top of page

Why ESG Software is Essential for Indian Enterprises in FY 2024-25: Streamlining Sustainability Reporting

Why Enterprises In India Need An ESG Software for Sustainability Reporting

The new financial year in India (FY 2024-25) ushers in a wave of mandatory ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reporting requirements for large companies. This shift reflects India's growing commitment to sustainable development and aligns with global trends in responsible business practices. With stricter regulations and heightened investor focus on ESG performance, Indian enterprises need to be well-equipped to navigate this evolving landscape. This is where ESG software emerges as a critical tool for streamlining compliance, enhancing transparency, and unlocking long-term value.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) introduced the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) framework in May 2021, mandating ESG disclosures for the top 1000 listed companies by market capitalization, starting from FY 2022-23. The BRSR framework encompasses a comprehensive set of environmental, social, and governance parameters that companies must report on. These include:

  • Environmental: Energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, water usage, and biodiversity conservation.

  • Social: Labor practices, diversity and inclusion, employee well-being, community engagement, and human rights.

  • Governance: Corporate governance practices, board composition, risk management, anti-corruption measures, and ethical sourcing.

It's important to note that the BRSR framework has a phased approach for assurance requirements.  For the first year of mandatory reporting (FY 2022-23), assurance is only required for the top 100 listed companies by market capitalization.  However, starting in FY 2023-24, assurance will become mandatory for the top 1000 companies.  The specific level of assurance required (limited or reasonable) may also be subject to future SEBI announcements.

The Challenges of Manual ESG Reporting

While the BRSR framework provides a clear roadmap for ESG disclosures, manually collecting, collating, and analyzing data across various departments and functions can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process. This is where the limitations of traditional methods become apparent:

  • Data Disparity: ESG data often resides in disparate systems across departments, such as energy bills (finance), waste management records (facilities), employee engagement surveys (HR), and community outreach programs (CSR). This lack of data centralization leads to inconsistencies and inaccuracies in reporting.

  • Manual Processes: Manual data collection, consolidation, and reporting are prone to errors and require significant human resources.  Extracting data from various sources, compiling it into spreadsheets, and formatting it for reports can be a tedious and error-prone process.  Furthermore, manual processes lack traceability and make it difficult to track changes and updates.

  • Time Constraints: Meeting strict deadlines for ESG reporting, especially for large companies with complex operations, can be challenging with manual processes.  The time-consuming nature of manual data collection and reporting can lead to delays in submitting reports, potentially resulting in non-compliance issues and associated penalties.

  • Limited Insights: Without robust data analysis capabilities, companies struggle to derive actionable insights from their ESG data.  Manual processes make it difficult to identify trends, set baselines and targets, and track progress over time.  Additionally, it becomes challenging to identify correlations between ESG performance and other business metrics.

The Advantages of ESG Software

ESG software offers a comprehensive solution for enterprises to overcome these challenges and effectively manage their ESG reporting requirements. Here's how:

  • Streamlined Data Collection:  ESG software provides a centralized platform for collecting and managing data from various sources, ensuring consistency and accuracy. This can include automatic data feeds from existing enterprise systems, manual data entry for qualitative information, and integration with external databases for industry benchmarks and regulatory requirements.

  • Automated Workflows:  Automated data collection and reporting workflows eliminate manual errors and save valuable time and resources.  Software can automate tasks such as data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL), data validation, and report generation.

  • Enhanced Reporting Efficiency:  Software facilitates seamless report generation aligned with BRSR and other global reporting frameworks like GRI (Global Reporting Initiative).  ESG software can pre-populate reports with relevant data, automatically generate charts and graphs, and ensure compliance with reporting standards.

  • Improved Data Analysis:  ESG software offers powerful data visualization and analytics tools to identify trends, set targets, and track progress over time.  These tools can help companies gain insights into their ESG performance, identify areas for improvement, and measure the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives.

  • Better Stakeholder Engagement:  Companies can leverage software to create clear, concise, and visually appealing ESG reports. This fosters transparency and trust with stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, and regulators.  Software can also facilitate communication with stakeholders through features like online dashboards and interactive reports.

Beyond Compliance: The Strategic Value of ESG Software

While compliance remains a primary driver for implementing ESG software, the benefits extend far beyond meeting regulatory requirements. Here's how ESG software can unlock strategic value for Indian enterprises:

  • Cost Reduction: By streamlining data collection and reporting processes, software can significantly reduce administrative costs associated with ESG compliance.

  • Risk Management: Proactive ESG management helps identify and mitigate potential environmental, social, and governance risks.

  • Brand Reputation: Demonstrating strong ESG performance through transparent reporting enhances brand reputation and attracts sustainability-conscious investors and consumers.

  • Investor Confidence: Robust ESG reporting fosters investor confidence and unlocks access to new pools of capital.

  • Sustainable Growth: ESG software empowers companies to integrate sustainability principles into their core business strategies, leading to long-term, sustainable growth.

Choosing the Right ESG Software for Your Enterprise

With a growing number of ESG software solutions available, selecting the right one for your enterprise is crucial. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Industry-Specific Needs: Ensure the software caters to your specific industry requirements and reporting frameworks.

  • Scalability: Choose software that can scale with your company's growth and evolving ESG reporting needs.

  • Integration Capabilities: The software should seamlessly integrate with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other relevant systems.

  • Data Security: Prioritize robust data security features to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of your ESG data.

  • User-Friendliness: Select software that is user-friendly with intuitive interfaces and training options for employees.


bottom of page