Lead Partners for ISS 2020
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ISS 2020 Session Videos
India and Sustainability Standards Conference 2020 Highlights
Over 800 practitioners – many of them from India came together for the Centre for Responsible Business 7th Annual Sustainability Conference that concluded on the evening of 30th October 2020. The ISS 2020 ended with the hope, with specific take-aways and most importantly desire among many to create and tread on ‘pathways to sustainable, inclusive and green recovery for India’ post COVID19.
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.
While it is difficult to collate the key take-aways from the rich discussions, here is an attempt to highlight some of the important messages that should guide us all in our endeavour to develop pathways to sustainable, inclusive and green recovery for India (and beyond):
- Applying a systems thinking lens and ensuring that we look at the entire system as a whole and not just in parts is critical.
- Balancing the supply and the demand side issues, is critical. The endeavour to build sustainable enterprises cannot be achieved without proper demand side management (strengthening consumer awareness to drive more sustainable business).
- New and unconventional models of collaboration are needed.
- Data and IT enabled tools are the way forward, however, caution has to be exercised that the digital divide is adequately addressed to ensure technology embodies fairness, equity and justice.
- While some interventions can be scaled, some others will only be effective as pilots and at the micro level. Scalable and pilot level interventions are both needed and will co- exist.
- As practitioners across business, government, civil society, academia – we need to expand our thinking of communities not just as beneficiaries but more as economic actors and mainstream them into value chains better. Local value creation is critical, will need to be led by community-based organisations who will need sufficient investments and technological support. This is key to building resilience in terms of withstanding shocks where most needed.
- Most importantly it is clear that all stakeholders will need to come out of our comfort zones and innovate as it can no longer be ‘Business As Usual’ and develop tools/approaches/interventions to address the most pressing sustainability challenges we are confronted with, together.
About ‘India and Sustainability Standards’
Centre for Responsible Business CRB’s annual flagship conference ‘India and Sustainability Standards: International Dialogues and Conference’ convenes international and Indian businesses, policymakers and all stakeholders to dialogue and develop roadmaps across issues and industry sectors – in supporting the momentum towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The journey of India and Sustainability Standards: International Dialogues and Conference (ISS) conceptualized as a dialogue platform by the CRB – began in 2012. With overwhelming response and encouragement over the years from Indian and international partners, standard setters, large companies, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), civil society supporters, policymakers and government agencies, media and delegates, ISS evolved into a India based international Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Platform, and as an annual flagship conference.
CRB believes that sustainable business principles are a key ingredient that businesses of the future (and businesses with a purpose) should integrate into their enduring core values – that should ultimately inform their strategies and operations.
In the seventh edition of ISS, our endeavor, is to convene a diverse set of stakeholders to understand and deliberate on the opportunities and challenges of integrating sustainability in core business practices and strategies to build a resilient business in an uncertain world.