Circular Economy (CE) considerations (design out waste & pollution; keep materials and products in use, and regenerate natural systems) are emerging as a key factor in facilitating a resource efficient, resilient and equitable growth for countries involved in global supply chains. While the discourse on CE principles has primarily emanated from countries in the Global North, countries in the Global South, as major producer economies, have different incentives and needs when it comes to applying CE principles. There is need for awareness and capacity building, technology and business model innovation, more conducive policies and regulations and availability of requisite finance. CE principles also provide the opportunity to facilitate inclusive and equitable growth through creation of new employment opportunities, upskilling/reskilling and factoring in the requirements of just transition.
To ensure sustainability of operations keeping in mind the identity and values of SMEs, the webinar titled, “Unpacking Business and Human Rights for SMEs – The forefront to steer Responsible Business Conduct across industries”, co–organised by Centre for Responsible Business and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) South Asia, endeavours to address the topics of relevance, expectations and implications of Business and Human Rights for SMEs through a webinar series.
Rijit Sengupta, Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), shared his views on Food Loss and Waste at the webinar on Fostering Friends of Champions 12.3 in India organised by WRI India. CRB has recently authored a Briefing Paper on Food Loss and Waste
His insights at the webinar include that businesses need to be engaged with the SDGs and calls for better capacity building on the business case of addressing Food Loss and Waste.
Furthermore, he shared that the principles of Circular Economy can be applied in the approach of addressing Food Loss and Waste and that there is a need for a dedicated policy at the national level.
With the goal of enabling change, helping businesses and governments to be more responsible and ethical by adapting sustainable practices, the Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), and the Melton Foundation organized a panel discussion on the topic “Rethinking Sustainable Consumption and Production: Shifting Business and Consumption Patterns”.
This informative session included speakers from businesses, academia, research organizations working on sustainability and sustainable development. One Planet network – 10YFP and Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy – India were among the key panelists.
Catch the conversation here.
I-SPOC Open Day, 23rd June 2021
- Building a business case – how to develop a business case for sustainable palm oil,
- Marketing – communication and branding
- Research – availability and access to information on sustainable palm oil, awareness creation and capacity building and
- Sustainability initiatives – Relevant sustainability initiatives on Sustainable Palm Oil by various stakeholders
CRB, with support from The Refashion Hub and Water Management Forum (under Institute of Engineers India), is working on a campaign on increasing awareness among stakeholders about wastewater reuse, especially in the textile sector in India. CRB organized a multi-stakeholder workshop on various aspects of wastewater reuse and how it can be supported through policies and incentives. Catch the full conversation here.
Read more about the initiative here.
Inclusive Finance India Summit, 22nd April 2021
Devyani Hari represented CRB as a speaker for the Inclusive Finance India Summit session on Sustainable Finance, organised by ACCESS ASSIST. She shared her views on practicing Sustainable Finance & what it means for financial institutions.
TEEB-AgriFood for Business training program, offered by the Capitals Coalition in collaboration with the Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), is an opportunity for businesses to learn and hone skills to measure and value their business’ impacts and dependencies on natural, social and human capital. Guiding them through each stage of the TEEBAgriFood Operational Guidelines a tool for businesses, this program aimed to arm businesses with the knowledge to identify the risks and opportunities associated with their business’ interaction with the capitals, and learn how to integrate and apply these considerations into their business decision making.
Consumer Assisto International Conference, 15th March 2021
On the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day, Rijit Sengupta represented CRB as a panelist at the Consumer Assisto International Conference, and shared his views on the present & future of consumerism & role of sustainable living.
Retailers Association of India’s Retail Leadership Summit 2021, 24th February 2021
CRB and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) were the silver partners for Retailers Association of India’s Retail Leadership Summit 2021. Rijit Sengupta, represented CRB as a panelist for the discussion on, ‘Leadership in Sustainable Sourcing – How to transition to certified Sustainable Palm Oil in India.’
The One Planet Network – 10YFP and the International Resource Panel (IRP) have released a new report on the Value Chain Approach to action on sustainable consumption and production SCP. The purpose is to identify key points of intervention within economic systems to reduce natural resource use and environmental impacts caused by production and consumption to define a common agenda for action. The report shares findings from its application to three critical sectors: food, construction and textiles. Read the report here and learn more about this action-oriented approach.
CRB & the Capitals Coalition co-hosted a virtual roundtable discussion to review and discuss the Agri-food Operational Guideline that has been developed by Capitals Coalition under the aegis of The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food (TEEB AgriFood). The guidelines were presented to a wide range of stakeholders, and participants were given the opportunity to learn, provide comments and input into the development process.
Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) together with Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) & Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) organized a webinar on “Responsible Business: Practitioners Guide to Business & Human Rights”, on 10th December 2020. Nandini Sharma represented CRB for the discussions & dialogue.
CRB organized a virtual workshop on ‘Delivering on SDGs: Aligning action by the Global North with Southern priorities’ on 10th December 2020 under the aegis of PROGRESS project. The session with two parallel sessions was focused on ‘decent work & gender equality in global value chains’ and ‘managing food loss & food waste – a multi-stakeholder approach’.
TX-PROGRESS-GLOW Korero-Roundtable discussion was organized by CRB under the aegis of the PROGRESS Project (c4rb.org/progress) in collaboration with Traidcraft Exchange & Project G.L.O.W. The discussion explored what resilient livelihood structures could look like in the context of a pandemic/post-pandemic world.
Bhavya Sharma represented CRB as the youth leader to collaborate & find collective climate solutions. The Youth for Sustainability (YfS) India Alliance brings together like-minded youth-oriented organisations focused on SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG 13 – Climate Action on a common national platform in the form of an Alliance to help India achieve its targets under SDG 12 and 13 with the youth as the accelerator. CRB is actively working as the member of the alliance.
The three-day conference brought together over 200 speakers from across the world, over 60 partner organisations committed to the theme of the conference – as they dissected and discussed a number of critical sustainability issues across the 28 thematic and sectoral sessions. Four high-level plenary sessions brought the most experienced practitioners from government, industry, civil society and academia to discuss complex issues around – (i) designing an enabling ecosystem for business behaviour; (ii) role of businesses post COVID19 in creating sustainable and inclusive recovery; (iii) strengthening business disclosure and leadership and (iv) building a responsible forest economy.
Catch the conversation and discussion of CRB’s Annual Flagship India & Sustainability Standards Conference 2020 here.
Find the conference booklet here.
The webinar was organized by CRB together with RAI, RSPO & I-SPOC with the aim to explore the business case for sustainable procurement in food retail in India. The discussion addressed supply chain risks & transparency along with consumer trends.
Event on ‘Private Sector Contribution to the Decade of Action: Catalyzing Collaboration across the Global North & South’, 30th September 2020
CRB together with World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), co-hosted a parallel event at UNGA2020 titled, ‘Private Sector Contribution to the Decade of Action: Catalyzing Collaboration across the Global North & South’. The event explored how we can ensure closer alignment between the North & South to facilitate concerted and accelerated action on sustainability, how international businesses and their partners can expect to collaborate post COVID19 given changes to global value chains, what kinds of collaborative models/approaches have worked, and how future collaborations & stakeholder engagements are likely to develop.
CRB held a national-level workshop on how public policy can enable and accelerate circular economy transition in the apparel and textile industry in India, in partnership with Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) & Fashion For Good & supported by Laudes Foundation. Findings on cluster-level challenges to circularity, their solutions and relevant policy support were presented, followed by a panel discussion by representatives from the Government as well as industry experts. Need for R&D, industry benchmarking, shared responsibility and accounting for embedded natural resources emerged as some of the important themes.
CRB was the cooperating partner for the 8th World Sustainability Forum 2020. The themes for the year 2020 were:
- Food Security and Agriculture
- Mobility and Transport
CRB, along with CAIF and FFG, held this workshop to solicit inputs from stakeholders from the apparel and textile sector in Tamil Nadu, on priority issues and solutions required for a transition towards circular economy. Policy intervention ideas were also discussed, which could help a sector-wide transition in the state. The workshop was attended by manufacturers, innovators, brands, and government agencies from Tirupur, Coimbatore, Karur, etc.
Webinar on, ‘Circular Apparel & Textile – A Strategy for Better Preparedness’, 20th July 2020
The webinar was organized by Shri Vaishnav Vidyapeeth Vishwavidyalaya, Indore together with CRB & The Textile Association of India. The agenda of the webinar was to provide an overview of the apparel & textile sector & impact of COVID19. Various aspects of circularity in apparel & textile & promotion of sustainable development in the sector were discussed.
CRB convened the fifth meeting of the VSS Collaboration India (a coalition of VSS organisations working in India) on July 2, 2020. The objective was to discuss and learn from the perspectives and experiences of the VSS organisations over the course of the pandemic and the lockdown. The discussions covered the following: Understanding the impacts of COVID19 on business continuity and sustainable business practices in India Discussions on COVID19’s impact on VSS organisations & mitigation measures – sharing of experiences Perspectives and suggestions from VSS organisations to ‘Build Back (Forward) Better’
CRB hosted a virtual roundtable discussion on ‘COVID19 & its Impact on Food Waste – a multi-stakeholder dialogue’ on 19th June 2020. The webinar discussed the impacts on the agricultural value chain – specifically the problem of food waste due to COVID19 and how policies, private sector initiatives & ground-level interventions can help find lasting solutions, especially in the context of SDG12 – Sustainable Consumption & Production.
