Sustainability: Our Collective Social Responsibility For a Livable Planet



Venue : H. T. Parekh Convention Centre
Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA)

Date: 1st & 2nd December 2012 (Saturday & Sunday)


Background Note

Sustainable development and sustainable consumption are an integral part of each other. Access to and knowledge of sustainable products and services is the key to a sustainable future. Sustainable consumption (SC) requires consumers to consider issues that may be less personal, such as the impact of products or services on our environment and the well being of others. In order to obtain a better understanding of how to encourage consumers to follow SC in their daily lives, analysis of their purchasing patterns and accordingly making them aware is needed. Consumer behaviour reflects the impact that the society has on the environment. The actions and choices of the consumers, to consume certain products and services or to adopt a certain way of life – all have direct and indirect impacts on the environment, as well as on personal (and collective) well-being. This is why the issue of ‘Sustainable Consumption’ has become the central focus for national and international policies.

Consumers are fundamental to driving sustainable production and play a central role in sustainable development. Government takes initiatives to promote SC, with an emphasis on individual policy tools and instruments and their effective combination. Civil society organisations and business industries can also play a major role towards the promotion of SC by raising consumers’ awareness and providing useful information to influence their consumption behavior. Promoting SC is equally important in order to limit negative environmental and social externalities as well as to provide sustainable markets for sustainable products. The sustainability of consumption is always considered in economic, environmental, and social terms. Therefore, the policies increasingly take into account the social and ethical dimensions of products, how they are produced as well as their ecological impacts.

Consumer Education and Research Center (CERC) in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has organized a two-day conference on “Strategies to Promote Sustainable Consumption” in New Delhi 23rd-24th April 2012. The Conference was convened to identify strategies for promotion of SC pattern among different stakeholders and to facilitate revision of Eco-mark, the eco-labelling scheme introduced by Government of India in 1991. The major recommendation that emerged from this conference was to make concerted efforts to establish viable consumption patterns through collaborative efforts, revival of the eco-mark scheme, an independent eco-labelling board, standardisation of criteria for Life Cycle Analysis, policy formulation and the creation of legal work, and enlightenment of the public at large specially youth and students on consumerism.

The present conference is in the continuation of the Conference on Strategies to Promote Sustainable Conference with the objective to enlighten youths and students on sustainable consumerism to make planet livable. Sustainability is not just a topic for national governments and international organizations, but is also, and maybe even more so, an issue for government at all levels, as well as for the private sector and civil society.

Consumer Education and Research Center in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is organising a two-day conference on “Sustainability: Our Collective Social Responsibility for a Livable Planet” to make aware public at large sustainable consumption is very important to secure a sustainable and safe future for all.

The overall objective of this conference will be to:

1. Identify needs/ methods/ approaches of civil society organisations to take a call to encourage consumers at large on a sustainable path.

2. Build a green economy to achieve sustainable development.

3. Raise public awareness on the need to integrate environment and development.

4. Demand for eco-friendly and ethically-made products

5. Focus on practical measures for implementing sustainable development, based on the many examples of success created as well as their environmental effects.

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