Mahindra, Aditya Birla and Godrej are among the big Indian companies that have set out ambitious sustainability goals as part of their CSR strategies

India’s contradictions extend to corporate social responsibility, which has traditionally been focused on philanthropy. It is the first country in the world to enshrine corporate giving into law, passing legislation in April 2014 requiring businesses with annual revenues of more than 10bn rupees (£105m) to give away 2% of their net profit to a suite of good causes, and report publicly on how the money’s being used.

However, leading Indian corporates such as Mahindra, Aditya Birla, Godrej, and Infosys are going in a different direction, setting out some ambitious sustainability goals in a decisive shift away from philanthropy.

Some see the new Companies Law as potentially counter-productive, diverting attention, and resources, from the task of transforming their own business. “It’s a complete distraction,” says Anirban Ghosh, chief sustainability officer at Mahindra. Tony Henshaw, CSO at the Aditya Birla Group (ABG) agrees. “It would help if we could use the funds to improve our own performance, especially in those areas where paybacks are limited – such as investing in renewables or rainwater harvesting.”

All business leaders agree, however, that their future prosperity depends on taking a more sustainable path. As Henshaw puts it: “For businesses to survive,...

This content is premium content, and only accessible to subscribers. Please log in to view the content - or subscribe here.

For a free two week trial to Ethical Corporation, please click here.

Subscribe to read: Beyond philanthropy to real impact




Already a subscriber? Login using the fields below.

To get access to this content, become an Ethical Corporation subscriber today.

Subscribe and join the likes of:

Subscribe here

If you haven't done so already, you can take out a complimentary, no-obligation 2 week trial to Ethical Corporation's subscription services.

Sign up here

Please note: if you've previously taken advantage of the 2 week trial, you won't be able to sign up again.

Close popup
CSR  India  renewable energy  sustainability 

comments powered by Disqus