CRB at the NIFT Webinar on ‘Significance on Information & Communication Technology in Integrating Sustainability during COVID19 Lockdown’, 29th May 2020
A workshop on ‘Significance on Information & Communication Technology in integrating Sustainability during COVID-19 lockdown’ on 29th May 2020, organised by NIFT Delhi, was moderated by Rijit Sengupta, CEO, CRB. The webinar saw eminent speakers who discussed how the ICT sector has incorporated sustainability in India; and emerging/new ways of promoting sustainability post COVID-19.
To mark the launch of TEEBAgriFood business implementation project by UNEP in India, a webinar was organised by CRB together with The Capitals Coalition on 29th April 2020.
The Sustainable Palm Oil Coalition for India (I-SPOC) organised its third meeting of Members virtually on 24th April 2020, which was attended by the Members and Observers of the Coalition. Representatives from 20 organisations and businesses came together to discuss the government policy, supply chains and consumer behavior involved in the uptake of sustainable palm oil in India. The objective of this meeting was to formally introduce the members to their Working Group and their Group Chairs and finalize the Action Plan 2020-21.
The media can play a critical role in creating awareness and sensitizing businesses, consumers and other stakeholders on the concept of ‘businesses with purpose’. Understanding the importance of media engagement, a webinar was organised on the theme “Businesses with Purpose Future-Proofing Businesses in a Post COVID-19 World” by CRB, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and WWF-India on 16th April 2020. The webinar saw various actors from the field of businesses, media, think tanks and civil societies express their thoughts and opinions on media and businesses working together during and post the pandemic to push the sustainability agenda forward collectively. They also mentioned that efforts like creating awareness, helping consumers as well as businesses understand sustainability and sustainable growth can create demand for sustainable goods and intensify sustainable business practices.
The fourth meeting of the CRB initiative was held on 18th March 2020 at New Delhi. CRB started this initiative to enable better and closer cooperation among Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) organisations working in India on issues of common interest. VSS organisations participated in this meeting & shared their contributions towards SDGs in India. Sundar N Mishra from NITI Aayog also participated in the meeting.
CRB at the First South Asian Conference on Sustainability in Textile & Apparel Industry 2020, 3rd March 2020
Devyani Hari, Director Programmes, CRB, spoke on the opportunities in Circular Apparel, emergency trends, challenges and the way forward at the First South Asian Conference on Sustainability in Textile & Apparel Industry 2020 held on 3rd March 2020.
Enabling Child and Human Rights with SEED Organisations ECHO event, 2nd March 2020
Devyani Hari, Director Programmes, CRB spoke on Decent Work place standards in the Seed Supply chain and addressed responsible agri supply chains at the ECHO event.
CRB organized a half-day workshop on Circular Economy in Karnataka’s Textile and Apparel sector on 19 February 2020 in Bengaluru, in association with Intellecap and Fashion For Good. The workshop saw participation from spinning mills, brands, start-ups, apparel manufacturers and the state government. The participants brainstormed on challenges in the state’s textile ecosystem against a circular economy transition, and what policy interventions could enable such a transition. The workshop provided CRB with input from relevant stakeholders to identify and propose policy intervention ideas to the state government.
CRB and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) announced the Youth for Sustainability (YfS) fellowship in January 2020 to offer an opportunity to the youth (students and young professionals) to take charge by engaging and shaping the sustainability/SDG agenda based on their own ideas and actions. The fellowship seeks to engage youth specifically on SDG 12 (responsible production and consumption) and SDG 13 (climate action) linking it to the uptake of sustainable palm oil. An orientation meeting for the selected fellows was organized on 17th Feb 2020 at CRB’s office.
‘Financing Local Green Enterprises- Building A Stake of Micro Enterprises in India’s Transition to an Inclusive Green Economy' at the Green Economy Coalition's Global Annual Meeting, 6th February 2020
The Centre for Responsible Business & The Global Green Growth Institute facilitated a session on ‘Financing Local Green Enterprises – Building a Stake of Micro Enterprises in India’s Transition to an Inclusive Green Economy’ at the Green Economy Coalition’s Global Annual Meeting held in New Delhi. The session aimed to consolidate policy asks for ease of financing LGEs. The roundtable participants delved deeper into identified challenges, and explored the potential of new financing models, instruments, regulations and fiscal measures to support LGEs financing. The summary and key recommendations of the session will be shared with the Ministry of MSMEs and UN-PAGE India team will be incorporated in the national policy frameworks and the action plan of PAGE India, which has a special focus on scaling up MSMEs.
