Title: Role of voluntary sustainability standards for sustainable business and development: a global perspective with special reference to India

Authors: Ria Sinha

Addresses: Department of Business and Sustainability, TERI School of Advanced Studies, Plot No. 10, Vasant Kunj Institutional Area, New Delhi – 110070, India

Abstract: The paper is an attempt to examine the pertinence of voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) as a market instrument to promote sustainability practices in business and drive sustainable development. In the recent years we have witnessed a steady growth in these sustainability standards for agricultural commodities and food products. They are mostly developed by industry consortia, NGOs, or through partnerships between them, thereby linking producers, exporters and buyers across national boundaries. The paper attempts to provide a global perspective of VSS with special reference to the Indian economy. The available literature on this topic being highly fragmented, the present paper offers to assimilate the information meaningfully to establish the business and development case of VSS to understand its need and role in value creation, synergising, accountability, competitiveness, motivation and universalisation along with defining the roles of varied stakeholders in improving VSS governance. The methodology is based on an extensive literature review of policy, research papers and reports accrued from research organisations, academic institutes and NGO's working in this domain. Lastly, the paper offers several policy implications.

Keywords: sustainable business; standards; voluntary sustainability standards; sustainable development goals; SDGs; sustainable development; India.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCM.2019.10022574

International Journal of Comparative Management, 2019 Vol.2 No.2, pp.148 - 173

Received: 27 Aug 2018
Accepted: 08 Apr 2019

Published online: 18 Jul 2019 *

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