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Integrating sustainability into standards is a laudable initiative of Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) which Ministry of Commerce and Industry would like to work upon with CRB, Commerce and Industry Minister Mr Suresh Prabhu expressed this thought at the opening ceremony of India & Sustainability Standards: International Dialogue and Conference 2017 (ISS 2017). S Sandilya, Chairman, Eicher Group said, “To assume that corporates have not done there a bit of responsibility, would be unfair. Corporates are responsible, but I will not say all. When the 2% mandate of CSR came in, a lot of corporates were unhappy. We need to realize that the responsibility task is huge for government to cater alone. There needs to be a joint effort.” He further elaborated on the four priority areas that corporates must focus on- Education, health and nutrition, skill development and environment.  


Prof Dirk Matten, Director, Centre for Excellence in Responsible Business, Schulich School of Business, mentioned how the problem of sustainability cannot be solved by a single individual’s effort or rationality. He also cited how in the context of climate change, the failure of consensus takes place when one actor is more powerful than the other. The inaugural session also saw the audience and experts deliberating on the participation of the young millennial force, especially for the environment. The buck is often passed by the corporates to the consumers for not demanding sustainability. Speaking on the 2017 edition of the annual flagship conference, Dr Bimal Arora, Chairperson, CRB and Faculty, Aston Business School said “We have been meaning to mobilize the support of international standard setters towards broadening their focus from merely value and supply chains of international business in India to India as a whole. Also, as a consumer-driven nation, it is important to have international expertise in standard setting and collaborative initiatives for sustainability.”  The 2017 edition of ‘India Sustainability Standards: International Dialogues and Conference’ started on a high note with experts coming together to deliberate on the case of Sustainability and the private sector. Organised and hosted by the Centre for Responsible Business, a centre of excellence works with corporates, government and international organizations to promote sustainable practices and responsible business in India. The 4th edition of ISS held at the India Habitat Centre from 15th Nov to 17th Nov emphasized upon the importance of taking care of people and planet besides making profits.   

Arun Asthana, Executive Director of CRB, elaborated upon the relevance of the sustainability to the common people in their everyday life. He said CRB is making efforts to de-jargonise the subject of sustainability to make people aware of its importance in their life. During this three days conference, more than 650 delegates from across the globe participated in 30 sessions on diverse subjects like gender, forestry and environment, electronic waste, agro-business, apparel, human rights, ethical business policies with a focus on sustainability standards. Other discussions have been made in the domains of increased inequality, importance of local Governance, the need of more democratic forms of capitalism, screening companies on SDG goals, policy coherence among the different sectors, circular economy, sustainable consumption and production processes, capacity building, extensive exploitation of the communities, promoting efficiency across the value chain, enhanced skill development of communities and the like.