The Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) introduced by SEBI in May, 2021 has made it mandatory for the top 1000 listed companies, as per market capitalisation, to disclose ESG-related information starting FY 22-23. This reporting is based on the 9 principles outlined in the ‘National Guidelines on Responsible Conduct’ published by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in 2018. This has been hailed as a potential driver for strengthening India’s climate commitments and green investments. The BRSR reporting format draws upon global reporting standards such as GRI and SASB and includes reporting for environmental data such as emissions, energy, water and waste; social parameters such as gender and equality, training, health and safety, and human rights. While this is certainly a move in the right direction, many have also pointed to the challenges. There is no benchmark for assessing the parameters. As of now, disclosed data is a mere data point. Also, current company-level aggregate reporting may not provide sector/plant-specific environment data such as emissions or energy data. This may not provide the actual on-ground environment performance of a company.
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