He holds a Ph.D. in Economics (University of Crete Department of Economics) and lives in Athens where he works as an economic analyst at the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE). As an economic analyst of ESEE, he is the author of several reports and working papers on the Greek economy, entrepreneurship and regional economic development. His research interests include Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), sustainable economic development, entrepreneurship and history of economic thought. His research has been published in distinguished international academic journals and edited volumes.
Sustainable Development, ESGs and Commerce
The notion of sustainable development was popularised after the publication of the Brundtland Commission Report (1987) by the World Commission on Environment and Development. This report defined sustainable development as «development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs». However, from 1987 onwards, long history has passed. Countries, civil societies, stakeholders and enterprises attempt to meet sustainable development needs. In this vein, the emergence of ESG (Environment, Society, and Governance) is rightly regarded as one of the most critical steps in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ESG, particularly in the retail industry, is one of the most crucial issues since important themes associated with sustainability, such as fast fashion or single-use plastics, are filtered through the retail sector. Due to the importance of these themes, retailing has an enormous role in sustainable development through ESG. Adopting ESG practices can lead to greater sustainability in the retail sector. At the same time, retail enterprises could operate as multipliers of sustainability by sharing ESG’s core values with their customers, suppliers etc. However, a central challenge, especially in the Greek economy, is to exceed the divide between small and large enterprises, as most Greek retail enterprises are micro enterprises (0-9 employees). While individual micro-retail businesses have low environmental footprints, their combined impact is remarkable and should be considered a significant challenge to achieving SDGs.