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The Board’s role in sustainability in some Indian companies

In today’s times, where the competition is very tough, commercial organizations in pursuit of success leave sustainability somewhere behind. But this attitude can only help attain temporary profits and can lead to even bigger and complex problems. From the minimization of resource utilization to the reduction and recycling of waste produced, sustainability factor plays an important role in the efficient economic, social and environmental development. There are many companies in the world which are aware of this fact and are implementing the same by bringing sustainability in the Board room, for example, Ford Motor Company. The Board is fully involved in sustainability matters and discusses it often. In India, sustainability has not yet been given a place in the list of top priorities in many companies. The board members do not actively involve in sustainability issues which is necessary for the efficiency and improvement of the system. Following are some Indian companies whose sustainability reports are studied and observations are made based on their involvement structure: 1. ACC LIMITED

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 2. Board’s committee

Q 2. Board’s institutions for sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. Board’s committee

2. AMBUJA CEMENTS LIMITED

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 2. Board’s committee

Q 2. Board’s institutions for sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 1. Board’s committee

3. CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, MUMBAI

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 4. Management

Q 2. Board’s institutions for sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 2. Extending role of other board committee- Corporate Social Responsibility Committee supervises the sustainability management of the company.

4. JUBILANT INDUSTRIES LIMITED Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 4. Management

Q 2. Board’s institutions for sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 3. Committee with individual division

5. PAHARPUR BUSINESS CENTRE & SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY INCUBATOR PARK

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 4. Management

Q 2. Board’s institutions for sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 5. Management committee

6. HAVELLS INDIA LIMITED

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 4. Management

Q 2. Board’s institutions for sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. There’s no committee on sustainability.

7. INFOSYS LIMITED

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 4. Management

Q 2. Board’s institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. There’s no specific committee on Sustainability

8. LARSEN & TOUBRO Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 2. Board’s Committee

Q 2. Board’s institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 1. Board’s Committee

9. RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LIMITED

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 2. Board’s Committee

Q 2. Board’s institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 1. Board’s Committee

10. TATA POWER

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 2. Board’s Committee

Q 2. Boards institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 1. Board’s Committee

11. BHARTI AIRTEL LIMITED

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 2. Board’s Committee

Q 2. Board’s institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 1. Board’s Committee

12. ITC LIMITED

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 2. Board’s Committee

Q 2. Board’s institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 3. Committee with individual division

13. TATA CHEMICALS LIMITED

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 2. Board’s Committee

Q 2. Boards institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 1. Board’s committee

14. VODAFONE INDIA

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 4. Management

Q 2. Board’s institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. There is no specific committee formed for Sustainability.

15. VXL INSTRUMENTS

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 4. Management

Q 2. Boards institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. There is no specific committee for sustainability.

16. WIPRO

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 2. Board’s committee

Q 2. Board’s institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. Board’s committee

17. OIL AND NATURAL GAS CORPORATION LIMITED (ONGC)

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 1. Full board

Q 2. Board’s institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 3. Committee with individual division

18. TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED

Q 1. Who is setting the tone? 1. Full board 2. Board’s committee 3. Committee with individual board 4. Management 5. Nobody A 1. 1. Full board

Q 2. Board’s institutions for Sustainability 1. Board’s committee 2. Extending role of other board committee 3. Committee with individual division 4. Advisory committee 5. Management committee A 2. 3. Committee with individual division

SUMMARY • Out of the selected/analysed sample size of 18 CO’s, it is inferred that the board committees hold the maximum involvement in the setting the tone for sustainability as well as institutions for sustainability. • The involvement of full board is observed to be at a lower level of 11%. • The major involvement is contributed from Board committee and Management. • A huge shift is required from others towards full board.


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• From the below graph,almost 50% of the sample size addressing the sustainability at Board’s committee level, so the remaining 50 % need a shift towards the institutional structure of Board’s committee


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Other points from the study: • In most of the companies, management set the tone for sustainability issues. • There are some companies which do not even have a sustainability committee. • Involvement of full board needs to be raised.

Note: Selective sample size may not be representative as it is chosen randomly.

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