Press Releases

  • TERI BCSD India emphasizes transparent reporting mechanism as a critical element in a corporation

    15 July 2009

    Companies need to adopt the concept of reporting, which is focused on environmental, social, and economic performance

    A consistent, reliable, credible, and transparent reporting mechanism is a critical element in the process of communicating a corporation's efforts to be more sustainable. Organizations are increasingly adopting the concept of corporate sustainability, which is focused on environmental, social, and economic performance, in place of the traditional principle of ‘growth and profit maximization’.Reporting this to the public can happen only through proper measuring and monitoring procedures. Against this backdrop, it is imperative for companies to draw up accurate sustainability reports and learn how it could impact their long-term viability. In India, corporate sustainability reports assume even more significance in the wake of the Satyam fiasco, as stakeholders increasingly demand more transparency and accountability from companies.

    To provide that mechanism for corporations TERI-BCSD (Business Council for Sustainable Development) India facilitated a workshop on ‘Training and Capacity Building on Corporate Sustainability - Measuring and Reporting’ under ‘The Royal Norwegian Embassy-TERI Framework Agreement for the 'Programme of cooperation on energy, environment, and climate change’. Over 40 senior managerial level representatives from BCSD and non-BCSD member companies attended the program. These were HPCL, ONGC, Tata Power, Shree Cement, ArcelorMittal, RIL, ACC Ltd, HSBC India, Pepsico India, IFFCO, NTPC, SAIL, Chambal Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd, Hindustan Zinc Ltd, Coca Cola India, Crompton Greaves Ltd, Steria, Hindustan Construction Company Ltd, IDFC, RPG Enterprises, Alok Industries Ltd, etc.

    Ms Annapurna Vancheswaran, Convener, BCSD India and Director Sustainable Development Outreach, TERI in her address emphasized that the subject of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has in the recent years received a substantial amount of attention from industry leaders as well as the members of the civil society. “It is now clear that corporates are likely to attract a great deal of scrutiny from the public, on the basis of which they will have to restructure their strategies, action and reporting systems. For corporates it’s a substance versus image driven exercise, where the focus must shift from viewing CSR as a damage control and PR or marketing exercise to a focused strategy with substance and sustainable social value.”

    The workshop was conducted by trainers from Det Norske Veritas (DNV), one of the leading certification bodies across the world, and a member company of TERI-BCSD India and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) – who brought their international experience of working with major multinational companies in this field. The workshop demonstrated how sustainability reporting frameworks provide a broader context for linking priorities, rather than merely defining them as competing objectives.

    Mr. Santosh Jayaram, Manager Sustainability and Business Excellance, DNV South Asia, while stressing on the importance of sustainability management and reporting in the new business scenario said, “This helps the corporations in identifying and managing the sustainability risks. Thus it becomes a framework for identification of key sustainability concerns and issues faced by the organizations. Overall, measuring and reporting CSR within a company, enhances stakeholder dialogue, improves transparency, facilitates responsiveness to societal expectations, and thus strengthens business competitiveness.”

    DNV’s sessions went into details of how a good sustainability report builds on the company’s core values and sets out decision-making principles that are consistent with these values. WBCSD had a dedicated session that introduced the ‘Measuring Impact Framework’ dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development.

    Considering the launch of ISO Standard on Social Responsibility round the corner, companies attending the workshop had an excellent opportunity to build capacities to meet the standards.