This is where rubber hits the road in form of training, advisory, and policy advocacy activities. This has high degree of interface with the client or the stakeholder. In order achieve a sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth, CESD seeks to bring transformation through a complete programme of policy advocacy, knowledge creation, knowledge dissemination and 'on-ground' model projects. It works with businesses and the government to bring about this transformation and address the various issues of sustainability, environmental degradation, climate change, inclusion etc. The training and consulting services we provide facilitate companies in their sustainability efforts.
CESD brings the best expertise and experience to help companies create more impact through better CSR. We work with companies to develop CSR strategies aligned to organisational vision and business strategies, develop projects that serve aspirations and real needs of communities, measure impact of CSR activities, value social capital created, conduct customised NGO assessments, and recognise excellence in CSR.
CESD has worked in areas of education and skills, health and sanitation, livelihoods, infrastructure development, agri inputs and irrigation infrastructure, livestock development, for companies in FMCG, infrastructure, natural resources, and materials.
"Vision for Social Change" workshops for CSR strategy & planning
CESD conducts cross-functional and multi-stakeholder workshops for companies to develop a long-term vision for social change, convert vision into specific KPIs and projects, develop strategy to accomplish the vision. . Which developmental and geographical areas should companies get into? How does it align with priorities of business and sustainability? How does it leverage resources available with the company and its partners?
A typical workshop is for two days. At the end of the workshop, participants have a vision, KPIs, projects, and implementable action plan.
Annual CSR Tracker
Each year, CESD develops Annual CSR Tracker that provides macro insights into CSR activities of companies in a financial year. Based on disclosures on CSR in director’s report, the Annual CSR Tracker is the only comprehensive analysis of CSR governance, spends, and practices,covering ~1,300 companies listed on BSE. The Annual CSR Tracker covers about 50 performance indicators across six aspects of CSR function. The extensive coverage of companies and comprehensive analysis has helped many companies to benchmark their practices to the national data. Check here for Annual CSR Trackers for 2015 and 2016.
Baselines & needs assessments
CESD undertakes baselines and needs assessments of project beneficiaries and concerned stakeholders. These studies are conducted using primary and secondary research techniques such as household surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions. Both qualitative and quantitative inputs are captured and analysed that provide vital inputs to CSR project design.
Impact measurements, HDI & QLI
Impact measurement is important to understand the effectiveness of CSR projects. A well-designed impact study can also provide insights into stakeholder expectations and feedback on the projects conducted. Methodologies include control group comparisons, personal interviews, focus group discussions. Usually a combination of methodologies are deployed.
CESD also helps companies to measure change in Quality of Life or Human Development Indices with as a result of CSR and R&R interventions.
Measuring social value or SROI
CESD also helps with valuing social capital that a company creates via its CSR activities. Primarily using the framework of Social Return on Investment or SROI, social capital valuation helps boards take informed decisions on social investments.
SROI measures change in ways that are relevant to the people of organisations that experience or contribute to it. It tells the story how change is being created by measuring social, environmental and economic outcomes, and uses monetary values to represent them.
CESD has been trained by Social Value International on measuring social value. The team has been helping leading organisations to measure social value using the SROI framework. CESD deploys principles of SROI as defined by Social Value International.
Principles of SROI
Understand what changes
Value the things that matter
Only include what is material
Do not over-claim
Verify the result
The six stages in SROI
Establishing scope and identifying key stakeholders
Evidencing outcomes and giving them a value
Calculating the SROI
Reporting, using, and embedding
Why measure Social Return on CSR investments?
Helps in identifying stakeholders for who maximum of minimum social value is created, leading to more informed and effective decisions for maximising value for all identified stakeholders.
Helps to channel CSR funds to projects and stakeholders where maximum value is created.
Identifies common ground between what an organisation and what its stakeholders want to achieve, helping to maximise social value.
Facilitated strategic discussions so as to maximise SROI.
Possible to make future projections in order better planning, prioritisation and resource allocation.
