India’s Top Companies for Sustainability and CSR 2019

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.


  • Tata group companies occupy the prime position. Of the top ten companies, two are from the Tata stable (as compared to three in the previous year).
  • Several companies have moved up the list – Infosys, Bharat Petroleum, Toyota Kirloskar Motors being the chief amongst them.
  • Bharat Petroleum is the only public sector company amongst the top ten companies.
  • Unlike the previous year, this year there is one company of foreign origin (Toyota Kirloskar Motors) in the top ten list.
1 Tata Chemicals Ltd.
2 Infosys Ltd.
3 Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
4 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
5 ITC Ltd.
6 Ambuja Cements Ltd.
7 Tata Motors Ltd.
8 Vedanta Ltd.
9 Hindalco Industries Ltd.
10 Toyota Kirloskar Motor India

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 18% of companies reporting in this format this year.

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 26.5 17.2 26.3 70.0
Median Scores 26.0 17.0 27.5 72.0
Highest Score 35.0 23.0 34.0 87.0
Lowest Score 3.0 11.0 6.0 25.0
Average/Highest Score 75.7% 74.8% 77.4% 80.5%
Percentage more than half 92.0% 68.0% 93.0% 94.0%

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

Rank Manufacturing companies Service companies
1 Tata Chemicals Ltd. Infosys Ltd.
2 Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. Wipro Ltd.
3 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Tech Mahindra Ltd.
4 ITC Ltd. YES Bank Ltd.
5 Ambuja Cements Ltd. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.

Manufacturing companies, on an average, score far better than service companies (total score of 72 for manufacturing versus 64 for service companies) overall and across criteria.

Average scores Environment Social Governance Total
Manufacturing 27.4 17.4 26.9 71.6
Services 23.2 16.5 24.2 63.9

Public and private

Rank Public companies Private companies
1 Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. Tata Chemicals Ltd.
2 Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Infosys Ltd.
3 GAIL (India) Ltd. Mahindra & Mahindra
4 Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. ITC Ltd.
5 NMDC Ltd. Ambuja Cements Ltd.

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

Average scores Environment Social Governance Total
Public 21.5 18.6 24.3 64.4
Private 28.0 16.8 27.0 71.8


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

Industry Average score Top performing company
Information Technology 80.5 Infosys Ltd.
Energy 76.1 Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
Utilities 75.0 Tata Power Company Ltd.
Healthcare 73.0 Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.
Materials 72.9 Tata Chemicals Ltd.
Diversified 72.7 ITC Ltd.
Other Industrials 72.0 Cummins India
Consumer Discretionary 71.1 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Telecommunication Services 71.0 Vodafone Idea Ltd.
Consumer Staples 69.6 Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
Financials 67.4 YES Bank Ltd.
Capital Goods 64.2 Larsen & Toubro Ltd.
Other Financials 45.3 Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd.
All 70.0 Tata Chemicals Ltd.