Amid COVID-19, the companies in India suffered heavy losses, subsequently reducing their obligation to spend towards CSR. But during this time, the need for support from the private sector was the highest, in order to contain the pandemic. Even during such difficult times, certain Indian companies took their responsibility towards society seriously and spent more than Rs. 500 crores on CSR initiatives. Let us have a look at these companies.
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been the highest spender over Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India since last couple of years. The company has persistently been spending in community development activities in order to contribute to the sustainable and holistic development of the country.
Amid COVID-19, the companies in India suffered heavy losses, subsequently reducing their obligation to spend towards CSR. But during this time, the need for support from the private sector was the highest, in order to contain the pandemic. Not stepping back from its responsibility, RIL ramped up its CSR spending in the financial year 2020-21, by contributing Rs. 1140 Crores to its development initiatives.
According to the company’s latest annual report, it spent its CSR budget on Covid-19 support, rural transformation, education, health, sports and disaster response. Joining in India’s fight against COVID, Reliance provided healthcare, medical-grade liquid oxygen, meals and masks over the last one year.
The company repurposed Jamnagar plant to provide 1,000 tonnes oxygen per day free of cost to states, meeting the needs of nearly one lakh patients per day.
According to the report, the firm distributed more than 5.5 crore meals to over 27 lakh beneficiaries, supported 2,300+ beds for COVID care and treatment across locations including setting up of India’s first COVID hospital in Mumbai, distributed 81 lakh reusable masks to 50 lakh frontline warriors and essential service providers across 21 states and 2 Union Territories and provided 5.5 lakh litres of free fuel to 14,000+ notified ambulances and vehicles engaged in COVID-19 services across 249 districts in 18 states. A manufacturing facility in Silvassa, Gujarat was ramped up to produce 1,00,000 PPE kits and masks every day to serve frontline workers.
On rural transformation, Reliance created 131 lakh cubic meters of water harvesting capacity trained 10,000-plus elected representatives and village volunteers to strengthen local governance, trained 8,800 unemployed and supported 39 skilling partners across 20 states and 150+ cities.
On healthcare, RIL provided 2.3 lakh health consultations though Mobile Medical Units (MMUs), Static Medical Units (SMUs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs).
The company also supported an array of educational initiatives, spanning primary, secondary and tertiary education. It launched Reliance Foundation Scholarships in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Sciences, imparted 4,100 hours of training to 763 teachers and 116 non-teaching staff of Reliance Foundation Schools on technology platforms and upgraded 75 government schools and 221 master trainers trained in Madhya Pradesh.
Reliance Foundation (RF) – the philanthropic arm of RIL, promoted sports as a medium to encourage learning and build leadership among the children and youth of India. Since its inception, Reliance’s sporting initiatives have reached 2.15 crore youngsters across the country through fitness training, nutrition and coaching. Currently, Reliance is supporting 11 athletes across archery, athletics, badminton and weightlifting to improve India’s prospects at the Olympic Games and other prestigious international sporting events.
Additionally, the company also forwarded aid during natural disasters during cyclones Amphan, Nisarga, Burevi and Nivar.
Tata Group Company – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a global leader in technology and consultancy, has released its latest annual report, where it has demonstrated its commitment to the social welfare of the country. According to the report, the company has invested Rs. 663 crores on various sustainable development programmes, in the financial year 2020-21.
The company’s CSR programs have achieved the following impact:
– 23,800 rural youth employed through Youth Employment Program
– 325,000 villagers supported with digital services by 466 BridgeIT entrepreneurs
– 1.07 million individuals, including over 70,000 prison inmates, made literate through the Adult Literacy Program
TCS’ vision is to empower communities by connecting people to opportunities in the digital economy and its mission is to build inclusive, equitable and sustainable pathways for all including youth, women and marginalized communities.
By prioritizing TCS’ focus on education, skilling, entrepreneurship and employment it seeks to help people and communities bridge the opportunity gap. The Company also supports the health, wellness, water, sanitation and hygiene needs of communities, especially those that are marginalized. TCS also supports conservation and relief efforts to communities at the time of natural and man-made disasters. Its focus on preserving art and heritage as well as supporting action against climate change remains consistent.
By applying its resources towards communities that need it the most, TCS ensures equitable access. The Company’s CSR strategy incorporates an inclusive approach into the design of every program. In India, this is aligned to its support of the Government of India’s Affirmative Action Policy and the Tata Group’s Affirmative Action Program.
To achieve transformational impact, TCS leverages the best of the Company’s capabilities – its intellectual, technology, human and financial capital. The company aims to create innovative solutions to societal challenges applying its contextual knowledge while harnessing the expertise of a diverse network of leaders; execute and scale programs using its technology capabilities; engage its large employee base to volunteer their time, skills and expertise as last-mile connectors and make impact investments in large scale, sustainable, multi-year programs that empower communities.
India’s largest private sector lender HDFC Bank has said that it has spent ₹634.91 crores towards ‘Parivartan’, the umbrella programme for all corporate social responsibility initiatives, in FY21.
The bank has said that, of the ₹634.9 crores, over ₹110 crores was allocated and utilised towards initiatives focused on covid-19 relief. It further added, Parivartan focuses on areas of rural development, promotion of education, skill training and livelihood enhancement, healthcare and hygiene, and financial literacy and inclusion.
HDFC Bank in the statement has pledged to become carbon neutral by FY32. It aims to reduce its emissions, energy and water consumption, incorporate and scale up use of renewable energy in banking operations, focus on offering loans for green products at differential interest rates, and incorporate ESG scores while making a credit decision.
“As India’s largest private bank, we are humbled to have been able to make a difference in the lives of people, in a year that was difficult for many,” said Ashima Bhat, group head (business finance, strategy, administration, infrastructure, ESG and CSR) at HDFC Bank.
Bhat said in a year that saw restrictions of many kinds due to covid-19, the HDFC Bank team, including NGO partners, worked harder to remain committed to these initiatives and project goals.
“I want to take this opportunity to applaud them for their dedication. In the new financial year, we will continue the work with a renewed vigour,” said Bhat.
The bank said its efforts under sustainability and social change are in sync with the SDGs outlined by the UN. The sustainability element in the integrated annual report outlines the work undertaken by the Bank by engaging with the communities to work on reducing poverty, achieving zero hunger, providing clean water and sanitation, quality education, and creating sustainable cities and communities to name a few, it said.