Sustainable investment through circular economy and outsourcing

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Responsible investing is becoming more popular globally; however, there is a lack of clarity as to what constitutes its objectives and what a sustainable investment actually is. Some argue that states invest responsibly only promoting more sustainable and equitable future. Others add that strategic investments in the “care economy” are increasing productivity and promoting social equality, while leading to more inclusive and prosperous growth patterns.   

Traditionally, the so-called “take-make-dispose” economic paradigm has had devastating impacts on societies, environmental quality and climate. On the other side, the circular economy model has numerous potentials of triggering far-reaching socio-economic changes and pushing global economies towards achieving the UN-Agenda-2030 and its sustainable development goals, the SDGs.
While still predominant “take-dispose” approach to economic growth has created vast amounts of waste and profit only to relatively few people, a circular model could positively lead to processing of almost all kind of wastes and generate more equally distributed wealth. Besides, circular economy’s patterns can offer enormous opportunities to rethink, redesign, and reconceptualize economies to better address human needs and make more efficient use of natural resources; besides, a state with such a development model can relatively easy attract investments and enjoy the advantages of innovation.
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Remote work and digitalisation
Software development and outsourcing is experiencing a progressive renaissance, fueled by a scarcity of technological expertise, centers of excellence which are often situated in unlikely places, as well as using numerous tools that facilitate remote work.
Being one of the tactical moves to save investments in recent times, the practice of outsourcing software development to experts in other countries has become a commonly accepted and strategic imperative.
Thus, businesses of all sizes and across all industries and socio-economic sectors are forming alliances with multiple near-shore and off-shore partners to drive innovation and improve resilience in an uncertain world.
The following conceptual tools and advises have been already acknowledged:
= Prepare the business for successful software development outsourcing.
= Find the best people in an ever-expanding talent pool anywhere in the world,
= Build trust, respect and psychological safety for high performance on a global scale,
= Align internal and external business teams for efficiency, innovation and rewarding experiences;
= Turn cultural differences into competitive advantages…
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The concept of “telecoupling”, an umbrella concept developed by researchers from 15 EU member states’ universities, is about “capturing complex impacts” of distant human-nature interactions. Globally, both human and natural systems are increasingly interchanged through distant processes on international levels, not just trade, migration, or foreign investment but also flows of ecosystem services and species invasion, for example. These connections may result in substantial consequences that need to be factored in when, for example, designing sustainable land use strategies.
Hence, the telecoupling concept offers a systemic perspective on land use changes to effectively address for example the UN’s SDGs and other global challenges, e.g. biodiversity, conservation, food, energy and water security, environmental protection as well as and human well-being.
The European research project “Towards Sustainable Land-Use in the Context of Climate Change and Biodiversity in Europe (so-called, “Europe-LAND”) aims to develop, test and implement integrated tools that can improve our understanding of the factors behind land use decisions in Europe. In addition, Europe-LAND aims to explore the awareness and engagement of agricultural and land-use stakeholders in relation to the challenges of climate change and biodiversity.
Europe-LAND project follows a methodological approach that allows linking national-level analyses with concrete local examples. By means of participatory approaches, the consortium will develop a comprehensive assessment framework based on ecological, climatic, social, economic, technical and political aspects, which aims to enable appropriate land-use planning and strategy in relation to climate change and environmental policy.
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Recovery and resilience program in finances
The European Recovery and Resilience Facility, RRF helped –first of all- reassured financial markets to tackle the post-pandemic challenges; secondly, it ensured a rapid flow of funds to the member states in difficulties and, finally, played a key role in preserving public investment sustaining solid recovery and returning the states’ economies to pre-pandemic levels. Hence, the RRF supports flexibility and helped the states to tackle most vital challenges connected, e.g. to high inflation and/or energy security issues.
In its present states, the RRF is assisting in boosting the states’ resilience by making economies more sustainable, specifically by supporting the EU-wide green and digital transformations.
However, the RRF needs some improvements: e.g. some EU states have called for more flexibility as well as for a better balance between transparency and control with reduced administrative costs involved; the Commission is exploring possible ways to make RRF implementation easier and to improve its efficiency.
In a brief update on the economic situation, the Commission mentioned the following measures and initiatives: e.g. while economic activity remains subdued in the near term, presently weak growth momentum in the EU-27 at the start of 2024 “appears to be leveling off”, inflation is continuing its steady downwards path, supporting real incomes and domestic consumption.
Annual inflation in the euro area is estimated to fall to 2.4% in March, down from 2.6% in February and 2.8% in January.
With business sentiment slowly improving in Europe and labour markets still strong, the conditions are in place for economic activity to pick up pace during 2024, acknowledged the Commission. However, the EU’s economic outlook remains subject to risks and uncertainty: hence, the Commission will update the outlook in its spring forecast due in mid-May.

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