Environment & Climate Change
AFOLU (Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use) activities are significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, both globally and in India. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in 2010 AFOLU contributed to approximately 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions including 11 percent from forestry and other land uses. It is estimated that globally, deforestation and forest degradation account for around 11 percent of CO2 emissions.
For India AFOLU accounted for approximately 171 Mt of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (6%) of India’s economy wide emissions in 2018. It is important to note that three important greenhouse gases for the AFOLU sector are methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide (removals).
In terms of total greenhouse gas emissions, some studies place agriculture as accounting for around 80 percent of these emissions (Please note that this refers to almost the entire farm to fork approach for food).
In 2018, as per FAO, global emissions due to agriculture (within the farm gate and including related land use/land use change) were 9.3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2eq).
Associated with some of the outlined issues of AFOLU are the Agriculture and Forestry Value Chain Businesses and practices promoted by them.Given the challenges posed by climate change, achieving long-term sustainability is critical for businesses, economy, and society. CRB has taken a unique position of engaging in dialogue and joint action, both with the civil society and with the private sector to design sustainable value chain programs to combat climate change and promote livelihoods.
Deforestation/Sustainable Landscapes, Biodiversity & Climate
A continuing partnership between RSPO and CRB in India to help strengthen the demand for sustainable palm oil across supply chains. The overall goal of this partnership is, ‘businesses commitment and action towards certified sustainable palm oil in India’. The objectives of the partnership include:
- To support businesses with relevant knowledge/information/support to transition towards certified sustainable palm oil in India
- To offer learning and sharing opportunities for businesses and industry actors on the subject
- To engage with a wider group of key stakeholders for enabling support
Regenagri India Cotton Program
India is one of the world’s largest producers of cotton, with the majority of the crop being grown by smallholder farmers. However, the cotton value chain in India faces several sustainability challenges, including water scarcity, soil degradation, and the use of synthetic inputs that can harm human health and the environment.
To address these challenges, the Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) and Solidaridad have launched the Sustainable and Regenerative Cotton Production Program in India. The program aims to promote sustainable cotton production by building the capacity of farmers and engaging with stakeholders along the cotton value chain. Specifically, the program seeks to promote the adoption of regenerative farming practices, which can improve soil health, increase water-use efficiency, and reduce the use of synthetic inputs.
The program’s approach includes farmer capacity building on sustainable farming practices, promoting the use of organic inputs, supporting the adoption of integrated pest management practices, and engaging with industry stakeholders to promote sustainable sourcing.
The partners have also launched an alliance — Alliance of Cotton & Textile Stakeholders on Regenerative Agriculture (ACRE) and has created it as a dialogue, planning and knowledge-sharing platform for promoting regenerative cotton production. The platform brings together stakeholders from across the cotton value chain to share knowledge, promote best practices, and develop sustainable sourcing policies. The program aims to engage with brands, buyers, and other stakeholders to promote sustainable cotton production and enhance the livelihoods of cotton farmers, reduce the environmental impact of cotton production, and promote sustainable sourcing practices in the cotton value chain.
Read More on the Program here: https://regencottonindia.com/
The Sustainable Palm Oil Coalition for India (I-SPOC) was formed to promote uptake of sustainable palm oil and it’s derivatives in India. Launched in September 2018, this Coalition was conceived and founded by CRB, WWF – India, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and Rainforest Alliance. Additional details about I-SPOC may be found here
FOLU India CREST
FOLU India has launched its first action coalition in India. This action coalition brings together four organizations, viz. Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative India, WWF India, and World Resource Institute India (WRI India). The action coalition has been named as Food and Land Use India (FOLU India) Action Coalition for Responsible Sourcing & Trade of Commodities (in short FOLU India CREST). Additional details about FOLU India CREST may be found here.
TEEB Agri Food
Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) has partnered with The Capitals Coalition as the implementation partner for the project TEEB Agri Food, funded by the European Union.
TEEB for Agriculture & Food (TEEB Agri Food) project aims to protect biodiversity and contribute to a more sustainable agriculture and food sector in seven EU partner countries: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand. CRB’s goal is to engage with the agri-business networks in India & communicate the project’s work to relevant businesses and offer insights and perspectives into the project as it progresses. Read more about this initiative here.
