There’s a shift happening in south Asia as corporations transition from philanthropy to a results-based and longer-term approach to sustainability

Across south Asia, philanthropic giving has a long tradition. The transition from that philanthropic activity to strategic sustainability is happening but at different rates and in different ways across the region.

The past two decades of economic growth have created a core of super-successful companies, mainly Indian, that now have international reach and are highly aware of sustainability reporting and programming. Tata Industries, for example, has created an index to measure and enhance what it sees as its “sustainable human development” work. The index is already in its third edition.

A handful of other corporations are also leading a trend that embraces the western model of reporting. In fact, India has the biggest increase in reporting globally, according to KPMG’s Corporate Responsibility Reporting Survey 2013. Since 2011, the previous year KPMG polled, there’s been a massive leap in large companies reporting – from about 20% of large companies to now nearer 70%.

“If anyone still thinks that Asia is a corporate responsibility dead zone, this survey is clear evidence that they should think again,” says Sharad Somani, head of climate change and sustainability at KPMG in Singapore.

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Beyond reporting, a lot of money is being spent on sustainability projects themselves. Gas and...

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Responsible Business Summit Asia 2015

May 2015, Singapore

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