Indian companies can deal with climate change and inequality, says ACCA, CFO News, ETCFO

Business leaders, like everyone else, knows that the planet is in trouble, and they want to be a part of the solution, not the problem.Indian businesses were appreciated for the strides it has made in making corporate responsibility a central part of commercial strategy in the country, by the global accountancy body Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Business leaders are responding urgently to the twin threats of climate change and inequality in society, said Orla Collins, the deputy president of ACCA at India’s 15th International Conference in Corporate Social Responsibility.

“I don’t mean to say that business leaders never cared about their place in society before. Far from it. But it is true to say that more than ever before, the sense that they have a duty of care to the communities where they trade, work and operate, is now central to the strategic thinking of every successful business,” she added.

Collins believes that more businesses are placing a commitment to corporate social responsibility for two reasons. The first is for moral reasons. “Business leaders, like everyone else, knows that the planet is in trouble, and they want to be a part of the solution, not the problem,” she explained.

Secondly, for financial reasons. Leaders have realised that people are increasingly reluctant to trade with, or work for, businesses that appear careless about their contribution to the community.~

“The best strategy demands growth with a green element because the long-term health and even survival of our planet is the greatest issue of our time, greater even than the threat of a pandemic,” she said.

India Inc has to mandatorily comply with the 2% corporate social responsibility provision that was introduced in the 2013 Companies Act. All companies with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or net profit of Rs 5 crore or more are required to spend 2% of their average profit of the previous three years on CSR activities every year.

While it has been eight years since the rules were implemented, the policy intervention has played a big role in influencing this behaviour, India being the only county where such a rule is mandatory.

“It is not possible for everyone to do everything. But everyone can do something,” she concluded and urges businesses to continue the work to make the change that the world needs.

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