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Engagement with Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) in India

CRB has been engaging with VSS in India broadly in three ways, which stem from CRB's understanding about the need for better integration of VSS to improve sustainable business performance in India

Interaction between VSS Standards Setters and Indian Stakeholders
CRB Annual Sustainability Conference (India and Sustainability Standards, www.sustainabilitystandards.in) offers a platform for international standards setting organisations/professionals working on VSS and other aspects of Sustainable/Responsible Business to interact with Indian stakeholders, across various sectors/thematic areas. Over the 5-plus years of implementing the annual Conference, CRB has been able to facilitate a multi-stakeholder led discourse, leading to certain actions on the ground.

Partnership with VSS Organisations in India
In order to improve awareness and effective uptake of VSS among Indian industry and other users, CRB has been partnering with various VSS in India. Some examples in recent times include

  • Green Electronics Council (GEC) - A partnership project to develop a set of draft Criteria for end of life management of electronic waste in India, based on ground level research, analysis and discussions with key stakeholders.

  • Rainforest Alliance A partnership to understand the triggers for market transformation towards sustainable palm oil in India.

  • Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) - A partnership to engage Indian Industry leaders and champions, to support the process of transformation towards sustainable palm oil in India. It also involves public outreach and awareness raising.

  • Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI) - A partnership for developing a multi-stakeholder platform to support development of sustainable and inclusive Mica supply chain in the State of Jharkhand in India.

Collaboration among VSS in India
Given the multiplicity of VSS in the market, the users are often confused about the applicability of VSS. Experts at the international level have been calling for collaboration among VSS. CRB has taken this initiative since Jan 2019 to conduct periodic discussions involving VSS organisations (once a quarter) for them to better acquaint with the experience (domain) of each other and identify areas of common interest and challenge. This initiative is referred to as ‘Walking Together with VSS in India’, and aims to help VSS organisations get better clarity about domains of expertise of each other and explore possible collaborative initiatives.

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