The Responsible Business Rankings of India’s Top Companies for Sustainability and CSR in 2021 show that around 80% of the top 100 companies incorporate sustainable development goals (SDGs) into their responsible business actions. All the top 25 companies map their business goals with SDGs. The leading sectors are IT and Telecom where 75% and more companies have mapped their goals with SDGs.
In 2021, for the first time, Godrej Consumer Goods has topped the CSR ranking list, followed by consistent star performers Infosys and Wipro. In the Top 10, after Wipro Ltd. are ranked Tata Chemicals Ltd., ITC Ltd., Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd., Grasim Industries Ltd., Vedanta Ltd., and Tata Power Company Ltd. The Top 10 ranks cover a range of industries – information technology, FMCG, chemicals, life sciences, textiles, power, steel and mining. The survey shows that manufacturing companies perform far better than service companies and integrated reporting is ramping up with 27% of the companies producing integrated reports.
On average, companies map 12 SDGs with a low of 2 and a maximum of 17. Of the companies that mapped their SDG goals, 88% were in the private sector and 68% were manufacturing companies. The focus areas for companies include renewable energy, water, waste and data privacy.
In terms of focus, the SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (decent work), SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) occupy the top position with over 85% of the companies reporting them. On the other hand, SDG 14 (Life below water) was mapped by the least number of companies – 28%. The findings were in-line with Futurescape’s consistent finding based on CSR spending that companies tend to invest in education, healthcare and environment in their CSR programmes, said the official statement.
Futurescape also attempted to map scoring to the actions of top companies with the SDGs. The prominent SDGs were SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), and SDG 13 (climate action), which over 55% of the companies indicated as an action item. Other important goals were SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and SDG 4 (quality education). Across companies focused on SDGs 5,4,6,3 and 8.
In future trends, the survey found that the economic recovery will have sustainability at its core. Green and resilient supply chains are the emerging focus and not merely the lowest cost. The developments in Europe – the clamour for green recovery and the release of taxonomy for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) – are likely to have significant transmission effects for Indian companies with global ambitions. ESG investing will continue its rising trend and will put pressure on companies that engage in unsustainable practices. Sustainability reporting will increase with the launch of the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR). The quality of reporting will see significant changes as investors increase pressure on disclosures.