The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recently introduced new requirements for sustainability reporting by the top-1000 listed Indian entities based on market capitalization. These requirements are outlined in a new reporting format known as the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR). In this comprehensive report, companies must disclose their material Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. Moreover, they must present their approach to mitigating or adapting to these risks and outline the financial implications involved. This is where the BRSR framework comes in.
Boosting Corporate Transparency Through the BRSR Framework
The BRSR framework aims to significantly enhance corporate transparency and promote sustainability among Indian companies. By mandating robust disclosures, it enables market participants to thoroughly examine sustainability-related risks and opportunities. Unlike other ESG frameworks, the BRSR framework places a strong emphasis on comprehensive disclosures covering a wide spectrum of information, including social metrics. This encompasses data not only about employees, communities, and consumers but also various aspects of social impact.
Transition to Mandatory Reporting Using the BRSR Framework
In the fiscal year 2021-22, reporting under the BRSR framework was voluntary for the top-1000 listed companies in India based on market capitalization. However, beginning from the fiscal year 2022-23, compliance with BRSR requirements has become mandatory for these top-1000 companies. For other listed companies, including those on the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) exchange, reporting remains voluntary.
Foundation in Responsible Business Conduct
The BRSR framework is built upon the 9 fundamental principles of the National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC). These principles form the cornerstone for businesses to operate ethically, transparently, and with accountability. They emphasize sustainable provisioning of goods and services, ensuring the well-being of employees across value chains, protecting the environment, promoting sustainable production, being responsive to all stakeholders, upholding human rights, complying with regulatory frameworks, fostering inclusive growth, equitable development, and consumer welfare. The BRSR framework incorporates these principles and requires businesses to provide information on each of them.
Comprehensive Disclosure of ESG Aspects
Under the BRSR framework, companies are obligated to disclose a broad range of ESG-related information. This encompasses risks and opportunities stemming from environmental and social factors. Companies must also articulate their leadership’s understanding of these risks and opportunities. Strategies to mitigate and adapt to these risks should be outlined, along with the corresponding financial implications. By providing comprehensive disclosure, companies demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices and enable stakeholders to make informed decisions.
Structure of the BRSR Framework
The BRSR framework is structured into three key sections, facilitating a comprehensive reporting approach:
1. General Disclosures
In this section, companies provide overarching information about their sustainability initiatives, policies, and key performance indicators. By presenting an overview of their commitment to sustainability, companies set the context for the subsequent sections of the report.
2. Management and Process Disclosure
This section delves into the systems, processes, and methodologies employed by companies to identify, assess, and manage sustainability risks and opportunities. It focuses on how companies integrate sustainability into their overall business strategies, showcasing their commitment to responsible business conduct.
3. Principle-wise Performance Disclosures
The principle-wise performance disclosures section enables companies to report their performance against each of the 9 principles outlined in the NGRBC. Companies highlight their initiatives, achievements, and future plans related to ethical business conduct, sustainable provisioning, employee welfare, environmental protection, stakeholder engagement, human rights promotion, regulatory compliance, inclusive growth, and consumer welfare. This section provides a comprehensive overview of a company’s commitment to responsible and sustainable practices.
What The BRSR Framework Means For Indian Industry
The introduction of the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) by SEBI marks a significant milestone in promoting corporate transparency and sustainability in India. With its comprehensive reporting requirements and foundation in the principles of responsible business conduct, the BRSR framework compels companies to disclose material ESG risks and opportunities. By adhering to these requirements, companies demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices, enabling stakeholders to evaluate their performance and make informed decisions. The BRSR framework sets the stage for a more transparent and sustainable corporate landscape, fostering India’s progress toward a greener and more socially responsible future.
Navigating the BRSR Framework with PlanetWise
In this era of heightened scrutiny and evolving regulatory requirements, companies require a partner to navigate the BRSR framework when making reports. PlanetWise offers comprehensive services to assist your business in enhancing the quality and reliability of your BRSR reports.
By embracing BRSR reporting and seeking assurance support from PlanetWise, your organization can unlock sustainable success, gain a competitive edge, and contribute to a better future for both your stakeholders and the planet!
Reach out to us to learn more!