BY Rusen Kumar
NEW DELHI (India CSR): Hindustan Unilever Limited, a 130 years old FMCG company, has spent R. 157.58 crores (previous year: Rs 164 crore) on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), following the Companies Act, 2013 on sustainable development and program on empowerment of communities, reaching out to thousands of beneficiaries in the process. The excess amount spent for the financial year was Rs. 1.30 Crore.
Above includes a contribution of Rs. 11 crores (2020-21: Rs. 18 crores) to subsidiary Hindustan Unilever Foundation which is a Section 8 registered Company under the Companies Act, 2013.
Unspent CSR Amount
The company has transferred a total of Rs. 28.15 Crores to Unspent CSR Account on 14th April 2022 as per the provision of Companies Act, 2013.
Two percent of the average net profit of the Company as per Section 135(5) was Rs. 184.43 Crores. Accordingly prescribed CSR Expenditure (two percent of the amount) stood at Rs. 184.43.2 crore as a CSR obligation for the financial year.
To address the water challenges in the country, the company launched the Hindustan Unilever Foundation, a not-for-profit subsidiary in 2010.
To address social, environmental and economic challenges and concerns of local communities, the foundation launched Project Prabhat, a sustainable community development initiative.
Hindustan Unilever Foundation
The objectives of the Hindustan Unilever Foundation include working in areas of social, economic and environmental issues such as water harvesting, health and hygiene awareness, women empowerment and enhancing the capabilities of the underprivileged segments of society to meet emerging opportunities thus improving their livelihood.
Corporate Social Responsibility Committee
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee comprises O. P. Bhatt, Independent Director as the Chairperson and Dr. Sanjiv Misra, Kalpana Morparia, Leo Puri, Sanjiv Mehta and Ritesh Tiwari as the members of the Committee. Ritesh Tiwari was appointed as a member of the Committee succeeding Srinivas Phatak with effect from 1st May 2021. Leo Puri was appointed as a member of the Committee with effect from 1st May 2021.
The role of the CSR Committee includes formulating and recommending to the Board the CSR Policy and activities to be undertaken by the Company, recommending the amount of expenditure to be incurred on CSR activities of the Company, and reviewing the performance of the Company in the areas of CSR.
Nature of CSR activities includes promoting education, including special education and employment enhancing vocational skills, ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, protection of flora and fauna, animal welfare, agroforestry, conservation of natural resources and maintaining the quality of soil, air and water, rural development projects and disaster management, including relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities.
CSR in India
In India, Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 (‘Act’) mandates every company have a net worth of Rs. 500 crore or more, or a turnover of Rs. 1000 crore or more, or net profit of Rs. 5 crores or more during the immediately preceding financial year to undertake Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
CSR of Indian companies is not limited to philanthropy but encompasses holistic community development, institution-building and sustainability-related initiatives. The company’s CSR Policy aims to provide a dedicated approach to community development in the areas of water conservation, health and hygiene, skill development, education, social advancement, gender equality, empowerment of women, ensuring environmental sustainability and rural development projects.
Companies are required to deliver long-term sustainable growth while driving change on urgent issues like climate and nature, social inequality, and health and wellbeing. India needs to bridge the divide to a fairer, more socially inclusive world. A India where we all live with, rather than at the expense of, nature and the environment.
Also Read: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Hindustan Unilever spends Rs. 143 Crore on social development
Also Read: Hindustan Unilever spends 2.04% on CSR – India CSR Network
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