Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting by Indian corporates has improved by 160 per cent, CareEdge Research said.
The research is an analysis of reports from top 1,000 listed entities over the past three fiscal years. A stark improvement in the ESG disclosures by companies was noted based on their Integrated Reports, Sustainability Reports, and Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reports (BRSR). This further led to an upgrade in the ESG scores of these companies.
The improvement is a result of SEBI pushing for ESG disclosures, which has witnessed a number of companies putting up ESG data increase from a meagre 127 in fiscal 2020 to 330 in fiscal 2022.
SEBI's circular makes it mandatory for target companies to disclose sustainability data for FY23 onwards. In fact, 18 per cent of the target companies voluntarily disclosed the BRSR data in FY22.
The Energy and Utilities sector saw close to 50 per cent companies reporting on ESG parameters. While Service sector entities have traditionally been robust in disclosing ESG data, the rising awareness among financial institutions in adopting ESG practices in their operations has further led to 41 per cent of the companies in the last 3 fiscals reporting ESG data.
Even as the aggregate score for the top 1,000 listed companies still hovers in the "Average" grade category, companies who have been disclosing ESG data have seen their scores improve by almost 15 per cent over the past three fiscal years.
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Companies in the Materials sector have shown noteworthy improvement with the average ESG performance improving by 20 per cent in the last three fiscal years. This highlights how heavy emitting industries such as Steel, Cement, and Mining are gradually adopting green initiatives to align with their long-term ESG goals.
The Utilities & Energy sector, too, has witnessed notable improvement, signalling the transition of the sector towards long term ESG commitments along with a visible shift towards green energy resources, CareEdge Research said.
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