Excellence in CSR – CII-ITC Sustainability Awards
CII-ITC Sustainability Awards - CSR Domain Excellence recognise companies that have positively impacted both business and society by taking a strategic approach to CSR through collaborative programmes with government and civil society.
Over a period of six months, applicants undergo a rigorous evaluation process that is based on principles of business excellence. The findings of this assessment, presented in the form of a detailed Feedback Report to every applicant, further help applicants by providing insights that improve the impact of their sustainability initiatives and drive overall performance by identifying opportunities for improvement.
CESD is the pioneer of Corporate Sustainability Management in India - a systematic and integrated framework for the optimal management of the key economic, environmental and social impacts of a companys products, services and processes, or a companys triple bottom line performance.
We help our clients embed sustainability into their daily business by building employee capacity to understand and implement globally recognised principles, systems, processes, and values.
CESD offers consulting services for Sustainability and Compliance management frameworks.
Sustainability Management Framework
A Sustainability Management Framework (SMF) assists organizations in integrating sustainability into the core of their operations, leading to improved business performance. Based on the Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility, ISO 26000:2010, the framework envisions a thorough implementation of top management-driven sustainability operations.
Developing an SMF includes aligning the leadership and strategy of the company towards sustainable development by integrating a corporate responsibility and accountability matrix and governance structure within an existing framework of the organization, in coherence with a sustainability policy for the organization.
This involves the development of a Stakeholder Engagement Plan for identification of relevant stakeholders and their inclusiveness for better decision making.
From the top management commitment and strategy, the SMF will assist in identifying sustainability parameters, implementing activities aligned to the parameters and monitoring the progress of activities to further strengthen the SMF. The SMF will be integrated with existing management systems to streamline the processes in the organization. The monitored progress of sustainability performance under the SMF can be consequently reported in the form of a sustainability report and shared with the organization's internal and external stakeholders.
Industries will have to ensure that businesses comply with EHS regulations because of increased monitoring by the enforcement bodies and more stringent penalties and fines to industries such as the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which has been set up exclusively to handle environment-related court cases.
A Compliance Management Framework helps companies to ensure compliance to legislations, mainly Environment and Health & Safety regulations, and to allow for compliance monitoring within the company. In short, it provides an internal governance structure.
This allows for a fixed structure to check on the requirements and conditions of requisite regulations, to continuously monitor the level of compliance in the industry and also to equip industries to prepare themselves to follow future regulations.
Sustainability Reporting is a process for publicly disclosing an organizations economic, environmental, and social performance. GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) is fast becoming the global de-facto standard in sustainability reporting. Since its inception in 1997, nearly 1000 organizations have referenced the guidelines in their sustainability reports. CESD offers and consulting and training services for large as well as small and medium enterprises to guide them on managing their specific sustainability aspects and issues.
CESD has assisted many private and public companies and PSUs in the preparation of their sustainability reports. Our client list includes leading names like Sesa Goa Limited, Tata Power, Larsen & Toubro Limited, Ambuja Cement Limited, PowerGrid Corporation of India Limited, NTPC limited, BHEL, Godrej & Boyce Limited & Apollo Tyres Limited.
Stakeholder engagement is a vital lever to brand value enhancement, customer retention, and supply chain efficiency. It is a means to build trust between different actors, facilitate mutually acceptable solutions, generate new ideas and create a win-win situation for all.
CESD has published 'Stakeholder Engagement - The How to Guide' containing detailed guidance around global frameworks (such as AA1000SES, GRI & IFC) on stakeholder engagement. It is the only guide that provides a stakeholder engagement model that is suitable to the Indian context. The guide brings to the table, experiences of more than five hundred Indian companies on their initiatives vis-à-vis stakeholder engagement. CESD has built the capacity of more than two hundred sustainability practitioners on the process of stakeholder engagement. It has also assisted companies such as GE India Technology Centre in enabling its employees to understand and appreciate stakeholder engagement processes. It also assists companies in building and developing stakeholder engagement processes for their internal as well as external stakeholders.
