Product lays down action-oriented road map for government and private sector companies for undertaking compliances
Keeping in line with PM Narendra Modi’s pledge towards achieving the nation’s Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, the National Productivity Council (NPC) introduced an end-to-end product for ESG solutions for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) at a workshop organized on Friday. The workshop was aimed to brainstorm on how to be future-ready for the ESG programmes to stay competitive in the international market and also to achieve India's target of a net-zero emission by 2070.
The product, Saptapadi (seven steps), provides for initial assessment, organising internal teams, jointly conducting gap assessment, developing action plan, implementation, reviewing and ensuring sustainability. NPC envisages that the first few steps would take 3-6 months, which would be followed by a rolling process.
Senior officers from more than 50 CPSEs participated in the workshop that was organised by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), Ministry of Finance, with NPC as the knowledge partner. “Public sector units can be pioneers in advancing the ESG agenda. The goal is to make ESG integral to business strategy and part of the business process,” said Sundeep Kumar Nayak, Director General, NPC.
NPC is an autonomous organisation known for undertaking research in the area of innovation-led productivity and providing consultancy and training services. “Going forward, NPC will assist the CPSEs through their network of regional offices,” Nayak said.
The trigger for the workshop was the general perception that a large number of companies are not adequately informed to undertake ESG compliance. The Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) has already made Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) mandatory for the top 1,000 listed companies by market cap from 2022-23.
BRSR aims to encourage quantitative and qualitative disclosures on ESG parameters to enable investors make informed decisions. These are based on the principles of National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC) of 2019. BSRB also provides for cross-referencing disclosures made under internationally common frameworks like Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
ESG compliance is increasingly becoming part of business strategy for attracting investments on better terms. India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also announced that the government would issue sovereign green bonds in 2023 to mobilise resources for green infrastructure as India pursues the goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy. It is also an opportunity for CPSEs to improve their competitive edge by aligning their business strategies with ESG compliance. The Reserve Bank of India is also seized of the issue and has just released a draft consultation paper on climate risks.
Modi’s at COP 26 in Glasgow last year has committed to India increasing its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030; meeting 50 percent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030; reducing the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now onwards till 2030; reducing the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45 percent by 2030; and achieving net zero emissions by 2070. The workshop, clearly, was in line with these promises.