This version covers the latest updates on global trends of sustainability reporting, GRI G4 guidelines, growing significance of sustainability in India, highlights of GRI Programme & Mumbai Declaration on Sustainability Reporting for Sustainable Development and other key news and views on sustainability. The newsletter has a special Article on Sustainability Reporting in India by Dr. Aditi Haldar. If you have any feedback on the newsletter that you would like to share with us, please send an email to Rubina Sen.
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The development of corporate governance standards is maturing. India’s business and investment communities are beginning to recognize the benefits of sustainability reporting and organizational transparency. Over the last decade, Indian businesses were recognizing the challenge of going global and also operating nationally with evolving regulatory requirements around environmental and social performances. There were also many players like the regulators, the business chambers, enthusiastic civil societies who were pushing the agenda of sustainability through diverse mandatory and voluntary requirements and focusing on various issues of pollution, energy, climate change safety, labour practices. Sustainability reporting was initiated ten years back by small percentage of companies steadily growing to a reasonable number in 2011.
Recognizing the contribution of financial institutions including banks towards sustainable development considering the crucial role they play in financing the economic and development activities, the Reserve Bank of India
had drawn the attention of banks to their role in Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Non Financial Reporting in its circular dated December 2007. Also, the inclusion in the Companies Bill, 2011 to include in the Board’s Report a CSR Policy and to spend 2% of average net profit of last 3 years on CSR activities had been setting a clear forward movement on the agenda. Other recent developments include the Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility Guidelines for Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSEs)
are a part of the each CPSEs yearly target with their commitment to implement them along with their financial and business targets.
This was followed by the launch of the National Voluntary Guidelines
on Social, Environmental & Economic Responsibilities of Business on 8 July 2011 by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. The Guidelines provide a robust framework that may be adopted voluntarily by companies to address interests of various stakeholders, including employees, customers and investors. In most recent times the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
mandate from November 2011 that the 100 top listed entities must submit Business Responsibility Reports, as a part of their annual reports.
India is a newly industrialized country and a key market for boosting the practice of sustainability reporting. By having an office on the ground, GRI can help change the sustainability reporting landscape and improve overall transparency. Since the Focal Point was established, the number of reporters in India has increased. The support of the GRI Focal Point India provides Indian corporations a chance to shape GRI’s continuously developing Sustainability Reporting Framework, as well as standards and the emerging regulatory landscape for sustainability reporting in India.
The Focal Point India was established in January 2010, and is hosted by BSI Group India. Read More.
Focal Point India operates at the heart of the CSR and sustainability landscape in India. The Focal Point has an important strategic collaboration with the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), an independent think tank under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India through the IICA-GIZ CSR initiative.
The Focal Point maintains close working and collaborative engagements through capacity building, policy advocacy, research and consultations with Ministries, regulators, business, industry associations, financial market players, B-Schools and civil-societies from India and South Asia. Given the growing importance of sustainability topics, GRI Focal Point India will soon publish two research studies. One would be on the trends and practices of Sustainability reporting in 8 economically important sectors and the other on Non Financial Reporting Preparedness of Banks in India.
The Indian Focal Point also has a strategic collaboration with the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA). SAFA has member bodies from both the accounting and the cost and works institutions of each of the South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Maldives. GRI’s Focal Point India also contributed to the South Asian agenda by collaborating with ACCA, Sri Lanka, CIM Sri Lanka, ICAB, Bangladesh, CSR Centre for Bangladesh.
In June 2014, the Focal Point India hosted a major conference entitled Sustainability Reporting for Sustainable Development
. Thought leaders from business, civil society, government and social services gathered for in Mumbai to discuss the relevance and implementation of sustainability reporting, particularly in the light of the proposed United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). After two days of inspiring presentations, dialogues, best practices, dilemma sharing, and lively and fruitful discussions, the participants issued a eleven-point statement declaration containing the most important issues raised at the conference, and formulated possible guidelines for future development.
See the document Mumbai Declaration on Sustainability Reporting for Sustainable Development.
GRI Focal Point India Staff
The Focal Point India consists of a Director and a Coordinator.
DR. ADITI HALDAR
Dr. Haldar is an expert in corporate sustainability management, with almost twenty years experience with leading companies and global institutions in the areas of environment and sustainable development.
Tel: +91 93 12607544
With a Sociology background, Rubina has four years’ experience in the development sector. Before joining GRI she worked as Programme Coordinator for the United Nations Global Compact Network India (GCNI). She has experience in CSR, media research, data management and training.
Ms. Rubina Sen
GRI Focal Point India Coordinator
Tel: +91 989 957 3283 (M); +91 11 26929000 (extn 176) (D)
Fax: +91 (0) 11 26929001
For emergencies contact +91 11 26929000 (extn 149)