BW BUSINESSWORLD  x  SUSTAIN LABS PARIS 
India's Most Sustainable Companies

BW X SLP

Sustain Labs has partnered with BW Businessworld, a leading business magazine in India to present an annual ranking of India’s most sustainable companies. The special issue publishes case studies on the best practices in sustainability in corporate India, analyses of trends by sector, and insights from the leadership teams of the top-performing companies. For companies seeking an in-depth analysis of their performance, sectoral insights, and recommendations from the global panel of experts at Sustain Labs, the partnership also publishes the customized "Sustainability Assessment Cube Reports".

The Sustain Labs and BW Businessworld partnership is a believer in the strength and promise that corporate India holds. All corporations provide livelihood to employees. By offering products and services to clients, they usually add value to people’s lives. Further, if companies are mindful of and ensure the well-being of their employees, customers, local communities, the environment, and ecosystem then they immensely contribute to the betterment of society and our world. The Sustain Labs and BW Businessworld’s India’s most sustainable companies therefore publishes an annual list of companies ranked as per the companies' sustainability performance. 

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How We Do It

Combining years of research and industrial experience, Sustain Labs Paris has identified six sides to the

SLP sustainability cube:

Resource Efficiency 

Social Entrepreneurship 

Financial Management 

Employee Well-being

Clean Revenue

Inclusive Supply Chain

Scoring -
Key Perfomance Indicators

Diving deeper into these sides, we also drew 31 aspects and their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that would serve us to examine, assess and rank all companies. Each KPI carries 10 points, each with equal weightage.

The 31 Aspects in the SLP sustainability cube check for performances related to waste thrice, fatalities and grave incidents detrimental to employee well-being four times, diversity thrice, ethics and legal compliances twice such that it naturally embeds more weightage to these specific issues within the framework. If there is no information available for a KPI then a penalty score of -25 is attributed to the specific KPI. If the KPI is not applicable to a specific sector then the specific KPI is marked as ‘not applicable’ for all companies within that sector.

 

The Formula

The 31 KPIs
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India's Most Sustainable Companies 2021
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India’s  Most Sustainable
Companies 2020

The top 200 companies were ranked according to their sustainability performance in the previous financial year. Their final scores informed the Ratings for 2019-20 - assessed as per the SLP Sustainability Cube.

Rating A+

Rank                            Company                                                    Sustainability Score

1                                           Wipro                                                                        6.448

2                                           Maruti Suzuki                                                        6.371

3                                           Tata Consultancy Services                                6.103

4                                           Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.                    6.032

5                                           Tech Mahindra                                                      6.000

6                                           Marico                                                                       5.968

7                                           Piramal                                                                      5.935

8                                           Hindustan Unilever                                             5.823

9                                           HCL                                                                            5.810

10                                        Tata Chemicals                                                      5.355

11                                        Godrej Industries                                                  6.000

12                                         ICICI                                                                         5.750

13                                         Tata Power                                                             5.871

14                                         Infosys                                                                       5.517

15                                         Tata Motors                                                           5.452

16                                         GAIL                                                                         5.435

17                                         Ultratech Cement                                                5.387

18                                         Cipla                                                                          6.194

19                                         Eicher                                                                        5.242

20                                         Aditya Birla Fashion Retail                              5.226

 
Insights
Clean Revenue

The practice of generating ‘clean revenue’ from products and services that are not harmful to people and the environment, through waste to wealth practices, as well as the use of shared platforms, is new but catching on in India. 

An example of this is the joint venture CERO established in FY 2020 between Mahindra Accelo (a subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra) and MSTC. The JV recycles vehicles as well as facilitates the clean and efficient disposal of vehicles. 

Maruti Suzuki too has floated a separate company called Maruti Suzuki Toyotsu India Pvt Ltd (MSTI) with the Toyota Tsusho Group to set up a vehicle dismantling and recycling facility in India with an initial capacity of scrapping 24,000 vehicles per annum. 

