Exploring the Factors Influencing the Future of Green Businesses in Birjand Using a Forecasting Approach

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Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Abstract:
Introduction

Global warming leads to increased heat waves, longer hot seasons, and shorter cold seasons (Short & Farmer, 2021, p. 1). The growing population of the world is currently facing the limited nature of resources, their severe destruction, and the loss of biodiversity. The need to reduce the environmental impacts of economic activities has been accepted by governments and societies around the world for years. Currently, various local, national, and international development agents have chosen different local development strategies in response to environmental challenges. One of the strategies is to green the economy through the development of green jobs and businesses that reduce the environmental impacts by reducing the consumption of energy and raw materials, limiting the production of greenhouse gases, minimizing waste and pollution, and protecting and restoring the ecosystem (Tănasie et al., 2022, p. 14). The most comprehensive global study of “Green Jobs,” Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World, was conducted by the World Watch Institute and Cornell University affiliated with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) (Martínez-Cruz & Núñez, 2021, p. 2). According to international statistics, Iran is known as one of the countries with poor performance in the green growth index (efficient and sustainable use of resources, preservation of natural capital, green economic opportunities, and social inclusion). Also, Iran is one of the top countries in carbon dioxide emissions (Jafari Taraji et al., 2021, p. 2). The correction of this trend requires the investigation of energy consumption and pollution of various economic activities and the identification of economic opportunities for green businesses in different cities and regions. For this purpose and on a smaller scale than the national level, developing and creating green jobs in Birjand city can solve problems related to employment, pollution, and resource limitations, considering its high environmental potential in the use of solar and wind energy, limited water resources, and environmental damage. Therefore, it is necessary to study the future prospects in the field of green jobs.

Methods

This research, using a foresight approach, identifies the most critical factors influencing the future of sustainable green businesses in Birjand City and examines the extent and the manner of their interrelationships. The purpose of this research is practical, and the method of data collection is a combination of documentary and survey methods. The nature of this research is based on new methods of foresight, analytical and exploratory science, which was conducted by using a combination of quantitative and qualitative models. First, 40 primary variables in 10 general categories were identified by the Delphi method from 15 experts and academics in green jobs. Then, the primary variables were defined in the framework of the cross-impact matrix in Micmac software. According to the opinions of the experts, the variables were scored based on their impact and influence with numbers ranging from 0 to 3 in the cross-impact matrix. Finally, the key factors and drivers affecting the future of green businesses in Birjand were extracted.

Results

To achieve the green jobs that any country needs, it is necessary to consider different sources in addition to the environmental conditions and characteristics of the society. After library studies and a survey of academics familiar with green jobs and the green economy approach, using an open-ended questionnaire, the sectors and areas that influence the development and creation of green jobs were identified and their components and variables were extracted. For this purpose, 40 primary variables of the research were identified in ten main categories, and their impact and influence were calculated in Micmac software. According to the results of Micmac, based on the opinions of experts, the situation of green jobs in Birjand city is somewhat unstable and the current conditions governing the development and creation of green jobs will change in the near future.

Discussion

The research results showed that such factors as green management, the establishment of laws and regulations, and reduction (minimum waste and pollution) were identified as some of the most critical and influential drivers in explaining the future prospects of sustainable green businesses in Birjand city. The driving forces indicate that the basis of change in the city is based on policies. Considering that the public sector is dominant in the city along with the weak role of the private sector, it is the entry point for policies and the starting point for the public sector’s transformation. Green management is a set of comprehensive, targeted and continuous studies and actions that are carried out at different levels of governmental and non-governmental organizations to improve and sustain the existing status of the organization to achieve green management and lead to the modification of the consumption pattern and reduction of waste production in the organization. Therefore, to sustain green businesses in Birjand, it is necessary for the managers of governmental and non-governmental organizations to take effective measures to modify the consumption pattern and reduce waste production, by establishing laws, regulations and by-laws from the national to local level, to promote the approach of modifying the consumption pattern and reducing waste production.

Language:
Persian
Published:
Scientific Quarterly of Social-Cultural Studies of Khorasan, Volume:17 Issue: 3, 2023
Pages:
9 to 46
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