technology called blockchain is a global online database that anyone with an internet connection can use. Banks and businesses are seeking to adopt blockchain database technology.
Image 6: Blockchain — Tumisu (Pixabay)

How does it work?
Blockchain stores and distributes transaction information across a network of personal computers. People send & receive digital money by validating other people’s transactions, earning a small fee in the process. The technology is verifying the ownership of digital cash and making sure only one person is claiming it as their own.
 
How does it stay relatively hack-proof?
The users who run the system make it difficult for anyone to corrupt the network. They use their own personal computers to hold bundles of records submitted by others. The records are known as blocks. Each block has a timestamp and a link to a previous block, forming a chronological chain. It has been likened to a giant doc with one key difference: You can view it and add to it but you can’t change the information that’s already there. The blockchain enforces this by using a form of mathematics called cryptography (converting plain text into unintelligible text) which means records can’t be counterfeited or altered.
 
Let us look at an example of blockchain implementation in a hypothetical society: Α farmer has a small plot of land which is flooded. The paper copy of the deeds to his land is washed away, resulting in the farmer having no proof of owning the land. Perhaps he has a digital copy on a government database but it is erased, altered or even destroyed in a political coup. If the farmer had filed that deed on a blockchain, he could have ensured the owning of the land.