INDIAN GUIDELINES BRR (SEBI)
Business Responsibility Report
Business Responsibility Report is a disclosure of adoption of responsible business practices by a listed company to all its stakeholders. This is important considering the fact that these companies have accessed funds from the public, have an element of public interest involved, and are obligated to make exhaustive disclosures on a regular basis. SEBI, vide amendment dated December 22, 2015, to Regulation 34 (2) (f) of SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, has extended the applicability of Business Responsibility Reports to top five hundred listed companies from 100 listed Companies based on market capitalisation as on March 31, of every year. Other companies are encouraged to use the Business Responsibility Report for making disclosures to their stakeholders. Business Responsibility Report must be submitted as a part of the Annual Report.
Business Responsibility Report has been designed to provide basic information about the company, information related to its performance and processes, and information on principles and core elements of the Business Responsibility Reporting.
Business Responsibility Reporting is applicable to all types of companies including manufacturing, services etc. The principles of Business Responsibility Reporting are generic in nature and are applicable to all the companies.
In case of an MNC which has its subsidiary in India and which produces a single Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”) report, the subsidiary is required to prepare its separate Business Responsibility Report highlighting the responsible business practices it has put in place in India.
In case of an Indian listed company that already publishes a GRI report for its operations, Clause 5 of the SEBI Circular says that “those listed entities which have been submitting sustainability reports to overseas regulatory agencies/stakeholders based on internationally accepted reporting frameworks need not prepare a separate report for the purpose of these guidelines but only furnish the same to their stakeholders along with the details of the framework under which their Business Responsibility Report has been prepared and a mapping of the principles contained in these guidelines to the disclosures made in their sustainability reports.”
Failure to provide Business Responsibility Report will be construed as non-compliance with Clause-55 of Equity Listing Agreement.
The format has been provided to capture information in a comparable manner which is important to be adhered to. Companies are advised to follow the format so that the reports of various companies are comparable to each other.Business Responsibility Report has to be furnished to the Stock Exchange where it is listed in electronic format.
The idea behind corporate social responsibility is that companies have multiple responsibilities to maintain. These responsibilities can be arranged in a pyramid, with basic responsibilities closer to the bottom. As a business meets lower-level responsibilities that obligate it to shareholders and the law, it can move on to the higher level responsibilities that benefit society.
A company’s first responsibility is its economic responsibility- that is to say, a company needs to be primarily concerned with turning a profit. This is for the simple fact that if a company does not make money, it won’t last, employees will lose jobs and the company won’t even be able to think about taking care of its social responsibilities. Before a company thinks about being a good corporate citizen, it first needs to make sure that it can be profitable.
A company’s legal responsibilities are the requirements that are placed on it by the law. Next to ensuring that company is profitable, ensuring that it obeys all laws is the most important responsibility, according to the theory of corporate social responsibility. Legal responsibilities can range from securities regulations to labour law, environmental law and even criminal law.
Economic and legal responsibilities are the two big obligations of a company. After a company has met these basic requirements, a company can concern itself with ethical responsibilities. Ethical responsibilities are responsibilities that a company puts on itself because its owners believe it’s the right thing to do not because they have an obligation to do so. Ethical responsibilities could include being environmentally friendly, paying fair wages or refusing to do business with oppressive countries, for example.
If a company is able to meet all of its other responsibilities, it can begin meeting philanthropic responsibilities. Philanthropic responsibilities are responsibilities that go above and beyond what is simply required or what the company believes is right. They involve making an effort to benefit society for example, by donating services to community organisations, engaging in projects to aid the environment or donating money to charitable causes.