Sustainability Reporting in India: What’s New?

Mar 15, 2024
sharer Image sharer Image sharer Image
sharer ImageCopy Url
Sustainability Reporting in India | Report Yak Blog

Sustainability reporting in India is becoming vital for companies that want to show their commitment to sustainable development. It's all about telling people how the company is doing regarding looking after our planet and its people. This is becoming a big deal for companies that share their info with the public because it shows they are serious about being good corporate citizens. These reports are like open books that show how these companies are sticking to rules that make them more responsible and sustainable.

This article will cover everything you need to know about sustainability reporting in India. We're going to look at why it's so important for listed companies and how it shows their dedication to growing in a way that's good for the environment. We'll talk about why companies need to follow sustainability rules and how this helps them make a positive difference. Join us as we dive into how sustainability reporting is changing the way companies in India operate, pushing them towards doing business in a way that's better for our world.

Sustainability Reporting Evolution | Report Yak Blog

The Evolution of Sustainability Reporting in India

Sustainability reporting in India has evolved significantly over the years. It has become a key tool for businesses to showcase their commitment to a better world. This journey from a novel concept to a crucial business practice reflects India's growing focus on sustainable development. Let's explore how this transformation unfolded, marking the milestones that shaped sustainability reporting in the country.

The Early Days of Sustainability Reporting

When sustainability reporting in India first began, it was a new idea embraced by only a few forward-thinking companies. These early adopters started to share how their operations affected the environment and society. Thus setting a precedent for transparency and accountability. Over time, the concept gained traction, encouraging more businesses to disclose their sustainable practices. This shift wasn't about following a trend. It was about understanding the crucial role businesses play in driving sustainable development and showing a commitment to this cause.

The Government Steps In

Recognizing the importance of sustainability reporting, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs introduced regulations to encourage more businesses to adopt this practice. This regulatory intervention was a game-changer. It signaled that sustainability reporting was not only beneficial but necessary. It pushed listed Indian companies to be more transparent about their sustainability initiatives, aligning India's corporate sector with global standards and showcasing a commitment to environmental and social responsibility.

Embracing Global Norms

To align with international practices, Indian companies started adopting the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. This adoption marked a significant step, ensuring that sustainability reporting in India was on par with global benchmarks. By using these internationally recognized standards, Indian businesses could communicate their sustainability efforts more effectively, demonstrating their dedication to making a positive global impact.

Crafting Local Guidelines

India also introduced its reporting framework, the National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental, and Economic Responsibilities of Business (NVGs). These guidelines offered a tailored approach, reflecting India's unique context and challenges. They provided a comprehensive blueprint for companies to report on various aspects of sustainability, encouraging them to embrace sustainability reporting in its entirety.

In conclusion, the evolution of sustainability reporting in India reflects a broader global shift towards transparency and accountability in business. From its start to adopting global standards and crafting localized guidelines, India has shown a strong commitment to integrating sustainable practices into the core of its corporate sector. As more Indian companies embrace sustainability reporting, they contribute not only to their growth but also to the sustainable development of the country and the world at large.

Why is Sustainability Reporting in India so important | Report Yak Blog

The Significance of Sustainability Reporting in India

Sustainability reporting in India plays a pivotal role in steering the corporate sector toward a more responsible and sustainable future. As businesses grow, their impact on society and the environment increases, making transparency about these impacts essential. Let's delve into the reasons why sustainability reporting is so crucial in India, shedding light on its significance and the benefits it brings to companies, stakeholders, and the broader community.

Enhancing Transparency and Trust

Sustainability reporting in India helps companies communicate openly about their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities. Stakeholders like customers and investors want to know that companies care about more than just making money. Sharing these details shows that companies are serious about their responsibility to the planet and people. It helps build strong and trusting relationships with everyone who interacts with the company.

Driving Sustainable Development

By engaging in sustainability reporting, companies contribute to sustainable development in India. It's not only about following rules; it's about genuinely wanting to make a positive change. This kind of reporting encourages businesses to think about how they use resources, handle waste, and impact their communities. The goal is to make operations more planet-friendly, which is good for both the company and the world around us.

Meeting Regulatory Requirements

In India, sustainability reporting is becoming a mandate for certain sectors and companies. It reflects the government's push towards sustainable growth. This makes sure that businesses think about their environmental and social impacts, not just their profits. Following these rules shows that a company is reliable and serious about doing things right. It's also about aligning with India's goals for a sustainable future, showing the company's commitment to being a good global citizen.

