Compliance with any Law or Regulation is not CSR : Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, DG & CEO, IICA

All the companies with turnover of Rs 1,000 crore and more - or a net worth of Rs 500 crore and more or net profit of Rs 5 crore and more - will have to spend at least 2 per cent of their three-year average profit every year on CSR activity.

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CHANDIGARH: Compliance with any rule or regulation is not CSR says Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Director General and CEO of Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India while addressing a gathering of 150 Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) Professionals and Experts who assembled in Chandigarh at Hotel JW Marriott to discuss for next two days on “Aligning Sustainability and CSR with Organizational Goals”.  The two day National meet on Environment & CSR which is being organized by Delhi based NGO Greentech Foundation in support with the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Govt of India was inaugurated by Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, today morning and graced meet as the Chief Guest.

Adding further he said, it is sad to note that Delhi is found to be the world’s most polluted city beating China’s Capital Beijing by a study of Yale University which  found national capital Delhi the world’s most polluted city.  Supreme Court has done incredible job t to help Delhi administration contain pollution in Delhi to a large extend.

All the polluting DTC Buses, Autos are now thing of past.  In those places green buses have come, but still we read such news. It mystifies me. It gives me pain, he said and hoped that Delhi will be back in reckoning as the pollution free city soon.  And informed that CSR which is made compulsory under the Companies Act which was passed by Indian parliament comes into effect from 1st April, 2014.

This two day national meet is held in the backdrop of New Companies Act with substantial CSR component coming into force from April 1st, 2014.   From then on all 16,245 companies registered companies have to nominate 3 members of their CSR Committee from their Board.   Companies cant do whatever they want and claim it as a CSR activity according to the new law.

Anything done to your employees is not CSR, it is a human resource activity. Compliance with any rule or regulation is not CSR Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, said and asked companies to do beyond the rule and do it voluntarily.  Any activity done must have been the part of the CSR Policy of the company which must be also made available on the company’s website. CSR must be conducted by professional implementation using implementing agencies.

Any activity that is not a project is not CSR, the Project should have a starting time and an ending time. And lastly the activity that has not been given board approval, passed by the board and does not have a board resolution number is not CSR.

These are the golden rules for the CSR activity to bear in mind he said.  You must all gear for the same by 31st March, 2014 he said.  And added that declare every single activity you propose to do during 2014-15 and must be incorporated in the plan before 31st March, 2014 he said.

As a result of this Companies Charity activities will go many fold, observed Kamleshwar Sharan President of Greentech Foundation. And also the CSR economy also expected to grow manifold, say experts participating in the meet.  Unlike in the past the companies are required to spend in structured manner.  The old way of writing a check for religious cause or an activity that benefits their own workers. It is estimated that registered companies in India will spend Rs 20,000 crore on CSR activities alone in 2014 and 2015. This means that there will also be a need for whole lot of CSR professionals and consultants and other specialists

The  Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, which Dr, Bhaskar Chatterjee heads is an autonomous organization established under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India to function as a capacity building institution and a think tank for knowledge development/dissemination and for rendering policy advice to the Government of India on issues relating to Corporate.

Many CSR professionals participating in the meet or looking forward to better understanding as well as implementation guidelines out of this meet. 150 Environment and CSR specialists, professionals and practitioners from India from various government, private and public sector establishment are taking part in the meet and are discussing Environment Protection and CSR issues being faced by industry, service sectors and corporates and the ways to overcome the challenges.

Earlier welcoming the gathering Kamleshwar Sharan, President of Greentech Foundation said the objectives of the meet are to encourage and motivate Indian corporates as well as public and government sector to adopt best practices, encourage implementation of strategies for improvement in operations standards, emphasize the duties, responsibilities.  Also the company recognized the efforts of those individuals and companies for their excellence in Environment Management.

Besides CSR the meet will discuss on Sustainability, which is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment. Sustainability is an ability or capacity of something to be maintained or to sustain itself. It’s about taking what we need to live now, without jeopardizing the potential for people in the future to meet their needs. Living sustainably is about living within the means of our natural systems (environment) and ensuring that our lifestyle doesn’t harm other people (society and culture). Today, it is by no means certain our society has the capacity to endure – at least in such a way that the nine billion people expected on Earth by 2050 will all be able to achieve a basic quality of life. The planet’s ecosystems are deteriorating and the climate is changing. We are consuming so much, and so quickly, that we are already living far beyond the earth’s capacity to support us.

Today’s organizations must be increasingly mindful of the impact that their operations have on society at large, and this requires much more than isolated measures. In a climate of heightened social awareness and instant access to information, CSR must be a fundamental part of any company’s targeted practices, broad objectives, and overall culture. It is in this context the theme “Aligning Sustainability and CSR with Organizational Goals”. The theme is more opt, topical and has more relevant today than ever before as new Companies Act made CSR mandatory said Kamleshwar Sharan.

Corporates all over the globe are struggling with a new role, to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the next generations to meet their own needs. They are told to take responsibility for the ways their operations impact societies and environment. They asked to apply sustainability principles in their business. They are told that their activities demonstrate the inclusion of social and environmental concerns in business operations and in interactions with stakeholders. Corporate responsibility or sustainability is therefore a prominent feature of the business, informed Kamleshwar Sharan.

The 2 days conference will discuss Environment Protection and CSR issues being faced by industry, service sectors and corporates and the ways to overcome the challenges. The combination of Keynotes and Sessions of the conference will provide guidance based on Best Practices and Experiences of Developing and Implementing Best Strategies informed Kamleshwar Sharan.

The Conference attracted a mix of specialists, professionals and practitioners from across India.  During the two day’s conference the participants will discuss on the topics include: Best Practices;  Water and Wastewater Treatment;  Waste Prevention & Recycling; Solid Waste Treatment & Disposal; Emissions Control Technologies; Natural Resources Conservation; Challenges in CSR Implementation; CSR : Measuring Impact; Strategic CSR and Competitive Advantage.

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