While approaching towards the new millennium, the Alma Ata declaration of “Health for All by 2000 AD” appears to be a mirage. In spite of this dismissal scenario, the entitlements of health care, safe drinking water and sanitation as an inalienable element of the consumers’ Rights to Basic Needs cannot be denied. Additionally a consumer is also entitled to safe goods, services and environment for it affects her/his life directly. Feeling the need for more focused action in the area of consumer safety, in 1993, CUTS established Centre for Sustainable Consumption & Production (C-SPAC) at its Calcutta Centre.
The Centre has been closely involved with promotion of sustainable patterns of consumption and production. Under sustainable consumption, CUTS had focussed its work on Chapter 4 of the Agenda 21, adopted at the Earth Summit at Rio. The endeavor was not only to understand and disseminate the concept of sustainable consumption but also its inter-linkages with other related areas such as production patterns, under and over consumption, poverty etc. A Strategy Plan was also developed for its work programme. The mission and goal of the programme were as follows:
To achieve the citizen’s right to be protected against unsafe goods, services and environment, and to promote sustainable consumption and production, and provoke questioning and action.
To strive for human safety, reduction of environmental hazards, responsible consumption, and public education through research, advocacy and networking.