Deforestation free commodities supply chains in India
Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) has partnered with WWF India to undertake specific activities by engaging key stakeholders on deforestation free commodities supply chains in India – specifically edible oil and timber. The aim of these engagements has been to highlight the need for and identify opportunities from a balanced approach towards meeting the growing demand with little or no negative impact on forests and landscapes. In addition to engaging industry stakeholders in these commodities (edible oil and timber), the organisations would also initiate dialogues with downstream actors like retailers and e-commerce companies. Further, using evidence based on industry interactions, the organisations will also share perspectives and recommendations with relevant policymakers and influencers at the national, sectoral and regional levels.
Food Loss & Waste - Implication on GHG Reduction
From CRB’s study of the agricultural value chain, many agri-businesses are working directly with farmers to facilitate good agronomic practices that result in better soil health, water stewardship, as well as regulating chemical fertilizer usage; for example via capacity building on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
As part of CRB’s findings, it is found that there is a need to adopt value chain and commodity specific approaches, which accordingly will also provide data points on food loss and waste and accordingly convey as to where GHG emissions are occurring. This can accordingly inform business action plans on GHG reduction
Certain models/ approaches have an implication on GHG reduction. Consider, for example, the food bank model which diverts excess food production to beneficiaries. This diversion of food reduces greenhouse gas emissions as food does not end up in landfills.
Addressal of Food Loss and Waste forms part of the transition to a Circular Economy in agriculture. In this regard, CRB in its Briefing Paper on Addressing Food Loss & Waste for a Sustainable Agriculture Value Chain in India has suggested a framework that integrates Application of Circular Economy Principles in addressing FL&W
One of the pathways towards achievement of addressal of Food Loss and Waste will be via the power of multi-stakeholder collaborations. In this regard, CRB has joined the Friends of Champions 12.3 India Network.
Bamboo to Decarbonize Commercial Sectors in India
The Indian construction sector, driven largely by the growing demand for housing and infrastructure, has become increasingly reliant on carbon-intensive materials like cement and steel. However, wood and bamboo, which have historically been used in indigenous construction, are renewable and have limited carbon footprints. To promote the use of wood and bamboo in the construction sector, World Resources Institute India (WRI India) and the Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) undertook a study under the Climate Smart Forest Economy Program (CSFEP) to explore the feasibility of a value-chain alliance for tree-based products in India. The study engaged key stakeholders, including producers of wood, entrepreneurs and traders of wood, architects, construction companies, government departments, technology institutions, certification agencies, and academia, through a series of consultations.
The study found that while wood faced barriers inhibiting its scaling up in the construction sector, bamboo emerged as a suitable and better alternative. However, several barriers still need to be addressed, including the lack of incentives to grow bamboo, harvesting skills and treatment of bamboo, traceability mechanisms affecting felling and transit of bamboo across state borders, supply of species suitable for construction, standards and certifications, skilled workers using bamboo in the construction sector, awareness and confidence among buyers and construction companies regarding long-term sustainability and shelf life of bamboo, and the categorization of bamboo-based construction under “Kuccha (non-permanent) houses” by the Government of India with no availability of finance and insurance. The study concluded with a focused consultation for value chain alliance partners to share the findings and insights of the study undertaken by WRI India and CRB and to build stronger connections with key stakeholders by forming a strong value chain alliance.
Snapshot of Stakeholder Consultations held between March 2022 and November 2022.
World Resources Institute India (WRI India) and Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) conducted a regional stakeholder consultation in Guwahati, Assam to explore the feasibility of forming a value chain alliance for Bamboo in the Northeast on 8th June 2022 at the TERI Conference Hall, Guwahati. Read more about the proceedings here Regional Consultation to Explore the Feasibility of a Value Chain Alliance for Bamboo in North East India, 8 June 2022: Summary of Proceedings
World Resources Institute India (WRI India) and Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) conducted a regional stakeholder consultation in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (MP) to explore the feasibility of forming a value chain alliance for Bamboo in Central India on 7th July 2022 at Jehan Numa Palace Hotel, Bhopal Read about the proceedings Regional Consultation to explore the Feasibility of a Value Chain Alliance for Bamboo in Central India, July 7, 2022 Summary of Proceedings
Report of the Summary of Proceedings on the National Consultation on Bamboo Value Chain Pertaining to The Construction Sector: Learnings, Insights and Way Forward as part of ISS 2022 (3 November, 2022). The aim of the National Consultation was 1) To present basic information, key findings, and insights for future work under this program, in the context of bamboo in the construction sector; 2)To focus on building stronger connections with key stakeholders for continued engagement by forming a strong value chain alliance.
Proceedings of the National Consultation: https://vimeo.com/774103858/09fffe2ca6