Most companies held back from disclosing principles related to human rights, employees’ wellbeing, inclusive growth etc
Puja Bhattacharjee | October 27, 2015
Dabur India, TATA Steel, GAIL, Oil India, Jindal Steel, Ambuja Cement and Glaxosmith Consumer Healthcare are among top 10 Indian companies doing responsible business.
The other companies in the same category, as per the National voluntary guidelines for Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business (NVGs), are: National Aluminum, IDFC, and Sesa Sterilite.
This ranking is based on the disclosures made by top 100 Indian companies under the guidelines, which are have since been overshadowed by the Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) regime that makes it mandatory for companies to plough back 2 per cent of their profits on society.
The ranking was released by Corporate Responsibility Watch in New Delhi today.
The Ministry of corporate affairs had launched NVGs in August 2011 after consulting the civil society groups, to guide businesses towards more responsible operations. The definition of business responsibility, as interpreted in these NVGs includes the three core areas of sustainability: environmental, social and governance.
The guidelines encourage businesses to embrace sustainability as part of their business ethos.
The Securities and Exchange Board of (SEBI) India, has mandated 100 listed companies to report on their compliance of the NVGs through a business responsibility report (BRR).
Nisha Agarwal, CEO, Oxfam India, said that rising inequality and climate change are a great hindrance towards eliminating global poverty. “Earlier we tried solving the gap in development through aid. Today the role of private sector in development is explicitly recognised.”
She also said that SEBI plans to extend the BRR to 500 listed companies.
Pooran Chandra Pandey, executive director, UN global compact network India, said that the government was gradually withdrawing from its role in welfare activities, which will eventually create gaps. “How are those gaps going to be filled? What will be the role of the civil society and the non-state actors?’ he asked.
As per the report more than 50 per cent companies gave achieved high performance in responsible business and have scored more than 0.90 on the index. However, the report says that most of the companies have not made disclosures related to human rights, employees’ wellbeing, inclusive growth, environment and product life-cycle sustainability.
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