Are businesses becoming more responsible?

To become more responsible businesses, companies will have to embrace strong governance practices to be better positioned to manage emerging risks and opportunities.

Indian businesses are sharpening their focus on responsible business practices, according to the 2017 Responsible Business Rankings of the top 200 companies by sales for 2015-16, and 20 other companies.

The report, co-produced by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Udaipur, and business advisory Futurescape Netcoms, found that 26% more companies published business responsibility reports (BRR) and 11% more companies published sustainability reports. The study looked at information filed by companies in 2015-2016.

Four Tata group companies found a place in the top 10, with Tata Chemicals Ltd ranked No. 1, climbing five spots from last year’s ranking, followed by Tata Steel Ltd and Tata Power Co. ranked second and third, respectively. Tata Motors Ltd came in at No. 5.

Shree Cements Ltd, climbed four positions to No. 4 from last year. None of the state-run companies found a place in the top 10 in the 2017 report.

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The scores were arrived at by evaluating each company’s sustainability or Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reports, company annual reports and websites under the four parameters of governance, disclosure, stakeholders and sustainability. These rankings are based on a weighted average of these four criteria.

“We assigned a 20% weight to governance, 15% to disclosure, 30% to stakeholders and 35% to sustainability,” said Utkarsh Majmudar, professor of finance at IIM Udaipur.

The study aims to derive a relation between spending and performance.

“The four criteria in the study are representative of how a business is actually run,” says Namrata Rana, director, Futurescape Netcom.

Sustainable business practice is in-built in Tata Chemicals strategies, said a spokesperson for the company.


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