There is an increasing need for the assurance of the non-financial and financial aspects of an organization's sustainable development performance.
However, there is a gap in the standards that govern the emerging profession of sustainability assurance practitioners and a growing confusion as to the relevant experience.
As a result, the growth of sustainability assurance has been constrained, with corresponding damage to quality and credibility. Recognizing this gap, CESD conducts a professional qualification training course in sustainability assurance in India and overseas.
A well-executed sustainability programme can drive growth, create new markets and new business alternatives, and reduce costs and risks. That's why such a programme is essential for businesses and that's where our policies come in.
Environmental Policy, Corporate Responsibility and Green Economy; each policy is a tool developed by CESD to assist businesses in sticking to their preset sustainable goals. Discover their roles in detail here.
CESD brings the industry's perspective to the table during the formation of environmental policy, creating a platform for reciprocal consultation and consensus building.
A key partner to the government, the Centre works closely with the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the Planning Commission, and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), among other regulatory and decision-making bodies. It also facilitates policy development at the national and state levels.
With the Ministry of Environment and Forests, CESD works on international policy development for climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development. On the domestic front, it works with the Ministry on hazardous waste management, e-waste, environmental clearances, clean technology and clean production, among other initiatives.
CESD’s involvement with the Government of India's Planning Commission includes its participation in the Low Carbon Expert Group and the twelfth Five Year Plan steering committee on environment & industry. It also helps companies assess the effect of emerging regulations on their business.
CESD plays a key role in advancing policy frameworks that influence sustainable and responsible practices of business. It does so by working closely with Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
CESD has been a part of development of National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business or NVGs, and later Business Responsibility Reporting framework. CESD was closely involved in shaping "CSR legislation" in the form of Section 135 of Companies Act 2013 and the corresponding CSR Rules 2014. Since then, it has continued to influence MCA by submitting inputs to formal committees such MCA's High-level Committee on CSR.
CESD has also worked with the Department of Public Sector Enterprises to create guidelines for the integration of sustainable development principles into corporate Memorandums of Understanding. It is both an architect of the guidelines and a key member of the taskforce for review of memorandums.
Most recently, CESD helped SEBI develop its voluntary requirement on integrated reporting applicable to top 500 companies listed on national stock exchanges, such as BSE and NSE.
CII-certified Sustainability Assessors
Since 2006, CESD has led building the talent pool of sustainability professionals in India. It has created an exclusive club of over 300 sustainability performance assessors. These assessors are competent to drive excellence in sustainability in companies.
CESD is upping the profile of certification with a distinct value proposition for professionals to leverage the CII-certification for professional gains.
The CII-certified Sustainability Assessor programme is for professionals to provide services to business in the area of sustainability.
Refer to the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2017 brochure for details on the CII-certified Sustainability Assessor Training.
<IR> Lab India is a collective of companies, investors, regulators, accounting firms and academics, to practice and advocate in India, and to bridge with IIRC and country networks. CESD set up <IR> Lab India in partnership with International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), to introduce integrated reporting to India.
<IR> Lab India is chaired by Mr Koushik Chatterjee, ED and Group CFO, Tata Steel. Mr Chatterjee and Mr Y C Deveshwar, Chairman, Advisory Council, CII-ITC CESD, and Chairman, ITC are members of the Council of IIRC.
<IR> Lab India invests in research, analysis and development of know-how that would aid advocacy and practice, and result in proliferation of <IR>. It is guided by three sets of objectives.
