Integrating sustainability into global and local value chains is becoming increasingly common, not only for creating equitable and inclusive growth, but also for shared value creation. Since its adoption in 2015 the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the expectations and actions toward meeting the agenda’s goals have gained momentum. The focus has also expanded from the government to the private sector as a driver of sustainability/ SDGs. Many segments of the private sector, supported by various national and international organizations provide frameworks and guidance on how to integrate sustainable policies and business practices in order to achieve long-term prosperity for businesses and societies, while carefully managing or restoring environmental resources. CRB's endeavor is to convene a diverse set of stakeholders to understand and deliberate on the opportunities and challenges of promoting sustainable business in an emerging economy like India.
Contribution to India's Voluntary National Review (VNR) to UN High Level Political Forum
CRB contributed a chapter to the India’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) being compiled by the NITI Aayog. The VNR provides a review of progress on SDGs. The UN High Level Political Forum requires the member countries to present their respective VNRs as a signatory to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The chapter, drawn from CRB’s considerable engagement with private sector players, gives an overview of various models and approaches of private sector contribution to SDGs in India. It also highlights the existing regulatory frameworks that guide private sector actions/ disclosure on sustainability and identifies certain gaps in these regulations. Drawing from the CRB’s work on Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS), the chapter also documents how VSS can positively contribute to robust reporting of SDGs. Using data from the field, CRB has documented a few good practices in different sectors (apparel & textiles, gems & jewellery, agro-processing), categorising them into different approaches which includes supply chain sustainability, community engagement, and circular economy among others.
CRB received a letter from Sanyukta Samaddar, Adviser, NITI Aayog, acknowledging CRB's contribution to India VNR2020 presented to the UN HLPF on SDGs, July 2020 in New York.
Partnerships for Nutrition
Nutrition is central to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 development agenda. Despite strong constitutional provisions, legislative policy, plan and programme commitments, India suffers from a high burden of undernutrition and micronutrient deficiency diseases. The statistics on nutritional status indicate that India has been a laggard on the issue, among fast-growing economies and also in the region. Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) along with the United Nations World Food Program (UNWFP) and Cargill India have teamed up to address the issue of malnutrition and SDG 2. The project looks at aspects of Nutritional Security in India by aligning with the priorities of the POSHAN Abhiyan along with collaborating with the public and the private sector to find ways to co-create possible approaches to address the problem collectively.
Read more about the initiative here.
Promoting Responsible Value Chains in India for an Effective Contribution of the Private Sector to the SDGs (PROGRESS)
CRB and Aston India Centre for Applied Research (AICAR), Aston University, UK have teamed up to explore and investigate how private sector companies - as part of GVCs, production networks and FDIs in India have/could better contribute towards the achievement of specific SDGs, particularly inclusive education and life-long learning (SDG4), employment and decent work for the youth (SGD 8), women’s social and economic empowerment (SDG 5), sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12), and Climate Action (SDG 13). This project referred to as the PROGRESS project is being supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada. The project was officially launched in October 2018 and will run till September 2021. The project is being undertaken in four sectors viz. 1) Apparels & Textiles, 2) Agro-Processing, 3) Pharmaceuticals, and 4) Gems & Jewellery.
Read more about the initiative here.
Indo-Dutch CSR & Sustainability Forum (INDUS-Forum)
CRB implemented a project referred to as the Indo-Dutch CSR & Sustainability Forum (INDUS-Forum) with support from the Embassy of Netherlands in India to provide a platform for sharing of best practices and exchange of ideas among Dutch and Indian companies. The aim of the project was to initiate, promote and facilitate dialogues, debates and thought leadership on substantive aspects of CSR and Sustainability among businesses and relevant stakeholders of the two countries (India and The Netherlands), especially in the context of trade and investment flows between the two countries.
The bilateral forum aimed to facilitate and stimulate Conversations to dialogue and conceive ideas for improved exchange and Collaborations, leading to Co-creations of thought leadership on CSR and Sustainability as concepts, initiatives and exchanges between the two countries.
Over the course of this project, CRB has organised a series of engagement with both Dutch and Indian businesses, in India and in The Netherlands as mentioned below:
National Consultation Meeting – I, INDUS Forum, September 2016, New Delhi
A first national stakeholder consultation meeting of the project was conducted in New Delhi (India) on 15th September, 2016. Around 40-odd participants including leading Dutch businesses working in India, Indian companies working in the Netherlands, civil society organisations and industry experts participated in this event. The overall purpose was to share the objective and the anticipated outcome from the project, and receive inputs/feedback on the initial research that CRB has done in the project. It was evident from the inputs received that there was indeed merit in cooperation and collaboration, to help leverage understanding and practice of CSR and Sustainability in the two countries. The first phase of this project was designed to explore the interest among Dutch businesses, Indian business and relevant stakeholders about setting up a mechanism for exchange of good practices, knowledge and experience on CSR and Sustainability involving businesses and relevant stakeholders from both the countries.
Second Consultation Meeting, INDUS Forum, January 2017, MINBUZA, The Hague
As part of the project activities, CRB was also keen to receive inputs and guidance from businesses and stakeholders based in the Netherlands – and hence organised a meeting on 18th January 2017 in The Hague. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINBUZA) hosted this meeting at the MINBUZA building. Over 50 participants comprising businesses, knowledge organisations, civil society organisations, academicians participated in this meeting. Inputs from high level speakers in this event confirmed that that the time was opportune for such a bilateral dialogue on CSR and Sustainability. CRB analysed all the inputs and envisaged to form a membership-based network (platform), INDUS-Forum network.
Third Consultative Meeting, INDUS Forum, March 2017, New Delhi
The INDUS-Forum Network was formally launched at the third consultative meeting held in New Delhi on 22nd March 2017. The third consultative meeting drew nearly 70 participants from across the various relevant stakeholders.Focused, interactive discussions took place on three specific sectors of mutual interest to The Netherlands and India, viz: (i) agriculture and agri-business; (ii) apparel and textiles; and (iii) IT/IT enabled services..