Argumentative Indian- Sustainability Reporting- Great!!! Sustainble Business ???
Let me share and reflect on results of Global 100- Leaders in Clean Capitalism and GlobeScan 2013 Sustainability leaders.
No corporate entity from India is figuring in Global 100 released at World Economic Forum 2013 at Davos. Out 10 entities from Asia appearing in the list of 100 world leaders in clean capitalism, three are from Singapore, one each from China and Korea and the remaining from Japan.
More recently, in April, A GlobeScan 2013, Sustainabilty Leaders Survey was released. The findings are drawn from opinions elicited from sustainability experts across corporate, government, NGO, academic, research, and service organizations in 73 countries. A total of 1,170 experts were surveyed in February and March 2013.
No respondent named any Indian company as a leader in sustainability and of course Unilever has got the maximum votes, keeping with its leadership position since 2011. When asked to respondents within a region, to mention their regional sustainability leader, ITC emerges number 2 in Asia. Note that ITC began its sustainability reporting very early in 2003 and has undertaken carbon, water and waste steward commitments. The respondents across the regions-not just in Asia- mentioned Tata as an entity from emerging economies, that integrates sustainability into strategy.
Points to Reflect If he assessment of corporate sustainability does not reflect the true ability of the company to generate long term shareholder value- there is less to worry- in my opinion nothing to worry
But if sustainability practice is , in fact, a business transformation exercise that builds sustainable business, then we need to worry more. If we, in India, have not taken first and correct steps in building a sustainable businesses that generate enhanced shareholder value over long term, how our position in the world, as a value generator , is going to improve. Without such enhanced long term value generation through business entities in India, can we address challenge of hunger, deprivation and decease.
Post GRI roadshows in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata in 2000, many businesses in India have taken early steps in disclosing their contributions to social, environmental and economic value. It was hoped at that time that these early steps will lead to building sustainable businesses that generate long term shareholder value. But after more than a decade of sustainability journey, it is disappointing that we seem to be perfecting art of “reporting”.