India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the 21st century, with over 40,000 MNCs having offices in the sub-continent. Coupling with the effort of the government,this growth has been significant, and recent World Bank estimates suggest that the economy is expected to grow at a rate of 8.3% in 2021 and 7.5% in 2022, despite COVID-19 slowing down the economy.
This economic growth is reflected in the ongoing development of infrastructure across the country, in not just metro cities like Bengaluru, Delhi or Mumbai, but also tier-2 cities like Surat, Hyderabad and Nagpur growing at an average of 8.6% per year.
Corporates are playing a crucial role in the nation’s development agenda. There have been examples of philanthropic contributions towards nation building, even before the idea was brought into a legal framework in 2014.
The CSR law was introduced as a statutory obligation under Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 for companies qualifying certain criteria. In the last six years, CSR spend has more than doubled with 30,000+ companies spending a total of INR 92,605 Cr. across the country to support initiatives in education, healthcare, environment, rural development projects and more.
While large industries and businesses, with its high level of emissions, waste generation, water consumption and dependence on fossil fuels, have often been perceived as the primary contributor to GHGs (Greenhouse gases), it is also a shift in their overall business strategy and well-defined CSR portfolios that suggest, that they have spearheaded initiatives to reduce their impact on the environment.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability both focus on an organisation’s efforts to contribute positively to environmental and social impact. They are therefore complementary and since, they are so closely entwined, it can be said that together, they demonstrate a company’s commitment towards its stakeholders.
Read the full piece on some thoughts on CSR spend on environmental-focused initiatives and Environment projects that qualify as CSR spend, here:
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By – Shrutee Ganguly and Divya Sunder
Shrutee leads the ESG & Sustainability practice at Sattva. She is a Principal, leading engagements with corporate and strategic account clients. She has led projects with large corporations on topics related to ESG and Sustainability disclosures. She has also been working with the Corporate clients on their CSR portfolio. She believes in strengthening business systems so that its impact on climate change can be reduced. Prior to Social impact consulting, She has been part of the corporate world with experience in business consulting, strategy and process excellence.
Divya is part of the CSR sales team and supports marketing and communications efforts for International Business. Her educational qualifications include an M.Sc. in Environmental Studies and Resource Management from TERI SAS and a Masters in International Affairs at Penn State University, where she majored in Climate Change and Communications. She has worked previously on market research, content creation and business intelligence.
Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.
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