November 04, 2015
All Listed Entities
All the Recognized Stock Exchanges
Sub: Format for Business Responsibility Report (BRR)
1. At a time and age when enterprises are increasingly seen as critical components of the social system, they are accountable not merely to their shareholders from a revenue and profitability perspective but also to the larger society which is also its stakeholder. Hence, adoption of responsible business practices in the interest of the social set –up and the environment are as vital as their financial and operational performance. This is all the more relevant for listed entities which, considering the fact that they have accessed funds from the public, have an element of public interest involved, and are obligated to make exhaustive continuous disclosures on a regular basis. Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, in July 2011, came out with the ‘National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business’. These guidelines contain comprehensive principles to be adopted by companies as part of their business practices and a structured business responsibility reporting format requiring certain specified disclosures, demonstrating the steps taken by companies to implement the said principles. SEBI had introduced requirements with respect to BRR vide circular No. CIR/CFD/DIL/8/2012 dated August 13, 2012.
2. Pursuant to notification of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (“Listing Regulations”), the aforesaid circular dated August 13, 2012 was rescinded. As per clause (f) of sub regulation (2) of regulation 34 of Listing Regulations, the annual report shall contain a business responsibility report describing the initiatives taken by the listed entity from an environmental, social and governance perspective, in the format as specified by the Board. Accordingly, listed entities shall be guided by the format as per Annexure I.
3. Certain key principles to assess the fulfillment of listed entities and a description of the core elements under these principles are detailed at Annexure II.
4. Those listed entities which have been submitting sustainability reports to overseas regulatory agencies/stakeholders based on internationally accepted reporting frameworks need not prepare a separate report for the purpose of these guidelines but only furnish the same to their stakeholders along with the details of the framework under which their BR Report has been prepared and a mapping of the principles contained in these guidelines to the disclosures made in their sustainability reports.
5. The Stock Exchanges are advised to bring the provisions of this circular to the notice of Listed Entity and also to disseminate the same on its website. This circular shall come into force with effect from 90 days of notifications of regulations i.e. September 02, 2015.
6. This circular is issued under regulation 34 read with regulation 101(2) of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015.
7. This circular is available on SEBI website at www.sebi.gov.in under the categories “Legal Framework” and “Continuous Disclosure Requirements”.
Harini S Balaji