Emerson Centre of Excellence for Sustainability Studies

Sustainable Lifestyle (Mission LIFE) – Role of Industry

Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production is already resulting into huge gap in availability of primary material globally and their consumption. It is reported that last year we consumed our annual budgeted resources by July itself and we need around 1.75 earths to support our needs in business-as-usual scenario.

Key element considered here is sustainable consumption which also affects production. Sustainable consumption and lifestyles must be seen from the perspective of resource value chain that included resource extraction, manufacturing, processing, use by consumers and disposal at the end of life. The resource value chain need to be made circular deriving value from the waste materials emitted at each stage of the value chain and ensuring that material recovery is maximized and disposal is minimized. This can happen by the adoption sustainable lifestyles.

Prescribing to sustainable lifestyle is important also in the context of the mission LIFE (Lifestyle for Environment) which promotes environment-conscious lifestyle that focuses on mindful and deliberate utilization rather than mindless and destructive consumption.

To have a meaningful dialogue with various stakeholders, the first webinar in the series by the Emerson Centre of Excellence for Sustainability Studies (ECoESS) at TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi was organized on 27th April 2023 from 3 pm till 4.30 pm. The webinar was anchored by Dr Suneel Pandey, Director, ECoESS. The two eminent speakers for the session were Dr Shailly Kedia, Associate Director with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Mr Anirban Ghosh, Head, Sustainability with Mahindra University. Overall there were 23 participants drawn from vaorus walks of life including industries in the event.

The flow for the webinar was as below:

  • 3.00 pm to 3.10 pm: Opening remarks and introduction to Emerson Centre – Suneel Pandey
  • 3.10 pm to 3.30 pm: Presentation by Dr Shailly Kedia, TERI
  • 3.30 pm to 3.50 pm: Presentation by Mr Anirban Ghosh, Mahindra University
  • 3.50 pm to 4.20 pm: Q/A session
  • 4.20 pm to 4.30 pm: Summing up and vote of thanks
  • Net-zero strategies to achieve the UN SDGs

Key points discussed during the webinar:

  1. There is need for equitable consumption and lifestyle among the global economies, therefore need for fair consumption/equitable consumption
  2. Various instruments as indentified under the verticals policy, market and social influence and regulate the consumption and production
  3. Discussion were also in linking lifestyle choices to sustainable consumption
  4. It was suggested to operationalise 9 R framework for regulating product and services (refer to enclosed presentation by Dr Shailly Kedia for details)
  5. Role of consumer in influencing product design which are not wasteful
  6. Example was given about aggregating demand to appropriate prices as has happened in past to bring down the process of LED lighting in India
  7. Regular feedback and verifying performance and incentives for performers are necessary nudges to trigger lifestyle changes
  8. Simple adoptable and economically feasible measures are suggested for informed decisions by consumers
  9. Finally summing up, adoption of above said measures enables us to be part of Mission LIF
Question and Answer session
Q1. What should Companies do?
A:Adopt economically feasible solutions and be green solution providers
Suggestions from the participants:
  • Correct pricing of resources to promote resource conservation
  • Responsible advertising, behavior change
Key outcome:

Equity and fair consumption practices need to be adopted by consumers all across the economies to ensure sustainable lifestyle. Solutions for adoption need to be simple, financially feasible for triggering informed decision by consumers.