JLR’s latest project, REALITY, builds on long standing work to find ways to recover aluminium from end-of-life vehicles to build next-gen models. REALITY aims to recover post-consumer aluminum from sources, including end-of-life vehicles, to reform it into a new high-grade aluminium to create new vehicles. With this project, Jaguar Land Rover expects to reduce the CO2 impact of production while reducing the amount of virgin aluminium required to produce vehicles.

Carbon Neutrality

In India a few companies such as Godrej Consumer Products, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, TCS, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra are committed to achieve carbon neutrality. Some such as TCS have already met their targets of halving their specific carbon footprint by 2020. Tata Power’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 led it to announce its decision in 2019 to completely phase out its thermal power business by moving into renewable sources of energy by 2050. 

A handful of companies such as Ultratech Cement, Tata Chemicals, TCS, have established an internal carbon price that financially incentivises business groups within the company to decrease their carbon footprint while using a markets based mechanism to penalise those business groups who do not. 

While achieving ‘zero landfill’ must certainly be the first step towards environmental responsibility, it is as yet aspirational for Indian companies.

The Business Case
For Transformation Towards Sustainability
Gender Parity

Not only maintaining a balanced headcount, corporate India needs to have a stronger intent and greater implementation prowess to offer equal access to leadership, equal wages for equal work, matching roles to aspirations by breaking stereotypes, and have an unbiased approach to maternity and parenthood, for all.

With the exception of self-made women Managing Directors such as Renu Sud Karnad of HDFC Ltd. and women who run their family owned businesses, there are nearly no women CEOs amongst India’s largest 200 companies. 

We found that companies’ apprehension towards women availing their 6 month maternity leave and their belief that mothers will be less efficient contributors to organisations, lead to hiring less women and lower retention of pregnant women and mothers. That said, there were some examples of strong and equitable human resource policies seen across sectors. 

Develop More Public-Private 
Partnerships In A Year
Of Lean CSR Spending

As an exciting live role model for business model transformation, ITC has progressively increased its non-tobacco business towards a majority of non-tobacco products that are socially and environmentally responsible. 

In the last two decades, non-cigarette businesses at ITC have grown over 25-fold and presently constitute over 60% of net segment revenue. In aggregate, the non-cigarette businesses account for over 85% of ITC’s operating capital employed, about 90% of the employee base and over 90% of annual investments.

Research & Development

This was closely followed by the pharmaceuticals industry. The factors taken into account while assessing companies on innovation are new launches, patents filed, process innovations and the percentage of revenues spent on R&D, to name a few. The aerospace and defence industries made it to the top of the leaderboard for innovation, reporting the highest percentage of revenues spent on R&D. This was followed by the pharmaceuticals industry.

20.33% of listed Indian companies have reported losses for FY 2019-20. This pushes down their financial liability of contributing to Corporate Social Responsibility this year. Further, the data we gathered from CMIE showed that 43.8% companies have reported losses in Q1 of FY 2020-21 which corresponds to the period of the meteoric spread of the Coronavirus from 2280 cases on 1 April to 220546 cases on 30 June in India. 

In fact, as what might be a direct economic consequence of the pandemic, our analysis has showed that 19.65% of Indian companies who were profitable in Q4 2019-20 have now reported losses in Q1 2020-21. 

What this means is that companies’ CSR funds would shrink even further — at a time when the contribution of the private sector to society is needed the most. 

In view of this, we need to lean towards structuring more public private partnerships for corporate contributions to social good, rather than relying solely on CSR funds. When such partnerships are done well, they lead to more long term, stable, and inclusive solutions. How do we do so? 

Sector-Wise Performance

Snapshots on the sector-wise performance of the 200 companies assessed in BW Businessworld India’s Most Sustainable Companies rankings. 

Looking Ahead

We feel that 2021 will be an important year for responsible business. As the economy continues to crush under the pandemic, there will be a necessity for more resource efficiency and waste to wealth practices. There will be greater need for working in partnership mode with civil society and government in a lean year of CSR. The pandemic would have also shown us the need to be prepared for natural disasters emerging of our changing climate. And several companies will undoubtedly roll up their sleeves and contribute to society for equitable distributing the vaccine as the government definitely would need help.

We welcome questions and requests for more information on your company’s sustainability performance by writing to sustain@labsparis.com