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Difference Between Sustainable Development and Green Development

Sustainable development is more concerned with using resources that fulfill the present generations’ current needs without compromising the future generations’ capacity to meet their own needs. Green development is a new concept that operates on managing resources to ensure environmental sustainability.

What is Sustainable development?

Sustainable development is the concept that revolves around meeting the demands of current generations without risking the capacities of future generations to fulfill their own needs.

Principles of Sustainable development

There are three principles of sustainable development:

It is concerned with the equitable distribution of resources to all members of society.

  • Economic responsibility

It means efficient and responsible use of resources to promote economic growth.

  • Environmental responsibility

It revolves around the concept of utilizing resources in a way that ensures sustainability.

Benefits of Sustainable development

Sustainable development aids in boosting economic growth by securing natural resources through their efficient use. The countries that are moving towards sustainable development ensure that economic activities are handled responsibly.

Sustainable development assists in establishing political and economic stability, and it helps put in place the systems around the equitable distribution of resources to all social classes. Equity plays a significant role in sustainable development because it includes many manifestations concerning the sustainable progression of human society.


Sustainable development involves social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The examples are:

  • Sustainable Manufacturing

It involves the fair treatment of employees coupled with environmentally friendly manufacturing choices.

  • Sustainable Urban Designing

Sustainable urban planning is growing in the urban city, which implies more green spaces and less use of private cars to reduce environmental pollution.

  • Sustainable Agriculture

The sustainable agriculture concept revolves around promoting healthy soil and biodiversity, reducing the pollution level to its minimum, and utilizing water appropriately.

What is Green Development?

Green development is a new concept, and it is based on utilizing resources such that it ensures environmental stability.

Approaches for Green Development

Green development uses approaches that focus on technological advancements and resources to promote green growth. A few of these approaches are:

  1. Reduce environmental degradation
  2. Utilize renewable resources to promote environmental sustainability
  3. Use of green fuel technology to conserve resources

Benefits of Green Development

Green energy promotes the concept of clean energy and can help reduce poverty by improving access to clean energy sources and reducing energy costs. Green development helps build a sense of environmental stewardship, which helps the community gain a sense of responsibility and accountability towards the environment.


  • Wastewater Treatment

This method helps make the water clean and drinkable or reduce the pollutants from the water before it gets mixed with rivers and seas.

  • Recycling and waste management

It is estimated that globally over 2 billion tons of municipal solid waste are produced annually. Communities and industries should commit to managing solid waste. Some great technologies like an innovative, automated food tracking system, optical scanning systems, and intelligent containers can help to sort missed plastics from other solid waste.

  • Utilizing solar energy

The recent concept of green technology has helped to bring green technology advancement to the environment. Solar energy conversion technologies such as photovoltaic collectors produce electricity and enlighten street lamps. Additionally, polypropylene collectors and high vacuum tubes are used for hot water. 

Differences between Sustainable Development and Green Development

Sustainable and green development are often used interchangeably but are two entirely different concepts.


Sustainable development aims to eradicate environmental pollution as a result of growth, while green development aims to prevent pollution at the growth stage.

Focus point

Sustainable development focuses on social, economic, and environmental aspects. On the other hand, green development focuses strictly on the environment.


Sustainable development is a “people-centered” approach, while green development is “nature-centered.”

Comparison chart: Sustainable development and Green development


As the world’s population is increasing, there are ever-growing challenges to keep development sustainable and green. To keep this in view, in September 2015, United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to promote sustainable and green development. It covers various topics: clean energy, poverty reduction, water and sanitation, gender equality, and education.

Many technological advancements and strategies are implemented to make sustainable and green development efficient and cost-effective. By following these strategies, we can ensure that our planet remains more healthy and habitable for future generations.


 What is the difference between green and sustainability?

Sustainable development focuses on meeting the needs of current and future generations, while green development focuses on the conservation of environmental resources.

 What is the relationship between green growth and sustainable development?

Both are important to maintaining environmental sustainability by promoting environmental awareness and preserving natural resources.

 What is meant by green development?

Green development strictly focuses on the environmental aspect of development and promotes environmental stability by efficiently utilizing natural resources.

 What are the types of sustainable development?

The following are the types of sustainable development: 1. Economic efficiency, 2. Environmental protection, 3. Social equity

 What are some examples of green development?

Some examples of green development include using wind power, vertical gardening, and power generation from the waves, zero-emission vehicles, and elimination of industrial emissions.

 What is the difference between sustainable energy and green power?

Sustainable energy comes from products that do not compromise the needs of future generations, like solar, water, and wind energy. Green energy comes from environmentally friendly energy resources like biogas and eco-friendly biomass, but these are not sustainable.

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References :

[0]Duran, Dan Cristian, et al. “The Components of Sustainable Development - a Possible Approach.” Procedia Economics and Finance, vol. 26, 2015, pp. 806–811., https://doi.org/10.1016/s2212-5671(15)00849-7.

[1]Jung, Yeon-Mi. “Is South Korea’s Green Job Policy Sustainable?” Sustainability, vol. 7, no. 7, 2015, pp. 8748–8767., https://doi.org/10.3390/su7078748.

[2]Wu, Xiaofang, et al. “Discerning Sustainability Approaches in Shipping.” Environment, Development and Sustainability, vol. 22, no. 6, 2019, pp. 5169–5184., https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-019-00419-z.

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