Over the last 30 years the discourse on environmental problems has evolved from single-issue approaches to environmental management to multi-faceted approaches to sustainable development. The older approach – a downstream, react-and-cure, after-thought reaction – is slowly being replaced.

The newer approach –an upstream, anticipate-and-prevent, proactive approach –is gradually emerging. It involves integrated assessments of the social, economic and environmental impacts of ‘development’ in decision making.

The difference in the newer ‘sustainability’ approach is its focus on integrating and mainstreaming social, economic and environmental factors in decision making. To be effective in decision making roles, managers and leaders need to understand the distinction between environmental management and sustainable development and the operational use of the terms in business and government. Management and boards of directors need to appreciate that fiduciary responsibility now includes many sustainability risk considerations, notably carbon emissions and climate risks.

GeoTrends Sustainability adds value to public policy initiatives by analysing data, information and reporting on trends and leading practices. We undertake environmental/ sustainability analysis and reviews to stimulate greater accountability for environmental and sustainability performance. Our Sustainable Economy – Green Growth services contribute to public policy development. Designing an economy based on sustainable consumption and production and involving low-carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive pathways is essential in connecting the dots between environmental, social and economic impacts. At the core of a sustainable economy is integrated decision making by government, industry and society on the development and adoption of policies, plans, strategies, practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, efficient use of natural resources, safe management of chemicals, urban and regional resilience, regional natural resource management, and mutually supportive economic and environmental policies.


(scientific methods rather than individual preferences & behaviour) / social wellbeing
Under development


(incentives and targets for policy implementation and change management)
Under development


What we do
GeoTrends Sustainability provides technical assistance, sustainability insights and capacity building support for local, regional and national initiatives on the sustainable economy.

  • conduct research on green growth, green jobs, economic diversification, trade and the environment, circular and sustainable economies
  • advise on economic instruments, conservation incentives and design
  • advise on deliberative policy instruments (e.g., Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) in fisheries)
  • promote deliberative economics for community engagement in Regional Natural Resource Management Bodies
  • prepare thematic papers and policy briefs based on research and analysis (e.g., NRM Governance)
  • review sectoral, national and international green economy reports and provide feedback on improving the quality of analysis and communication (e.g., Accounting for social and environmental costs)
  • check data and facts presented in national reports and results of modelling exercises;
  • decouple undifferentiated economic growth from resource consumption to achieve green growth (economic growth without expensive side effects)