India’s Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR)
The Securities and Exchange Board in India (SEBI) developed the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) to mandate Indian companies to provide quantifiable metrics on sustainability-related factors, such as respect for human rights or environmental protection.
The foundation for India’s ESG regulatory framework was laid with the introduction of Business Responsibility Reporting (BRR) guidelines in 2009. The new BRSR, in effect since 2023, is more closely aligned with globally accepted reporting frameworks like the GRI and TCFD. It requires the top 1,000 listed companies in India to respond to 140 questions, divided into 98 essential indicators (mandatory) and 42 leadership indicators (voluntary).
The disclosure requirements are grouped into nine core categories, based on the principles of the National Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct introduced by SEBI:
- Environmental protection: Key performance indicators cover electricity consumption, water usage and air emissions.
- Human rights: Focus on human rights violations and minimum and fair wages.
- Integrity: Performance indicators include anti-corruption, anti-bribery and conflicts of interest policies.
- Employee well-being: Metrics focused on parental benefits, employee accessibility and the percentage of unionized workers.
- Inclusive growth: Policies favoring vulnerable and marginalized groups.
- Sustainable goods and services: Information on investments in social and environmental impacts.
- Responsible consumer engagement: KPIs encompass handling consumer complaints and feedback, product recall procedures and cybersecurity and data privacy policies.
- Stakeholder responsiveness: Describing engagement with vulnerable and marginalized groups.
- Responsible public policy engagement: Listing trade and industry affiliations and detailing issues relating to anticompetitive conduct.
The BRSR report should be published as an integral part of a company’s annual report, allowing for transparent disclosure of non-financial performance alongside the financial parameters.