Mandatory sustainability reporting for India
Following a 2020 consultation, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided to introduce new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting requirements. The country’s top 1,000 listed entities (by market capitalisation) will need to submit a Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR), replacing the existing Business Responsibility Report (BRR); this will be voluntary for the 2021-22 financial year and mandatory for 2022-23. The change is intended to bring greater transparency and facilitate identification of ESG-related risks and opportunities.
The SEBI Board notes that “the BRSR lays considerable emphasis on quantifiable metrics, which allows for easy measurement and comparability across companies, sectors and time periods. Further, the disclosures on climate and social [issues] have been significantly enhanced and made more granular.”
While SEBI has developed its own set of rules, it is intended to be interoperable with leading ESG disclosure frameworks for cross-comparison. BRSR will be integrated into the Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ MCA21 portal, meaning that XBRL will be the preferred reporting format. We will be interested to follow India’s experience of implementation, and how these requirements evolve with the development of a global standard.