To wrap up, sustainability reporting in India is essential for companies to show they're dedicated to doing good for the environment and society. It helps build trust, encourages better practices for our planet, and ensures companies follow important rules. As more businesses share their sustainability journeys, they help create a more responsible and sustainable business world in India, benefiting everyone now and in the future.

Sustainability Reporting's Challenges and Opportunities | Report Yak Blog

Challenges and Opportunities

Sustainability reporting in India is gaining momentum, offering both challenges and opportunities for businesses. As companies strive to align with global and national sustainability standards, they navigate through various hurdles while seizing the chance to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development.


1. Lack of Awareness and Expertise

Some companies in India may not understand the importance of sustainability reporting. They might lack the knowledge or skills to create detailed reports. This gap can lead to incomplete or inaccurate reporting.

2. Varying Standards and Regulations

There are many sustainability reporting frameworks available. So, companies might find it challenging to decide which one to follow. This inconsistency can make it harder for companies to create reports that are universally recognized and accepted.

3. Data Collection and Management

Gathering the necessary data for sustainability reporting can be a daunting task. Companies must collect, verify, and manage vast amounts of information. This is a resource-intensive job that takes time and money in most cases.

4. Cost Implications

Implementing robust sustainability reporting practices can be costly. Companies may need to invest in new technologies or hire experts, which might be challenging for smaller businesses.


1. Enhancing Corporate Image

Companies that excel in sustainability reporting can boost their reputation. This commitment to sustainability can attract investors, customers, and employees who value corporate responsibility.

2. Driving Business Innovation

Sustainability reporting encourages companies to think creatively about reducing their environmental impact. This can lead to innovations that benefit the planet, reduce costs, and improve efficiency.

3. Meeting Investor Expectations

Today, most investors consider sustainability in their investment decisions. Companies that provide transparent and comprehensive sustainability reports can attract and keep investments more effectively.

4. Supporting Regulatory Compliance

As India continues to introduce regulations around sustainability, companies that have already embraced sustainability reporting will find it easier to follow new laws. This proactive approach can give them a competitive edge.

Sustainability reporting in India presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for businesses. While companies must navigate through issues like data management and adapting to various standards, the benefits of enhanced reputation, innovation, and investment attraction are significant. As India continues to evolve in its sustainability commitment, companies that embrace and improve their reporting practices will likely lead the way in fostering a more sustainable and responsible business landscape.

NGRBC Principles and Sustainability Reporting | Report Yak Blog

The NGRBC Principles and Their Connection to Sustainability Reporting in India

The National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC) in India set a framework for companies to operate sustainably and ethically, directly influencing sustainability reporting in India. These guidelines are designed to help businesses align their operations with sustainable practices.

NGRBC Principles in Brief:

  1. Businesses should conduct and govern themselves ethically.
  2. Businesses should provide goods and services sustainably and responsibly.
  3. Businesses should respect and promote the well-being of all employees.
  4. Businesses should respect the interests of and be responsive to all stakeholders.
  5. Businesses should respect and promote human rights.
  6. Businesses should respect and make efforts to protect the environment.
  7. Businesses should, when engaging in influencing public and regulatory policy, do so responsibly and ethically.
  8. Businesses should support inclusive growth and equitable development.
  9. Businesses should engage with and provide value to their consumers responsibly.

Connection to Sustainability Reporting in India

These principles are closely linked to sustainability reporting in India. The guidelines encourage the top 1000 listed companies by market capitalization to adopt responsible practices and report on them, aligning with global reporting standards. The NGRBC pushes companies to disclose how they address sustainability issues, from environmental impact to social welfare and governance, thus fostering transparency and accountability.

By adhering to these principles, companies show their commitment to ethical operations and sustainable development. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs in India mandates this. This commitment is reflected in their sustainability reports, where they detail their actions and impacts in line with the NGRBC's framework. Such reporting helps companies track their progress and also builds trust with stakeholders. In short, it shows that businesses respect and promote principles that align with broader societal and environmental goals.

Summing it up, the NGRBC principles are a cornerstone for sustainability reporting in India, guiding companies to report on critical sustainability issues and promote responsible business conduct. As companies integrate these principles into their operations and reporting, they contribute to a more sustainable and accountable business landscape in India.

BRSR framework for sustainability reporting in India | Report Yak Blog

What is BRSR?

The NGRBC Principles have set the stage for better and more meaningful sustainability reporting in India, leading to the creation of the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) framework. This change marks a big step forward in how companies think about and share their sustainability actions.

Introducing BRSR

After the NGRBC Principles were put in place, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) brought in the BRSR. It replaced the earlier Business Responsibility Reports (BRR) with a more comprehensive approach, focusing on ESG data and disclosures. This new framework is all about making sure companies talk about their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts. Now, the biggest 1000 companies listed by market cap need to tell everyone how they're working on sustainability, focusing on these ESG areas.

