ESG plan: India Inc on the hunt for talent to drive its ESG plan | Daily News Byte

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ESG is the new buzzword for Indian Inc as companies seek to upgrade their capabilities to drive environmental, social, and governance (ESG) responsibility.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledging that the country will achieve net zero emissions by 2070, and stricter policies and regulations driving compliance, reporting and disclosure, ESG has become a focal point of boardroom discussions, and organizations across the industry are looking to strengthen. ESG skills across their teams.

Companies including Infosys, Marico, Danfoss, Bisleri, and PwC are putting in place measures such as upskilling employees in ESG through external partnerships and internal learning resources, boosting employee awareness of sustainability, and increasing recruitment for ESG-related roles. Earlier this week, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) and PwC India established a research and innovation platform as a step towards contributing to India’s commitment to the net-zero agenda and the upcoming BRSR (Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report). Market regulator Sebi has said that the 1,000 largest listed companies should report on a mandatory basis from 2022-23.

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Sambitosh Mohapatra, partner and leader of ESG at PwC India said “ESG along with digitalization is at the core of transforming all organizations now.”

Experts say that when ESG is prioritized as part of a business strategy, it helps drive top-line growth, attract investors, build more trust between customers and stakeholders, and attract better talent.

At PwC India, employees are trained through courses and certifications to make them ESG experts. The focus is to make all 20,000 employees aware of ESG with curated content so that each can create solutions in their specific capacity, Mohapatra said.

“We are also hiring across multiple capacities and at all levels from partner to partner across strategy, climate, net zero, decarbonisation, water, supply chain, governance, and social sustainability,” he told ET.

Infosys, too, is focused on upskilling employees.

The technology company has established a dedicated ESG learning portal in Lex, its digital learning ecosystem, which raises awareness of the company’s sustainability practices and encourages participation in ESG topics. All functional leaders in the company also hold a bottom line for delivering sustainable results across their teams and lines of responsibility, which in turn is reported into an organization-wide ESG scorecard.

“We are not only transforming the way we work to create more sustainable results but continue to evaluate the digital solutions we create for our clients, thereby enabling their ESG journey,” said Krish Shankar, Executive Vice President and Group Head, Humanities. Resource Development, at Infosys, told ET.

Bisleri Bottled Water Company is driving efforts to educate employees about sustainability initiatives. The company recently began recruiting employees across the team to volunteer for its sustainability initiative, ‘Bottles for Change’.

Mr. Parag Bengali, Director – HR and Finance of Bisleri International said the initiative aims to bring about behavioral change by inculcating habits among people to adopt best practices for a cleaner environment.

At Danfoss Energy, employees who have completed the basic minimum number of years in the organization can choose relevant courses such as sustainability from business schools, universities, and industrial training centers throughout the country.

At FMCG major Marico, the focus on ESG is shared across the organization’s ecosystem, and ESG aspects are embedded in almost every business decision.

“Key functions responsible for driving our ESG journey include operational excellence, compliance and legislation, procurement and supply chain, product quality and safety, R&D and packaging, corporate governance, and investor relations,” said Amit Bhasin, Chief Legal Officer and Group General Counsel and Secretary, CSR Committee, at Marico. “Therefore, we have created a strong and transparent sustainable management structure, to ensure Goals and objectives achieved through the effective implementation of the action plan ,”.

In August, ET reported that companies like Vedanta Group, Bank of America, and Tata Power are hiring senior leaders to boost ESG efforts.

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