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ESG India Invest – A tool for Responsible Investors

The India Responsible Investment Working Group, under the aegis of the Sustainable Business Leadership Forum, has developed ESG India Invest- a unique and pioneering tool to enable Indian Companies/ investors investing in India to analyse, compare and assess their/ (potential) investees’ ESG disclosure, vis-à-vis their competitors and peers across 15 parameters and over 70 metrics.

The tool simultaneously addresses the problems of data assessment, comparability and actionability for investors, allowing them to answer the following questions:

  • How complete and comprehensive is the ESG Disclosure of businesses (existing and potential investments) in India?
  • Where does a particular company rank vis-à-vis its peers on ESG disclosure in consistently providing satisfactory amount of material ESG information over time?
  • What key material indicators are not being addressed by the companies?
  • What are the disclosure highlights over the reporting year on ESG related issues?
  • What are the outstanding metrics in which the company has been able to meet benchmark levels of material disclosure?

Applications of the tool

Businesses can use the tool to evaluate how their ESG actions are seen by investors and the public. It also offers them a comparison of their disclosure relative to their peer group. For businesses developing their strategy for investor relations and stakeholder relations; the tool (which is updated annually) can give them a direction on areas to develop.

Investors have been viewing ESG Disclosure for identifying risks as well as a proxy for management quality. ESG Invest is meant to enable investors to increase integration of ESG indicators into their decision making processes. Two key take aways from the tool are:

  • Where does a particular company rank vis-à-vis its peers in providing satisfactory amount of information on material ESG information (which has an implication on risks and opportunities) which is consistent over time? 
  • What are the key material indicators (currently not being addressed by the company in question) the investor should look to address in their engagement with their businesses?

The latest version of the India-ESG Invest Tool can be accessed here

About the India Responsible Investment Working Group

Sustainability disclosure and reporting in India has received a fillip in the last couple of years - driven to a large extent by investors and policy makers. The Sustainable Business Leadership Forum has been working closely with businesses, investors, catalyst organizations and policy makers to identify the link between investment/capital flows and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosure in India and have an integrated conversation about the expectations, concerns, challenges and realities surrounding ESG measurement/management/disclosure in the Indian market.

Members of the India Responsible Investment Working Group are:

GIZ

Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a German federally-owned international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development which operates worldwide. It has been operating in India for over 50 years and led several initiatives. More recently it has been actively engaged in the IICA-GIZ CSR Initiative to help develop a country specific common understanding of CSR, and to enable the adoption of Business Responsibility by businesses. Recently it has also been developing a program on Responsible Finance which is expected to be rolled out in late 2012. www.giz.de

cKinetics

cKinetics is a specialized Sustainability advisory firm that works with investors and businesses. It has a practice focused on Investments and Sustainability Finance that amongst other topics works to deploy capital based on Environmental and Social (E&S) measures and create an impact going beyond a pure financial return. cKinetics has also been working for the past 18 months on working with investor groups to build an understanding of the E&S landscape in India. www.cKinetics.com/crackingtheconundrum

Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA)

Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) is a think tank and capacity building institution that has been established by the Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs for matters relevant to corporate regulation and governance. The Institute has been designed with an eye on the future to provide a platform for dialogue, interaction and partnership between governments, corporate, investors, civil society, professionals, academicians and other stake holders in the emerging 21st century environment. www.iica.in

 

To engage with the group and to get involved in its activities please write to: Info@SustainabilityOutlook.in 

More information is at http://SBLF.SustainabilityOutlook.in/about-the-forum/sustainability-disclosure-and-reporting 

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Author: SustainabilityOutlook
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