Sustainability Reporting

 

Sustainability is a business strategy that meets the needs of the enterprises and its stakeholders today while sustaining the resources, both human and natural, which will be needed in the future. In other words, it is a practice of measuring, disclosing and being accountable to internal and external stakeholders for organizational performance towards the goal of sustainable development.

In India, there is an increased pressure on companies to be transparent and socially responsible and present their non-financial performance (primarily environmental and social) in the form of a Sustainability report. In such a scenario, it is vital for companies to understand the evolving trend of reporting and how it may impact their long-term viability. The value of a company is impacted by the quality of its relationship with a range of internal and external stakeholders.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, in July 2011, came out with the 'National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business'. These guidelines contain comprehensive principles to be adopted by companies as part of their business practices and a structured business responsibility reporting format requiring certain specified disclosures, demonstrating the steps taken by companies to implement the said principles.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) vide Circular dated 13/08/2012 has mandated the Business Responsibility Report (BRR) for top listed companies based on market capitalization at BSE and NSE as on 31st March 2012. SEBI has further put tremendous emphasis on disclosing BR Report for all the companies. It is due to the fact that at a time and age when Enterprises are increasingly seen as critical components of the social system, they are accountable not merely to their shareholders from a revenue and profitability perspective but also to the larger society, which is also its stakeholder. In line with the above guidelines and considering the larger interest of public disclosure regarding steps taken by listed entities from a Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) perspective, it has been decided to mandate inclusion of Business Responsibility Reports (“BR reports”) as part of the Annual Reports for listed entities.

The listed entities which have been submitting Sustainability reports to overseas regulatory agencies/stakeholders based on internationally accepted reporting frameworks need not prepare a separate report for the purpose of these guidelines but only furnish the same to their stakeholders along with the details of the framework under which their BR Report has been prepared and a mapping of the principles contained in these guidelines to the disclosures made in their sustainability reports.

Sustainability reporting is not a new practice. Some leading companies have been producing sustainability reports for more than ten years. All organizations (private, public, or non-profit) are encouraged to report against the Guidelines whether they are beginners or experienced reporters, and regardless of their size, sector, or location.

Public reporting offers not only examples of sustainable business behavior, but also allows us to improve our internal processes and achieve our business objectives.

It has multiple benefits like

  • One can achieve greater credibility among employees, business partners, and government regulators.

  • One can attract consumers who value businesses that are implementing sustainable practices.

  • It creates public trust in your business because it is based upon what a company does and how honestly it talks about what it does.

In nutshell, it helps you enhance your environmental reputation, manage internal risk and increase business efficiency. So don't miss a crucial and effective opportunity to build and/or repair confidence in your businesses. Some leading companies have been producing sustainability reports for more than ten years. All organizations (private, public, or non-profit) are encouraged to report against the Guidelines whether they are beginners or experienced reporters, and regardless of their size, sector, or location.

We at PCC, understand the importance of Sustainability to Companies and have invested significantly in developing services to meet their Sustainability objectives — including business performance, process and control analyses and attestation capabilities to help address the challenges of measuring and reporting sustainability data. It will be our pleasure to get an opportunity to work on the Sustainability Reporting for your esteemed Organization. We would welcome your initiative and be very happy on knowing such requirements from your Organization.