Human Capital Development Strategy for a Sustainable Economy

Human Capital Development Strategy for a Sustainable Economy

Sulaiman Olusegun Atiku, Ibrahim Olanrewaju Lawal
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-4503-7.ch017
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The current production and consumption systems have created many social and environmental issues in the global business environment. These issues are of concern for many policymakers across the globe. The essence of the policy framework on sustainability is to transform the global economy into a more sustainable economy. Human capital development is central to economic transformation. This chapter examines the human capital development strategy for a more sustainable economy. A desktop research approach was adopted to investigate the relationship between human capital development strategy and sustainable economic development. For an effective transition into a sustainable economy, this chapter upholds an alignment of human and organisational development strategy, as well as a national development plan with the economic, social, and environmental pillars of sustainability. Therefore, human capital development strategy is a holistic approach to explore the four greens (green savings, green opportunities, green talent, and green places) for a more sustainable economy.
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The emergence of a sustainable economy as a concept could be linked to the propagation of sustainable development, which focused on the idea that human societies must live and meet their needs without jeopardising the existence of future generations (Brundtland Report, 1987; cited in Du Pisani, 2006). The concept 'sustainable development' emerged due to a growing awareness of an imminent ecological crisis, which was one of the driving forces across the globe towards the end of the 20th century (Du Pisani, 2006). Accordingly, the propagation of different ideas about progress, sustainability, growth, and development could be traced to the late 1960s and early 1970s. As a concept, it became more popularised and widely used in the 1980s. In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), defines sustainable development as 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (Brundtland Report, WCED, 1987, p.43; cited in Du Pisani, 2006). Hence, the ongoing tension between economic growth and environmental protection dates back to the 1980s. Therefore, sustainable economic growth will require societies to create conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment (United Nations, 2015).

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