Mastering BRSR reporting: A comprehensive 10-step guide

June 21, 2023

Preparing a BRSR report involves a systematic and comprehensive approach to measure, manage, and disclose a company's sustainability performance and commitment to responsible business practices.

Here are the key steps to prepare a BRSR report:

1.Identify Material Topics:

Identify the material topics or issues that are significant to your company and its stakeholders. Materiality assessment involves conducting a thorough analysis to determine the ESG factors that have the most significant impacts on your business and stakeholders. Engage with internal and external stakeholders to gather their perspectives and prioritize the issues to be addressed in the report.

2.Set Goals and Targets:

Establish measurable goals and targets related to the identified material topics. Goals could include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting diversity and inclusion, improving supply chain sustainability, or increasing renewable energy use. Ensure that your goals align with the overall sustainability strategy of your company.

3.Data Collection and Analysis:

Gather relevant data and information related to the material topics and performance indicators identified in the reporting framework. This may involve conducting internal data collection from various departments, engaging with suppliers or partners for supply chain data, and collecting relevant external data. Analyze the data to assess performance against the established goals and targets, identify trends, and evaluate the effectiveness of existing sustainability initiatives.

4.Choosing a Technology Tool for XBRL Reporting:

ESG reporting is a very vast subject with substantial amount of investment of time & resources required without the support of a technology platform. When preparing a BRSR report in accordance with SEBI's mandate, it is crucial to select a suitable technology tool that supports the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format. XBRL is a standardized language for exchanging business and financial information, making it easier to collect, analyze, compare and validate data. The tool should also have the ability to map your BRSR report to international frameworks.

5.Stakeholder Engagement:

Engage with stakeholders throughout the reporting process to gather their input and feedback. This can include customers, employees, investors, NGOs, local communities, and regulators. Seek their perspectives on material topics, performance indicators, and the overall sustainability strategy of the company. Stakeholder engagement ensures that the BRSR report reflects the concerns and expectations of key stakeholders.

6.Report Structure and Content:

Develop a clear and structured report that covers all the required sections and disclosures specified by the BRSR framework. Common sections include a company profile, governance and management approach, material topics and performance indicators, progress towards goals and targets, initiatives and best practices, stakeholder engagement, and future plans. Use relevant case studies, examples, and data visualization techniques to enhance the readability and transparency of the report.

7.Monitor and Improve:

Regularly monitor and review the progress of your sustainability initiatives, goals, and targets. Use the BRSR report as a tool to track performance over time, identify areas for improvement, and refine sustainability strategies. Continuously engage with stakeholders to understand their evolving expectations and incorporate their feedback into future reporting cycles.

8.Verification and External Assurance:

Consider obtaining external verification or assurance of your BRSR report. External assurance provides an independent assessment of the accuracy and reliability of the reported information. It enhances the credibility and trustworthiness of your sustainability performance, giving stakeholders confidence in the transparency of your reporting. Engage with professional assurance providers or sustainability consultants who can review your data, methodologies, and reporting processes.

9.Continuous Learning and Benchmarking:

Stay updated with the latest developments in sustainability reporting practices and evolving stakeholder expectations. Participate in industry forums, conferences, and workshops to learn from peers and share best practices. Benchmark your sustainability performance against industry standards and leading companies in your sector. Identify areas where you can improve and innovate, and set new goals and targets accordingly.

10.Integration into Business Strategy:

Ensure that the findings, insights, and recommendations from the BRSR report are integrated into your overall business strategy and decision-making processes. Use the report as a tool for identifying new business opportunities, managing risks, and improving operational efficiencies. Embed sustainability considerations into your company's governance structure, performance metrics, and reward systems to drive accountability and long-term value creation.

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