Sustainable Development vs Green Development: Difference and Comparison

Constant growth in any aspect of life is known as development. Development is a very crucial aspect of every civilization. At some point in time, growth or development is required in different fields of any country.

In the 21st century, the most common types of development are sustainable development and green development. Both of these terms are very related to each other. But certain differences can be marked between these two terms.  

Key Takeaways

  1. Sustainable development addresses the needs of the present without compromising future generations’ resources, while green development prioritizes environmental protection in growth strategies.
  2. Green development is a subset of sustainable development, focusing on reducing ecological impacts.
  3. Sustainable development encompasses economic, social, and environmental dimensions, ensuring a balanced approach to growth.

Sustainable Development vs Green Development 

Sustainable development is related to balancing growth and future needs. It depicts resource utilization. Resources must be utilized in such a way that it can be saved for the future. It also focuses on present needs. Green development is related to the growth or development of the environment. Its main focus is to protect the environment.

Sustainable Development vs Green Development

Sustainable development is a crucial and popular doctrine these days. The principle of sustainable development says that man should achieve constant growth in all aspects of life, but he should also keep in mind the future.

In simple words, this concept says that development should be done in a manner keeping in mind the needs of the present as well as the future.  

But on the other hand, green development is a completely different concept in itself. The doctrine of green development does not focus on the needs of the future or present.

Green development signifies the constant growth sought to be achieved in matters of the environment only. Green development talks about constant growth in the ecosystem of the earth. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison  Sustainable Development Green Development  
Meaning  Sustainable development is A concept that focuses on development while balancing the needs of the future also.
Green development is A concept that focuses on the development of the environment.
Focuses on This concept focuses on striking A balance between the needs of the present generation and the upcoming generation.

This concept focuses on the well-being of the environment while developing the world.
Basic principle  The basic principle behind this doctrine is to maintain a balance.
The basic principle behind this doctrine is to safeguard the environment.
Origin  This doctrine originated as a response to the overutilization of resources.
This doctrine originated as a result of environment-friendly protests and programs.
Goals to be achieved  This principle seeks to achieve a total of 17 goals.
This principle does not provide any definite number of goals to be achieved.

What is Sustainable Development? 

Sustainable development is an economic principle that lays down the concept of striking a balance between the utilization of resources.

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It says that natural resources should be utilized so that some resources can be saved for the upcoming generation. Therefore, the main pillar of this doctrine is striking a balance between the utilization of resources.

Since the world started developing very fast, natural resources have decreased a lot. This particular fact has raised concerns about the development being done.

So, to answer all of these concerns, the principle of sustainable development has been laid down. This concept does not stop people from utilizing resources.

It simply motivates them to use the resources sustainably so that these resources can be saved for the upcoming generations also.

To achieve a sustainable future, environmentalists have prepared a list of 17 goals that are called sustainable development goals.

The United Nations listed these 17 goals in 2015. And the United Nations has explained that these goals should be achieved by the end of the year 2030.

However, like any other concept, the concept of sustainable development was also criticized a lot. The major question was how to determine which resources should be used sustainably. 

sustainable development

What is Green Development? 

Green development is a subset of sustainable development. Green development is a concept that focuses on the growth of the environment while all other kinds of developments are being done.

This concept works on the principle that every development activity has a certain impact on the environment. Green development focuses on these impacts and tries to reduce the negative ones as much as possible.

There are three main pillars of this concept. These pillars are- environmental responsiveness, resource efficiency, and the sensitivity of culture and community.

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Environmental responsiveness is a concept that focuses on minimizing the damage to the environment. Development activities affect the environment negatively sometimes.

Therefore, certain measures are taken to reduce these negative impacts to the lowest point possible. The concept of resource efficiency is somehow similar to sustainable development.

This concept says that resources must be used in a manner so that the wastage of resources can be stopped. And lastly, green development focuses on cultural and communal sensitivity.

The concept of cultural sensitivity says that development should be done keeping in mind the values of the culture of people subject to such development. In 1970, this concept was first seen. 

green development

Main Differences Between Sustainable Development and Green Development 

  1. Sustainable Development is a concept that focuses on a balance between the needs of the present and the future. In contrast, Green Development is a concept of safeguarding the environment while developing the world. 
  2. Sustainable Development lists down 17 goals to be achieved. In contrast, Green Development does not list down any such definite number of goals. 
  3. Sustainable Development focuses on maintaining a balance between the utilization of resources. In contrast, Green Development focuses on saving environmental interests. 
  4. Sustainable Development is an umbrella term that includes Green Development in it. 
  5. Sustainable Development originated as a way to curb the overutilization of resources by the present generation. In contrast, Green Development originated as a result of numerous protests in favour of the environment. 
Difference Between Sustainable Development and Green Development 1



Last Updated : 13 February, 2024

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