Advocate integrated thinking, integrated reporting and capital valuation among companies and investors in India
Advocate with government, regulators, and other eco-system actors, to create enabling environment for capital valuation and integrated reporting
Advocate with IIRC with perspectives and views of business in India on <IR>
Guide and assist companies in integrated thinking, integrated reporting, and identifying new business portfolios
Help companies with business model articulation, and valuation of social and natural capitals
Conduct gap analysis for companies starting out with integrated reporting
Share good practices from integrated reporters around the world, including other emerging market companies
Create knowledge products such as analytical reports and tools to aid companies with integrated thinking, integrated reporting, and capital valuation
Participate in IIRC’s working groups and technical groups on behalf of <IR> Lab India members
<IR> Lab India is set out to develop Guidance Document on for practitioners and users of integrated reporting in India. The Guidance Document is being co-created by members of <IR> Lab India. Currently in the state of development, version 1.0 is aimed for launch in April 2017.
The content structure identifies various items that have to be included in the guidance document. To ensure wide spread adoption the guidance provided will include definitive steps, examples, key principles and frequently asked questions while retaining the flexibility advocated by integrated reporting.
Annual membership fee for <IR> Lab India is Rs 2.5L which provides access to reports, guidance, newsletters, branding in all communication, and engagement in policy making.
For further details please contact Priyanka Mathur at firstname.lastname@example.org
<IR> Lab frequently conducts webinars, training programmes, and publishes newsletters and reports focused on integrated reporting. It also conducts workshops on relevant topics and hosts various platforms for learning, networking and encouraging the uptake of integrated reporting.
<IR> Lab India hosted a workshop on integrated reporting for its members and relevant partners. This workshop was aimed at diving deep into the concept of integrated reporting. Topics covered were
Elements of the Integrated Reporting & <IR> framework
Getting started with Integrated Thinking and Reporting
Synergies between different reporting frameworks
Discussion on materiality, interdependencies, six capitals, etc.
2: Materiality, Capitals & Interconnectivity
<IR> Lab India hosted its second workshop on Integrated Reporting for its members and relevant partners. This workshop aimed at diving deep into critical aspects of <IR> namely materiality, six capitals and interconnectedness between the capitals. It builds on the first <IR> workshop and various elementary webinars organized to date. The workshop was also designed in a manner to feed creation of <IR> guidance document in India.
Experiences and Insights from South Africa
<IR> Introduction and Developments
How to make a meaningful Integrated Report?
Why undertake <IR>: External Pressure and Internal Necessity
A Primer to Integrated Thinking
Integrated Reporting (<IR>) is a process founded on integrated thinking that results in a periodic integrated report by an organisation about value creation over time and related communications regarding aspects of value creation.
The outcome of this process, an integrated report, is a concise communication about how an organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and future prospects, in the context of its external environment, lead to the creation of value in the short, medium and long term.
Objectives of <IR>
Improve the quality of information available to providers of financial capital to enable a more efficient and productive allocation of capital
Promote a more cohesive and efficient approach to corporate reporting that draws on different reporting strands and communicates the full range of factors that materially affect the ability of an organisation to create value over time
Enhance accountability and stewardship for the broad base of capitals (financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship, and natural) and promote understanding of their interdependencies
To foster appreciation, both within the organisation and among its stakeholders, of the extent to which the organisation's ability to create and sustain value is based on financial, social, economic and environmental systems and by the quality of its relationships with its stakeholders
Need for <IR>
Increasingly, businesses are expected to report not just on profit but on their impact on the wider economy, society and the environment. It is imperative to look at sustainability issues and how they relate to success of business. However, there is still a huge gap in understanding how they affect business risks, business planning, and identifying growth opportunities. Companies continue to be valued on their financial health.
Creating value from a range of inputs or ‘capitals’ available to an organisation is fundamental to its success. Understanding and communicating this is a key element of corporate reporting. The companies that have started with ecological or social valuations struggle to make financial connect and integrate into the overall valuation of business.
Due to the increasing complexity of factors that a business must acknowledge, existing forms of corporate reporting are ineffective in supporting organisations to comprehend and portray an accurate nature of their operations.
Integrated Reporting is a new corporate reporting model designed to address this gap by supporting a more resilient business environment through a shift in the way organisations understand their business, and enable better decision making by providers of financial capital.
