International Industrial Ecology Day 2022
10:30 - 11:30 (IST) - Role of Consumers in Driving Circular Economy in Developing Countries (05:00 UTC)
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) will be celebrating International Industrial Ecology Day on 30 November 2022, with the aim to promote industrial ecology as a way to address sustainability challenges and achieve a circular economy.
In a resource constrained world it is important to develop a proper understanding of consumer perception of sustainability from the lens of circularity as it can support stakeholders like business and regulators in promoting sustainable consumption and production in an effective way.
The objective of the webinar is to share knowledge and information stemming from research and analysis around this topic and learn good practices on policies and programmes promoting sustainable consumption behaviour in developing nations.
We look forward to your participation in deliberating on emerging perceptions of consumers on circularity and understanding factors that can influence their attitudes and behaviours towards circularity.
Background: Economic growth, rising disposable income, growing aspiration, has driven consumption of resources to unprecedented levelsleading to accelerated depletion of natural resources. The need to delink economic growth and human well being from ever-increasing consumption of natural resources and the resultant environmental impactsis the need of the hour.With an estimated consumption of almost 8 bn tonnes of materials, India is the second largest consumer of resources after China. Augmenting resources would be a challenge in the future as the increasing imports of materials are exposed to volatile international prices, depreciating Indian currency and limited diversification of sources of imports.there is a need to initiate the missing integrated thinking and efforts in mainstreaming efficiency in consumption of products across sectors and initiate the need for a coordinated approach to strategize and adopt a value chain thinking under a unified framework. Consumer choices when purchasing, using and discarding products can potentially promote circular economy principles by increasing the demand for goods and services that are most consistent with circular economy principles.
Hon’ble PM of India, announced Mission LiFE, to bring individual behaviours at the forefront of the global climate action narrative. LiFE envisions replacing the prevalent 'use-and-dispose' economy with a circular economy, which would be defined by mindful and deliberate utilization. The Mission intends to nudge individuals to undertake simple acts in their daily lives that can contribute significantly to climate change when embraced across the world.
Circular economy adoption of circular need for changing lifestyles and consumption patterns which will help in transiting from a linear to a circular economy thereby reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint, virgin material requirement, while creating new economic opportunities. While it is clear that being a sustainable consumer is best for society, predicting pro-environmental consumer behaviour is difficult. The literature demonstrates an influence of quality and sustainability labelling on the sensory acceptance of the product in both developed and developing nations. Many research studies in recent years have found consumers’ difficulty in understanding environmental impact of their choices and even those who have environmental awareness are neither willing to change their consumption behavior nor to pay for alternatives and this wide intention-action gap is seen mostly in developing nations.
It is due to these prevailing inconsistency in opinions, that it becomes important to develop proper understanding of consumer perception of sustainability as it can be critical not just for product designers and but also for sustainability enablers; and perhaps also reduce our reliance on technological innovations for alleviating adverse impacts of climate change to a large extent.
- Souvik Bhattacharjya, Associate Director and Senior Fellow, TERI (Introduction and context setting 5 mins)
- Amit Varma, Head Circular Economy Cell, NITI Aayog, Government of India (Government’s initiatives on enhancing awareness on circular economy for consumers, LIFE initiative)
- Amit Lahoti, Head Corporate Affairs, Ball Corporation (how business can drive responsible consumption)
- Nandini Kumar, Consultant and Head Circular Economy, Confederation of Indian Industry (Understanding business associations and how they are driving circularity)
- Dr. Sachin Mangla Professor and Associate Dean, Jindal Global Business School (Consumer behaviour and sustainability, emerging research findings)