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Sustainable Production and Consumption - a multistakeholder forum




Sustainable Production and Consumption - a multistakeholder forum

Dates : January 23 - 24, 2024 

 Venue : Clarion Hotel President, Chennai 

Chief Guests: Ms. Grace Lalrindiki Pachuau (IAS), Additional Commissioner of Industries and Commerce

 Dr. Sultan Ismail, Member, State Planning Commission,

As UNEP affirms that current patterns of production and consumption are unsustainable and the primary causes of the triple planetary crisis - climate change, loss of biodiversity and environmental pollution; as we cross the halfway point of the agreed timeline to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); as the climate crisis looms larger than ever, threatening the future of our planet and the survival of humankind, it is imperative that we take stock of our progress, identify challenges, and find a way forward to reach our SDG goals by 2030. 

In this context, CAG organised a 'Multistakeholder Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption" on 23rd and 24th January, 2024 in Chennai, seeking to provide a platform to bring together relevant stakeholders including government officials, businesses, civil society, journalists, and academics. The need for multi stakeholder participation in addressing complex subjects such as sustainability and the climate crisis was explained by Dr.Sultan Ismail, Member, Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission during his inaugural address. He emphasised that climate systems, for example, were so complex that they  cannot be contained or mitigated by just one country or one sector of government working independently. It needs people and policies from different walks of life, working hand in hand, globally. This was reiterated by Helena Leurent, Director General of Consumers International, who gave a video address at the event. She explained that even well-meaning consumers need the right tools in the form of a sustainable ecosystem, if their intentions to live sustainably are to translate into real action. 

The multifactorial nature needed for any intervention was further explained by Dr. Manu V. Mathai, WRI India, who said that ‘the atmosphere does not care which company or country emits the most’. Its response to emissions will take the form of extreme weather patterns, with diverse recipients, irrespective of the nature of the emitter.  

The two-day forum looks at sustainability through the lens of business models and strategies impacting sustainability, analysing current production and consumption patterns, with recommendations for an ecosystem for responsible and sustainable businesses. Ms. Grace Lalrindiki Pachuau (IAS), Additional Commissioner of Industries and Commerce, who gave the keynote address at the event, spoke about the government's efforts to keep businesses sustainable. She explained that this currently includes energy efficiency audits, subsidies towards retrofitting equipment to keep them energy efficient, and routinely partnering with NGOs to ensure systematic work to attain SDGs.

Ms. Madhuparna Maiti, TERI, offered a thorough mid-point review of India’s progress towards SDGs. Ms. Sheetal Patil, IIHS spoke about the marks of a climate literate person, based on their experiences of running climate literacy programmes. 

Speakers further discussed current production and consumption patterns within various sectors identifying the energy, transport, FMCG, textile, agriculture and electronics sectors as the most problematic by virtue of their contribution to the climate crisis. There were strong recommendations that we needed a complete rethink and redesign of what and how we produce, while simultaneously being mindful of what and how much we consume. 

The event will continue into tomorrow, looking at factors, strategies and models which promote unsustainable practices of production and consumption and the responsibility of producers, the government’s policy space and the role of consumers in supporting such an ecosystem. 

Sustainability or sustainable development, the buzzword of the decade, is frequently misconstrued as pertaining only to the environment. In truth, it is a way of life encouraging mindful use of all resources. The indiscriminate and overuse of the word especially in the market context by companies has resulted in a false sense of complacency about the progress of our collective efforts as individuals, businesses and governments. Today’s proceedings brought the focus sharply back onto the true meaning of sustainability, building links between producers, consumers and policy-makers.

For further information, contact: Vamsi Kapilavai:  +91 94938 92929 | 

About CAG

Citizen consumer & civic Action Group (CAG) is a thirty eight year old non-profit and non-political organisation working on citizen rights and good governance. It has worked primarily to protect the interests of consumers and citizens of Chennai though its efforts have had state level and even national level impacts.


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