Join the session Sustainability Information to Empower Consumers part of the India and Sustainability Standards 2020 Conference
22 October 2020
  • Consumer Information for SCP

Title of Session: Sustainability Information to Empower Consumers

29 October 2020 | 1545 to 1715hrs India Standard Time

The importance of providing reliable information has been internationally recognized by Agenda 2030 through target 12.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The right to information is also one of the eight consumer rights, according to the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection. Providing consumers with sustainability information that is clear, reliable, accessible, relevant and transparent is important for avoiding green-washing and stimulating behaviour change in consumers towards more sustainable consumption patterns. The importance of protecting the rights of consumers by providing reliable information post COVID19 has already been highlighted at various platforms.


The world is facing an economic crisis in 2020 with the OECD (2020) predicting a global decline in economic growth of 7.6% if there is a second wave of Coronavirus infections. This economic scenario means a tough operating environment for businesses globally. Those businesses delivering ‘essential’ services (such as food and medicines) are expected to thrive, while many in the service sector (including tourism businesses, travel, restaurants, etc.) will struggle to survive.


Simultaneously, significant consumer behaviour changes are being witnessed. Globescan’s (2020) survey of 25,000 people in 25 countries showed 54% said healthy and sustainable living is a major priority in their lives. Consumers aged 18 to 24, 56% said they feel guilty about their impact on the environment. During the Covid-19 global pandemic, consumer interest in living in a more sustainable way has increased:

  • Google Trends showed the search interest in “How to live a sustainable lifestyle” has increased by more than 4,550% within 90 days at the start of the Coronavirus lockdowns.
  • Accenture’s (2020) survey of 5000 consumers in 15 countries showed:
    • 64% of consumers said they’re focusing more on limiting food waste
    • 45% of consumers said they’re making more sustainable choices when shopping

These consumer trends must not be ignored by businesses. By focusing more on sustainability and communicating this to consumers, businesses can position themselves for the future and become more resilient to other societal or environmental crises. It is in this context, that Centre for Responsible Business, one of the MAC members of the Consumer Information Programme, hosts its annual India and Sustainability Standards Conference. The Consumer Information Programme will host a session at the conference entitled Sustainability Information to Empower Consumers. The session will aim to:

  • Showcase work of the Consumer Information Programme of the One Planet network
  • Showcase the Consumer Information Programme as a strong network of actors progressing towards SDG 12 through the spirit of collaboration, linking-up to scale-up and ongoing promotion of SCP (sustainable consumption and production)
  • Illustrate the importance of reliable and accessible consumer information as a useful tool for encouraging sustainable consumption with links to the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information (UNEP & ITC, 2017). Different forms of consumer information will be presented in the session.
  • Explore the efficacy of Voluntary Standards and Certification Schemes (in consumer facing sectors), in providing reliable information to consumers to make an informed choice

The speakers of the session are:

  • Chair: Naomi Scott-Mearns, Consumers International
  • Beatriz Martins Carneiro, Project Officer, UNEP
  • George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International
  • Hem Kumar Pande, Former Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
  • Abhishek Mazumdar, Founder, The Logical Indian
  • Dr Hitesh Bhatt, Director Marketing and Communications, RAI

Register for the conference today! Register at:

  • Consumer Information for SCP
Certification, Consumer goods, Eco-labels, Education, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)