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 urge 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 representative 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 many of the current relevant burning topics like fiduciary duties of a director, Responsible consumption, maximizing positive impact, and minimizing the negative impact of business, stakeholder engagement and circular economy.
The discussion around the mandated CSR ( 2% contributions) was discussed in the context of it being necessary as a subset of the more substantial responsible business conduct of the Business Organisation. The audience poll at the end of the session concluded that responsible business conduct generates credibility, reduces Brand risk and attracts talent.