It is designed to offer guidance on good practice to corporate professionals who assess and prepare their own organization’s CR reporting. It also serves as a guide to investors, asset managers and ratings agencies who now factor environmental, social and governance (ESG) information into their assessments of corporate performance and risk.
The 2017 survey is the 10th edition, with research carried out from across 49 KPMG member firms including India. Each member firm reviewed annual financial and corporate responsibility reporting by the largest 100 companies, by revenue, in their own country.
The survey refers to two research samples – The N100 – the largest 100 companies in each of 49 countries: 4,900 companies in total and the G250 – the largest 250 companies in the world, making it the most extensive survey ever.
Some of the key India-specific highlights from the report are:
- With the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) mandating the top 500 listed companies to disclose their non-financial performance, India scores high in this parameter. Strong regulatory policies have ensured that 99% of the companies have reported on their sustainability performance
- In February, 2017, SEBI asked the top 500 listed companies to adopt Integrated Reporting on a voluntary basis. This has resulted in some early adoption in the space, but it is yet to gain momentum. Integrated Reporting acceptance is low with 5 companiespublishing the same.
- Assurance of CR/Sustainability information is around the global average, with 32 companies seeking the same.
- Being one of the core principles of the National Voluntary Guidelines, reporting on Human Rights issues features quite prominently in the CR/Sustainability disclosures. 95 companies acknowledge Human Rights as an issue to their business well above the global average.
- The business risks of Climate Change are acknowledged by 34 companies in their non-financial disclosures.
- Of the minority that acknowledge climate change as a risk 31 companies have responded along with carbon reduction targets.
- Sustainable Development Goals have been gaining momentum in India and its acceptance is slowly increasing. Yet the reporting or linkage of SDGs in India is below the global average of 39%. 18 companies have linked their business activities with the SDGs in their sustainability reporting.
Commenting on regulation driving human rights reporting in India, Santhosh Jayaram, Partner, Sustainability Services, KPMG in India, said, “The recent ratification by India of International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions 138 and 182 clearly indicates the importance of human rights to the country.
From a corporate reporting point of view, the Business Responsibility Report (BRR), an annual disclosure mandated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), requires the top 500 listed companies to report on nine core principles, one of which focuses on human rights.
This mandate can be credited as the driver for most of India’s top 100 companies proactively disclosing their performance on human rights practices while also substantiating the same through existing policies and mechanisms.”