Sankalp Global 2019, 27th November 2019, Mumbai
Devyani Hari was invited to speak in the panel discussion on ‘Closing the Gaps: An interactive session on Circular opportunities across the Textile & Apparel Value Chain’ at Sankalp Global Forum 2019 organised by Intellecap as a part of initiative on Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF).
Business and Human Rights Seminar, 25th November 2019, Pune, India
CRB in partnership with Friedrich Nauman Foundation and Indo-German Chambers of Commerce (IGCC) conducted a training workshop on Business and Human Rights in Pune on 25th November 2019. Rijit Sengupta represented CRB and together with Markus Loening, former Human Rights Commissioner of Germany interacted with a group of over 25 participants drawn from various German companies in this session. The discussion was an endeavour to raise awareness among businesses about the purpose and importance of the National Action Plan (NAP) on BHR for businesses. Integration of human rights at the national policy level and current thinking and intent within Government of India on this issue was also shared.
RSPO RT17 Global Conference 2019, 4 - 6th November 2019, Bangkok, Thailand
Rijit Sengupta participated as a speaker at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) RT17 global event held in Bangkok, Thailand from 04-06 November 2019. He highlighted the urgent need for moving towards deforestation free supply chain in India and collaborating with businesses, government agencies, standard organisations and others to drive forward sustainability in the palm oil sector.
Asian Youth for Sustainable Palm Oil Summit (AYSPO), 3rd November 2019, Bangkok, Thailand
Bhavya Sharma, Programme Officer, CRB represented the organisation in the Asian Youth for Sustainable Palm Oil Summit (AYSPO) on 03 November 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. The summit comprised 50 young people from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand who gathered to discuss methods on co-creating their commitments towards a shared responsibility for making sustainable palm oil the norm.
A stakeholder consultation was organised in IIM Ahmedabad (Gujarat) on 22 October 2019 to gather input on circular apparel policy priorities among the Gujarat stakeholders – inviting participants from Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara clusters. The workshop saw participation from design institutes, brands, suppliers, innovators and state policy actors. The discussions were focused on the role of innovation, and integrating sustainability and circular economy practices in the way of doing business. A policy brief was prepared and submitted to the Commissioner of Industries and can be seen here.
An International Interface Meeting was held under the auspices of the PROGRESS Project & was organised on 9 October 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, in partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva. The aim was to engage with international actors/ organisations to highlight contributions through this GVC approach on SDGs, particularly in an emerging economy like India. The discussions highlighted that if we are to accelerate the action on sustainability, closer alignment between different interests is the first order of the day. Need for continuous dialogue between actors from the Global North and the Global South was emphasised. Read the brief report of the full discussion here.
The workshop held on 10 September 2019 at NID Ahmedabad, featured speakers from the government, academia (design, textiles, strategic business management), industry (brands, exporters) and entrepreneurs. The discussions emphasised on incorporating circular economy principles in production and consumption as it’s no longer a choice but is a must do for the survival of businesses in the long run. Another important aspect that emerged from the discussion was the need to educate consumers & increase awareness about circular & sustainable apparel. Read the brief report of the full discussion here.
Workshop on Future-Proofing Businesses through Sustainability, 4th September 2019, Birmingham
A workshop titled ‘Future-proofing businesses through sustainability’ was organised as a side event during the British Academy of Management Conference on September 4, 2019 in Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham. The workshop aimed to engage business school scholars and researchers to deliberate on the role of sustainability for safeguarding and strengthening businesses by addressing supply chain risks including those pertaining to working conditions, environmental degradation and transparency/ traceability.
International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union) and Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) in association with Okhla Garment and Textile Cluster (OGTC) co-organised a half day sensitization program and discussions on understanding and management of TB. Read the brief report here.
3rd Circular Economy Symposium of FICCI 2019, 17th - 18th June 2019, New Delhi
Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) and Intellecap organised a session on ‘Circular Apparel Policy Innovation’ at this symposium. Rijit Sengupta, CEO represented CRB as a panelist in this session. There was consensus of the need for policy actions to promote circularity in the sector.
A workshop for stakeholders from the Gems & Jewellery sector was organised in Mumbai on May 28th, 2019 with the objective to engage and onboard key stakeholders from the Gems & Jewellery sector (brands, buyers, manufacturers, standards organisations, public agencies, etc.) and to further identify the key issues to promote responsible gems and jewellery supply/value chains. Read the brief report of the full discussion here.
An inception meeting was organised on 9th April, 2019 in New Delhi with key stakeholders from Apparel & Textiles, Agro-processing and Pharmaceutical sector with an objective to introduce the project to key stakeholders and to share the overview of the project across the sectors and receive inputs into the proposed research and practice level interventions. Read the brief report of the discussion here.