How technology empowers enhanced BRSR reporting in India

April 17, 2024

In recent years, the importance of sustainable and responsible business practices has been brought to the forefront of corporate governance. In India, the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) has become a pivotal framework for the top 1000 listed companies to disclose their sustainability initiatives and impacts. However, implementing and maintaining robust BRSR reporting presents numerous challenges, especially for organizations that are unaccustomed to such comprehensive disclosures. This blog explores these challenges and discusses how technology can be leveraged to enhance BRSR reporting effectively.

Challenges in BRSR Reporting

1. Lack of Skilled Resources and Talent Pool Many organizations face a critical shortage of personnel who are trained and skilled in BRSR reporting. This lack includes both knowledge of the framework and the capability to interpret and report sustainability data accurately.

2. Lack of Experience on BRSR Reporting Framework As the BRSR framework is relatively new and continuously evolving, many companies struggle to keep up-to-date with the latest reporting requirements, leading to potential non-compliance or poor-quality reports.

3. Lack of Integrated Data from Diverse Sources Collecting and integrating data from various departments and operations within a company can be cumbersome, often leading to inconsistencies and errors in the reported data.

4. Identifying Material Issues Determining which issues are material to stakeholders and should be reported on poses a significant challenge, especially without a clear methodology or historical data for guidance.

5. Lack of Data from Value-Chain Partners Gathering comprehensive data from suppliers and other partners in the value chain is often difficult, yet this information is critical for complete and accurate sustainability reporting.

6. Lack of Awareness Many stakeholders within organizations, including leadership, may not fully understand the importance or the requirements of BRSR, leading to less prioritized and under-resourced reporting processes.

7. Manual Data Entry is Tedious The process of manually collecting, entering, and verifying sustainability data can be extremely time-consuming and prone to human error.

8. Financial Strain on Smaller Firms Smaller firms may find the costs associated with developing and maintaining a BRSR report (including core assurance) financially burdensome.

The integration of technology can significantly mitigate these challenges by streamlining processes, improving accuracy, and reducing the manual labour involved in BRSR reporting.

A 2022 ESG Global Study with 11,000 participants from 15 countries highlighted that 89% of business leaders believe that companies using technology for sustainability are more likely to succeed and 94% advocate the use of technology in ensuring data accuracy, automating data collection across sectors, planning, and revising sustainability targets based on performance, and automating report generation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Solutions like  SUSTAIN from Celusion enables organizations to report faster, easier, and accurately.

1. Collect data from diverse sources, collaborate data sourcing, authorize collected data, and generate reports in the prescribed format, reducing the manual effort and enhancing accuracy.  

2. Pull sustainability data from enterprise systems through database and API connectors that run at scheduled intervals.

3. Integrate data directly from connected sensors and devices, or software platforms that process data streams from machines.

4. Import past reports in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format and auto fill data from previous years.

5. Push sustainability data through a REST API that stores and aggregates information in a time series data log for reporting.

6. Customized partner portals allow value partners to key-in their ESG data, review details with evidences and save time during assurance engagements and publish their BRSR Core in the prescribed format.

7. Use built-in calculators to arrive at calculated scores from raw data for reporting.

While the challenges of BRSR reporting are significant, the strategic use of technology offers a clear path to not only overcome these obstacles but also to enhance the quality and impact of sustainability reporting in India. By investing in and adopting these technological solutions, companies can ensure compliance, improve transparency, and lead the way in sustainable business practices.

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