Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), the think-tank of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, in collaboration with UNDP and UNICEF, held a series of Pan-India workshops across six cities. The objective of the workshop was to discuss the National Guideline for Responsible Business Conduct, 2018 (NGRBC) and get inputs on the National Action Plan.
The MCA formulated the NGRBC (2018), a set of 9 Principles to align the National Voluntary Guidelines (NVG) (2011) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the ‘Respect’ Pillar of the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP). The NGRBC urges businesses to actualize the principles of business responsibility in letter and spirit to be used by all industries, irrespective of their ownership, size, sector, structure or location.
The workshop in Bangalore and Chennai saw active participation from the representatives of leading Indian and Multinationals operating in India. Dr. Garima Dadhich, Head, National Foundation for CSR at IICA, set the context by discussing the 9 Principles of Responsible Business Conduct and Business Responsibility Reporting Framework (BRRF) which builds on the NGRBC. While NGRBC is currently not mandated, the top companies in India are required to report their non- financial performance based on the Business Responsibility Reporting Framework
Jyotsna Belliappa of BlueSky Sustainable Business LLP was an expert resource for the workshop in Bangalore and Chennai. She facilitated an interactive discussion on the challenges and opportunities of integrating responsible business practices in real-life business situations. The scope of discussion included relevant topics like fiduciary duties of a director, governance, environment, human rights , stakeholder engagement and circular economy.
She said,” We are seeing a trend where business leaders understand that responsible business adds credibility to their business and reduces brand risk. Business that integrate responsibility in their ways of working will attract millennials want to identify with businesses that are committed to social economic and environmental responsibility.”
Jyotsna’s discussion focussed on the fact that the mandated CSR ( 2% contributions) was a subset of the larger responsible business conduct of the Business Organisation.