India’s Top Companies for Sustainability and CSR 2019


The social parameter looks at several issues. How well are key stakeholders (employees, community, customers and suppliers) integrated within a company’s responsible business framework? Employee-centric initiatives; Customer-centric initiatives; Community-centric initiatives; Supplier-centric Initiatives.

Companies have steadily improved their performance on this count.

Companies performance

One of the key components of Social parameter is the expenditure by companies on CSR. The CSR spend as defined by Companies Act 2013 and SDG goals have significant overlaps as illustrated in the table below:

Mapping SDG to India’s CSR Spend Areas

SDGsArea of spend specified by CSR Rules
GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Eradicating hunger, poverty and malnutrition, promoting preventative health care and sanitation and making available safe drinking water;
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
Promoting education including special education and employment enhancing vocation skills especially among children, women, elderly, and the differently-abled and livelihood enhancement projects.
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
Promoting gender equality, empowering women, setting up homes and hostels for women and orphans; setting up old age homes, day care centres and other such facilities for senior citizens and measures for reducing inequalities faced by socially and economically backward groups;
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, protections of flora and fauna, animal welfare, agroforestry, conversation of natural resources and maintaining quality of soil, air and water;
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesProtection of national heritage, art and culture including restoration of buildings and sites of historical importance and works of art; setting up public libraries; promotion and development of traditional arts and handicrafts;
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityMeasures for the benefit of armed forces veterans, war widows and their dependents
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityTraining to promote rural sports, regionally recognised sports, Paralympics sports
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityContribution to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund or any other fund set up by the Central Government for socio-economic development and relief and welfare of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women;
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureContributions or funds provided by technology incubators located within academic institutions which are approved by the Central Government;
GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Rural development projects

Social Projects

One of the key indicators of societal performance is the spending by companies on their CSR activities. In this section we briefly look at this key indicator.

The top three spenders in percent terms were:

  • Vedanta Ltd.
  • UPL Ltd.
  • Coal India Ltd.

More Indian companies are complying with the Government of India rule to spend 2% or more of average net profit of the previous three years in CSR.      

Average CSR spend (%) 2.2 %
% companies that spent 2% or more 72%

Materials sector spent the most, followed by Diversified and Other Industrials. Telecom spent the least.

Industry Average spend Top spender (% terms)
Materials 3.2% Vedanta Ltd.
Diversified 2.9% Dalmia Bharat Group
Other Industrials 2.3% Cummins India
Energy 2.1% Oil India Ltd.
Utilities 2.1% Tata Power Company Ltd.
Consumer Discretionary 2.1% United Spirits Ltd.
Consumer Staples 2.1% Tata Global Beverages Ltd.
Information Technology 1.8% Tech Mahindra Ltd.
Capital Goods 1.7% Finolex Industries
Healthcare 1.6% Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd.
Other Financials 1.4% HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd.
Financials 1.4% HDFC Bank Ltd.
Telecommunication Services 0.6% Vodafone Idea Ltd.
All 2.2%  

Manufacturing companies spent more than services in general. However, there is a little difference in spending pattern between public and private sector companies.

Manufacturing Services Total
Public 2.3% 1.1% 2.0%
Private 2.4% 1.6% 2.2%
All 2.4% 1.5%

If we look at the breakup of CSR spent amount into the various areas listed in Schedule VII, we note the following:

  • Education and healthcare have consistently received a significantly higher proportion of spending across years.
  • In contrast, other areas such as women empowerment, drinking water, eradicating hunger and poverty, armed force veterans, etc. received an insignificant share of the total amount spent in the year.
CSR Spend across community areas in Schedule VII