Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Aug 26, 2006
Society & Development
CSR makes it to `annual report'
While some write-ups are a few paragraphs long, others extend up to three pages.
Most CSR initiatives mentioned involve education and community-building, especially in rural areas.
Most reports briefly describe the work done and mention the scale of benefit.
Chennai , Aug. 24
Annual Reports have a new feature these days - a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. Corporates are increasingly including this as part of the Director's report or as a separate section under business performance.
"Including CSR in the annual report helps stakeholders understand the culture of an organisation," says Ms Padmini S, Vice-President, Corporate Communications, Polaris Software Labs.
Ashok Leyland feels annual reports must capture the "Tripple Bottom Line", focussing on and sustaining environment, social and economics results. The company brings out a CSR report besides including a page on CSR work in its annual report.
Detailing the good work
While some write-ups are a few paragraphs long, others extend up to three pages. Most CSR initiatives mentioned involve education and community-building, especially in rural areas. Most reports briefly describe the work done and mention the scale of benefit. The recent annual report of Infosys Technologies gives the money spent on CSR for the past years. There is a separate section on environment, health and safety. The Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) annual report 2005-06 gives a split of the money spent towards different social causes.
Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills (APPM) has gone a step further. "Our annual report for 2005-06 will mention our CSR budget for the coming year," said Mr Shreeyash Bangur, Vice-President (CP & BD), APPM.
Stakeholders too seem to appreciate this practice. "Investors greatly appreciate this. In fact at annual general meetings they specifically ask about our CSR activities," said a spokesperson of ICICI Bank.
Mr Harmeet Bawa, Head - Communications & Sustainability Affairs, ABB (a power and automation technology provider), says due to the positive response from stakeholders CSR reports are now part of corporate presentations, press meets and annual general meetings. "By including CSR, we balance `doing well' with `doing good'," he says.
Companies like Tesco Global and Dow Chemicals plan to bring out India-specific CSR write-ups as part of their annual report starting this fiscal.
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