Integrated Reporting tries to link sustainability strategy to business strategy and has three fundamental key concepts (i) value creation for the organisation and others, (ii) the capitals, and (iii) the value creation process.
Integrated thinking deals with value creation over short, medium and long term, and the integrated report tells the story of the journey that an organisation has embarked on to create value, in a clear and concise manner.
The primary purpose of an integrated report is to explain to providers of financial capital and stakeholders such as employees, customers, suppliers, business partners, local communities, legislators, regulators and policymakers, how an organisation creates value over time.
The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is a global coalition of regulators, investors, companies, standard setters, the accounting profession and NGOs. Together, this coalition shares the view that communication about value creation should be the next step in the evolution of corporate reporting.
The IIRC is the global authority on <IR>. Its mission is to enable Integrated Reporting to be embedded into mainstream business practice in the public and private sectors.
Prof Mervyn King is the Chairman and Richard Howitt is the CEO of IIRC.
CESD is represented on IIRC Council by Mr Y C Deveshwar, Chairman, Advisory Council, CESD, and Chairman, ITC Ltd.
For international knowledge resources and database of examples of integrated reports, please visit IIRC website.
Investor research on integrated reporting by Indian companies
Since the launch of the Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework in December 2013 by IIRC, there have been various investor studies to build a case for it. The studies are global in scope, i.e., with focus on global investors and on global companies mostly headquartered in advanced industrialised countries. These studies tend to serve as references of the changing expectations of investors on disclosures from companies. Expectation of the participating investors are driven by conditions of financial markets, movement of financial flows, and reporting jurisdictions that are different from emerging countries.
Besides the high-level statistics and headlines, there are finer details that should be understood when trying to build investor case for integrated reporting from Indian companies. Currently, there are no India-specific studies to indicate expectations of investors from Indian companies, and the differences between global and Indian investors. Devoid of such insights, Indian companies are not really aware of the expectations of investors and therefore, the aspects of business the companies should focus on.
It is in this context, that CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development is undertaking investor research on integrated reporting by Indian companies. This research will serve as reference for integrated reporting for Indian companies, investors, and regulators.
CESD is undertaking the investor research with two clear objectives.
1.Produce India-specific perspectives and expectations of investors on integrated reporting that act as reference on the subject matter
2.Basis the perspectives and expectations, create an appropriate case for integrated reporting for Indian companies, investors and regulators
CESD is conducting this research with the following hypothesis.
H1: Investors, particularly in advanced industrialised markets, are looking for better disclosures on non-financial aspects of Indian companies, preferably in the form of integrated reporting, that help them make informed investment decisions
The investor research will be mainly primary research. Primary research will entail one-one interviews with select Indian and international investors interested in Indian companies. Approximately 30 minutes long, the interviews will be conducted by CESD researchers. These interviews will be open to members of <IR> Lab India to participate in. CESD will share the schedule of interviews as it develops.
Primary research will be complemented by secondary research. Secondary research that corroborate or is diagonally opposite with findings will add to the analysis and perspectives of the CESD research.
Questionnaire development and analysis
A qualitative questionnaire will be developed to guide and structure interviews. CESD researchers will share the draft questionnaire with members of <IR> Lab India for inputs. There will be five to seven broad questions each focussed on specific issue. Keywords and indicators in the questions will contribute to specific topic of analysis.
Selection of investors
CESD will identify two sets of investors to interview. One will be those that are already invested in members of <IR> Lab India. There are around 40 investment firms invested with the eight corporate members of <IR> Lab India. CESD will seek help of corporate members of <IR> Lab India to connect to their investors. Interviews in such cases will not be about the particular company that the investor is invested in. The other set will be investors that are interested in Indian companies. There will be another distinct ten investment firms in the second set. Both sets of investors will be of Indian and foreign origin. CESD will attempt to interview at least 20 investors.
What this study is not about?
This is not a survey to establish statistical validity of indicators
This is not to reflect perceived popularity of <IR> as the source of better disclosures