Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting Initiative

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Overview:

Delhi-based think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) welcomed the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) initiative by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

About Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting Initiative: 

  • It is a mandatory disclosure mechanism for top 1000 listed companies or businesses to report their performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects and demonstrate their commitment to responsible business practices.
  • It was introduced in May 2021 by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • This initiative was intended to provide policymakers and investors with robust data to make informed decisions.
  • The disclosure requirements are grouped into nine core categories, based on the principles of the National Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct introduced by SEBI:
    • Environmental protection: Key performance indicators cover electricity consumption, water usage and air emissions.
    • Human rights: Focus on human rights violations and minimum and fair wages.
    • Integrity: Performance indicators include anti-corruption, anti-bribery and conflicts of interest policies.
    • Employee well-being: Metrics focused on parental benefits, employee accessibility and the percentage of unionized workers.
    • Inclusive growth: Policies favoring vulnerable and marginalized groups.
    • Sustainable goods and services: Information on investments in social and environmental impacts.
    • Responsible consumer engagement: KPIs encompass handling consumer complaints and feedback, product recall procedures and cybersecurity and data privacy policies.
    • Stakeholder responsiveness: Describing engagement with vulnerable and marginalized groups.
    • Responsible public policy engagement: Listing trade and industry affiliations and detailing issues relating to anticompetitive conduct.

Q1: What is Environmental-Social-Governance (ESG)?

ESG (Environmental, social, and corporate governance) is a term that has been coined to refer to specific data designed to be used by investors for evaluating the material risk that the organization is taking on based on the externalities it is generating.

Source: SEBI’s green reporting mechanism vital but needs to be more consistent, rigorous: CSE suggests steps to enhance system