By Oxfam India
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The top 100 companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) as per market capitalisation8 on 31 March 2012 were mandated by a circular of SEBI to issue annual Business Responsibility Reports (BRRs) as part of their annual reports. The sample for the study, using the IRBI 2015, was restricted to self-disclosed data of these top 100 companies, consistent with the date referred to in the above-mentioned circular. In IRBI 2016 and IRBI 2017, the list of companies used is top 100 BSE listed companies as on 31st March 2016. In total across the three years 122 companies have been analysed. Click here to read a detailed methodology note.

Data collection tool

Questions related to the five elements of the index (namely: community development, community as business stakeholders, strengthening the supply chain, non-discrimination in the workplace and respecting employee dignity and human rights) from the NVG principles and BRR formats were framed. The questions are based exclusively on the NVG document and the BRR template.

Sources of information

Documents available in the public domain and self-disclosed (largely sourced through websites of respective companies) by December 15, 2017 was used for the purpose of this analysis.

Key steps followed

Step 1: Data Collection: Sample of top 100 companies based on market capitalisation as of 31 March 2016 selected. Given that 31 October 2017 was the deadline for submission of BRR, a team of six people downloaded all the relevant documents from the websites of top 100 (n=99)10 companies. The team also collected data pertaining to 23 companies that are not in the top 100 anymore, analyse change. Data available in the public domain and which is self-disclosed have been used for the purpose of this analysis and includes BRR, annual reports, sustainability reports and policy documents for the fininacial year 2016-17 as available on the company websites as on 30 November, 2017.

Step 2: Communicating with Companies to validate data: The filled in data sheet based on documents downloaded from relevant company websites, was shared with companies for verification by 15 December, 2017 and they were provided 15 days to respond with queries and clarifications. The research team reached out to all the 122 sample companies, out of which 39 acknowledged referring to our data and 3 companies responded with feedback. Information provided by companies was incorporated where responses were received.

Step 3: Cohort Comparison and Score Generation: Pykih’s Data Intelligence system was used to convert the survey responses into scores for each element.

Design principles

To summarise, three principles that govern the IRBI and highlight their genuine implementation are:

  • Only “Policy commitment” is being measured, not performance or compliance
  • Policies and mechanisms are measured only if they get disclosed in the public domain. These are polices that pertain to the wider public and by virtue of the constituencies they are meant for, they should be in the public domain and easily accessible by these communities. Even though companies may have very progressive policies. It is possible that companies have progressive policies for these stakeholders but if they are not easily accessible in the public domain, this index assumes that they are not available.
  • Self-disclosure by the company gets measured. Indexation is not based on any third party data, such as in the form of newspaper reports.