ESG Performance

Companies undertake many types of responsible business activities. It is difficult to comprehend easily the breadth and scope of their work. Our study uses a measure called the Spread, which is indicative of how broad-based the responsible business activities of a company are and is a combined score of the environmental, societal and governance parameters.


  • Infosys Limited is the top ranked company – the first time a service sector company achieved the top rank.
  • Unlike previous years, no group of companies dominates the top 10 rankings.
  • Environment and Governance are seeing an upward trend.
  • Social performance needs more focus.

1Infosys Ltd.
2Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
3Tata Chemicals Ltd.
4ITC Ltd.
5Vedanta Ltd.
6Wipro Ltd.
7Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
8Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.
9Grasim Industries Ltd.
10Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

Performance improved across years and parameters

Although we have been noting increased disclosures across years, this year’s study highlights an increase in the number of companies that provided integrated reporting. From the previous year the number of companies providing integrated reports has improved significantly with 26% of companies reporting in this format this year. While more companies are moving towards integrated reporting, at the same time, companies are also producing multiple reports. For instance a company may have an integrated report, CSR report, as well as a sustainability report.

Companies perform fairly evenly across environmental and governance parameters. On social front, companies need to perform better. Governance and social got a leg up with the passage of Companies Act 2013, while environment though important for quite some time has benefitted from the push with the signing of the Paris Accord.

Average Scores (a)25.917.726.570.1
Median Scores (b)26182872
Highest Score (c )35253488
Lowest Score (d)3101129
Average Score/Highest Score (a/c)74.1%71.0%77.8%79.7%
Percentage companies that score more than 50% scores92%70%96%95%

Performance has improved across the board

Improvement in performance is not driven by a particular category of company. No matter how we dissect the study sample, we find increased scores. This indicates improvement across the board. We analysed the performance of the companies across the following classifications:

Manufacturing and services

Manufacturing companies, on an average, score far better than service companies (total score of 71.7 for manufacturing versus 63.9 for service companies) overall and across criteria.

RankManufacturing companiesService companies
1Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.Infosys Ltd.
2Tata Chemicals Ltd.Wipro Ltd.
3ITC Ltd.Tech Mahindra Ltd.
4Vedanta Ltd.Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.
5Hindustan Unilever Ltd.Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd.
Average scoresEnvironmentSocialGovernanceTotal

Public and private

Private sector companies perform better than public companies. While they perform better on environmental and governance issues, they lag on social front.

RankPublic companiesPrivate companies
1Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.Infosys Ltd.
2Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
3GAIL (India) Ltd.Tata Chemicals Ltd.
4Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.ITC Ltd.
5NTPC Ltd.Vedanta Ltd.

Private sector companies perform better than public companies. While they perform better on environmental and governance issues, they lag on social front.

Average scoresEnvironmentSocialGovernanceTotal


Information Technology and Diversified are the top performing industries, while Other Financials are laggards.

IndustryAverage ScoreTop performing company
Information Technology82.0Infosys Ltd.
Diversified77.1ITC Ltd.
Other Industrials76.5Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd.
Healthcare73.3Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd.
Energy73.0Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
Consumer Staples72.9Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
Consumer Discretionary72.5Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Utilities71.2Adani Power Ltd.
Materials71.1Tata Chemicals Ltd.
Financials66.7HDFC Bank Ltd.
Capital Goods64.9Larsen & Toubro
Telecommunication Services63.5Bharti Airtel Ltd.
Other Financials46.3Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services
All70.1Infosys Ltd.