Most Indian listed firms not embracing corporate responsibility initiatives-Report

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Livemint reported that, fewer than one-third of India’s top firms file reports on their corporate responsibilities and only 16% actually have a strategy on this, KPMG found in a recent survey.

CSR SpendingThe consultancy firm took a sample of India’s top 100 publicly listed companies by revenue for the survey, conducted along the same lines as KPMG’s international survey in 2008. “It (the survey) was to gauge corporate responsibility trends in India,” said Richard Rekhy, head of advisory at KPMG in India.

India’s ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) recently proposed that listed profitable companies voluntarily devote 2% of their after-tax profits to corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Rekhy said companies mostly focus on education, healthcare, HIV/AIDS intervention and community development as part of their CSR. “But there is lack of clarity on how companies arrive at decisions to invest in these,” he said.

Rekhy added very few engage stakeholders, including suppliers, customers, regulators, employees and contractors in establishing their CSR initiatives.

Companies in the construction, oil and gas, metals and minerals and information technology sectors were more dedicated to corporate responsibility reporting, KPMG found in its survey.

It said 23% of the companies surveyed reported the business risk of climate change, 21% disclosed their green house gases emissions and 13% identified and disclosed the business risk of corporate responsibility issues in their supply chain. “These kinds of reporting are highly prevalent in the developed nations and helps companies raise better financial resources and supply chain management,” said Arvind Sharma, director, climate change and sustainability, KPMG in India.

Companies that report on corporate responsibility initiatives include Reliance Industries Ltd, Tata Power Ltd, Tata Chemicals Ltd, Grasim Industries Ltd, Infosys Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd, he added.

MCA’s draft voluntary guidelines on CSR are along global principles such as ethics and transparency, well being of employees, human rights, health and safety, use of environment-friendly raw materials, following regulatory frameworks and larger engagement of stakeholders.

(Sourced from Mint)

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