The BRSR's Role in Better Reporting

The BRSR has changed sustainability reporting in India. It's making companies follow a more organized way to share their ESG data. This is great because it lets investors, customers, and others understand how serious a company is about being sustainable. The BRSR makes sure companies talk about their green efforts and also shows how these efforts are part of their daily business.

How the BRSR Improves Reporting

Thanks to the BRSR, sustainability reporting in India is now more in line with global standards. It's helping companies tackle sustainability issues better, making sure their reports are full and meaningful. The BRSR pushes companies to go deeper into their ESG stories, giving everyone a clearer picture of how they're sticking to their sustainability promises.

To wrap it up, the BRSR framework is a big deal for sustainability reporting in India. It builds on the NGRBC Principles to make reporting clearer and more detailed. This not only makes sustainability reports better but also gets Indian companies on the same page as global best practices. It's all about creating a culture where companies are open and committed to making a positive impact on the world.

Understand the BRSR Core | Report Yak Blog

What is the BRSR Core?

After introducing the BRSR, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) rolled out the BRSR Core. This new step is about making it easier for more Indian companies to share their sustainability work. Here's a closer look at the BRSR Core and what it means for companies.

The BRSR Core is SEBI's latest push to get more companies involved in sustainability reporting in India. While the original BRSR focused on the top 1000 listed companies, the BRSR Core invites even more businesses to talk about their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) actions. This effort helps everyone see how these companies are tackling sustainability challenges and shows their dedication to making a difference.

Getting Ready for the BRSR Core

SEBI has laid out a timeline for companies to get on board with the BRSR Core. This plan helps companies know what's expected and when so they can line up their reporting with these new rules. By following this timeline, businesses can smoothly weave ESG information into their reports, making their sustainability efforts clear to everyone.

Picking the Right People to Check the Data

SEBI also offers advice on choosing the right experts to check a company's ESG information. This step ensures that the data companies share is accurate and reliable. Having trustworthy data is key to building confidence in a company's sustainability reports.

What Needs to Go into the Reports

The BRSR Core asks companies to cover several important areas in their reports:

General Information: Companies need to share basic details about themselves, like how they're tackling sustainability and mixing ESG into their strategies.

Management and Rules: This part is about how a company's leadership supports ESG goals, making sure they're on top of sustainability matters.

Caring for the Planet: Businesses must explain how they're doing their part for the environment, such as using resources wisely, managing waste, and cutting down on pollution.

Being Socially Responsible: Companies should talk about how they affect people, including how they treat their workers, support communities, and handle customer relations.

Doing Well Economically: It's also important for companies to show how they're supporting the economy, managing risks, and seizing opportunities to do good business.

By tackling these areas, the BRSR Core makes sustainability reporting in India more thorough and meaningful. It's not just about meeting international standards; it's about giving a full picture of how companies are committed to doing business responsibly and sustainably.

In summary, the BRSR Core is a big step toward better sustainability reporting in India. It opens the door for more companies to share their journey, improving the overall picture of corporate sustainability in the country. This move not only boosts the quality of reports but also shows the world that Indian businesses are serious about being part of a sustainable future.

Designing Sustainability Reports | Report Yak Blog

Choose Report Yak for Sustainability Reports in India

In India, sustainability reporting has become a crucial way for companies to show they're serious about doing good for the planet and society. This reporting has changed a lot over time, matching India's growing attention to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The government has set rules that encourage companies to be clear and honest about their sustainability efforts. This push has made Indian businesses not only share their green steps but also help India grow sustainably, matching global practices and proving their commitment to a brighter future.

Looking forward, sustainability reporting in India is set to grow stronger, especially with the BRSR framework guiding the way. This change means that reports will become more uniform and detailed, making sure Indian companies meet worldwide standards and tackle local sustainability challenges. We expect to see Indian businesses blend sustainability even more into their main plans, promoting openness and playing a part in the worldwide push for sustainability.

If you want to make your company's sustainability reporting stand out, Report Yak is here to help. We're the top agency in India for designing annual reports, sustainability reports, ESG reports, and more. Our skilled writers and designers know all about the latest trends and rules in reporting, making reports that truly connect with people around the world. Don't just take our word for it; check out our work on the Report Yak website's Showcase page. See how we can make your company's reporting shine. Choose Report Yak and join the leading companies in India and elsewhere in making your sustainability efforts known. Call us at 1800 121 5955 (India) or email at [email protected] to speak to our team now!