Why data is the key to unlocking ESG reporting in India

Why data is the key to unlocking ESG reporting in India

Why data is the key to unlocking ESG reporting in India

Like their peers in many countries, Indian businesses are increasingly looking to incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles into long–term strategy. Yet most feel unprepared to meet the growing demands of regulators, customers and investors. One May 2023 study found that just 27% feel “adequately equipped” to meet these strategy and compliance requirements.

One of the key roadblocks to progress is a lack of reliable data with which to measure EDG performance and impact. Fortunately, when it comes to the IT channel, this is changing.

India’s ESG journey

Regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has from financial year 2021–22 required the top 1,000 listed companies in the country to disclose ESG–related information in their annual reports. But even less prominent organisations are increasingly viewing sustainability as a no–brainer. Not only can it keep industry regulators happy, it can also help future–proof business success–driving operational efficiencies, opening up new markets and enhancing risk management and governance. That’s all music to the ears of shareholders.

As a major contributor to carbon emissions, the Indian IT sector has more to gain than many from driving sustainability initiatives.

Data means clarity

However, there are several challenges facing Indian firms. There’s a lack of clarity and standardisation among regulatory reporting frameworks. And SMBs in particular may struggle with the extra investment and know–how required to push ahead with sustainability programs. This is a problem for organisations’ smaller supply chain partners, who may find it tough to track and report on ESG metrics. Just 15% of Indian businesses believe their suppliers are able to comply with their ESG requirements.

Many Indian firms, especially those in the IT channel, lack reliable and consistent ESG data–making measurement, reporting and compliance extremely challenging. 

There’s no silver bullet to these challenges. But once Indian businesses have set a clear strategic vision–based around ESG goals, and agreed with key stakeholders–they must seek third–party expertise to turn theory into practice. This is where CONTEXT can help. We’re currently building a Product ESG database to help inform sustainability programs for IT distributors, resellers and vendors. The goal is to provide the data on which effective ESG decision making can be built.

To find out more about this product, get in touch with the CONTEXT Sustainability team: sustainability@contextworld.com 

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