Infy tops list of firms with strongest ESG scores, followed by M&M, Tech M

Overall, India’s rank is 120 on the world Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) index with Finland topping the tables


Infosys  | ESG | Mahindra & Mahindra

Infosys has topped the list of companies with the strongest ESG scores, according to a study conducted by corporate governance firm Stakeholders Empowerment Services (SES).

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Tech Mahindra, HDFC and Adani Ports & SEZ are the other firms in the top-five, with ESG scores between 80 and 90 (A rating).

SES–in its first such study–has also ranked companies on the basis of individual metrics such as environment, social and governance (see table).

Metals, cement and IT had the highest average scores when it came to environment parameters. Meanwhile, for IT, metals and cement had comparatively higher average scores when it came to social parameters and IT, NBFC and pharma scored better on sectors top the list governance factors.

When it comes to the environment, the key factors determining scores were energy consumption, air emissions, water consumption and waste management. Social scorecard was determined on parameters such as relation with communities, health and safety and data privacy.

Board composition, stakeholder engagement and director’s remuneration were some of the key factors impacting governance scores.

SES has analysed top 100 listed companies on 1,239 parameters and over 2,200 data points.

The voting advisory firm said the challenges of such a study was lack of standardised, consistent and comparable disclosures. With the introduction of Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting by Sebi, the performance and disclosure standards of India Inc is expected to improve going ahead.

Overall, India’s rank is 120 on the world Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) index with Finland topping the tables and US and China ranked 32 and 57, respectively.

“The current level of disclosures may not allow effective ESG analysis, as only 53 of the top 100 companies (FY20) voluntarily made globally comparable disclosures. Further, the current scores also do not enable international benchmarking for the same reasons. Yet, this is a beginning towards achieving excellence and hopefully India Inc will outshine its global peers in times to come,” SES analysts Mukesh Solanki and JN Gupta said in a report.

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