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Top 20 Indian Companies for CSR in 2019

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COVID-19 has taken up the lion’s share of CSR funding. We were keen to know what the companies adjudged for Best Practices in 2019 have achieved more recently. Tata Chemicals Ltd. was ranked the number one company third year in a row for Sustainability & CSR practice in Responsible Business Ranking 2019, a study conducted by Futurescape. It is number 1 on the list of top 20 Indian companies for CSR in 2019.
The study follows the environment, social and governance (ESG) framework to examine corporate performance. Besides reviewing the spending patterns on CSR, the study also combined performance and spending into the responsibility matrix of the companies.
While the study examines the ESG performance of companies, the research also indicates that companies are gradually incorporating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their responsible business actions.

Top Indian Companies for CSR in 2019

What follows is an analytical examination of sustainability reports, annual reports and business responsibility reports of India Inc. It covers industries as diverse as automobiles, banks, FMCG, infrastructure, information technology, metals and mining, oil, power, steel, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and others. Here are the Top 20 Indian companies for CSR in 2019.

1. Tata Chemicals tops list of Indian companies for CSR

Although the prescribed CSR for 2019-2020 was 21.39 Crores, the company went on to spend 37.81 crores on community development projects. Improving the quality of life and fostering sustainable and integrated development in the communities where it operates is central to Tata Chemicals’ corporate philosophy.
In order to do so, Tata Chemicals established Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) in 1980 as a society and trust. It lays emphasis on the spirit of participatory development by involving the beneficiaries at each stage of the development process which ensures viability and sustainability of the programmes. Since the lockdown began, TCSRD has been actively supporting the government by distributing disinfectants, stitching masks, ensuring food security and providing medical help to the communities it works with.

Said Alka Talwar, Chief of CSR and Sustainability, Tata Chemicals, “Following the Tata Group’s philosophy of putting the community ahead of business, we are extending our full support to the government and the local people. It’s a fight and we are #InItTogether. Tata Chemicals is committed to supporting the society through science-led intervention with a human touch.”

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Tata Chemicals spends INR 12 crores on CSR annually, and wildlife conservation accounts for 30% of the budget of the TCSRD. The spend is distributed over the three places the company has operations — Mithapur in Gujarat, Haldia in West Bengal and Babrala, Uttar Pradesh.

2. Infosys Ltd.

Digital services and consulting conglomerate Infosys Limited spent INR 359.94 crores (near 360 crore rupees) as against its prescribed CSR expenditure of INR 359.56 crores (2% of the net profit of INR 17,978 Cr) towards various schemes of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Of course, COVID relief projects dominated the activities, with education and health-related programmes following after. Among the main initiatives in the financial year 2019-20 were a 100-bed quarantine setup in Bengaluru in partnership with Narayana Health City, and another one which had 182 beds for COVID-19 patients for Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College & Research Institute.
The company implements social development projects primarily through its CSR trust, the Infosys Foundation established in 1996. The Foundation primarily works with non-governmental organizations as the nodal agency for implementing projects.

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The foundation’s programmes extended to most of the states, with an emphasis on expanding reach to create deeper impact. Earlier, highlights of the Infosys Foundation’s interventions in the past include the introduction of Aarohan Social Innovation Awards, restoration of water bodies in Karnataka, enabling the pursuit of access and excellence in sports through the GoSports Foundation, and disaster relief efforts in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

3. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) is a Government of India controlled Maharatna oil and gas company headquartered in Mumbai.
BPCL employees stood strong in the fight against the virus. They made a collective contribution of INR 4.27 Crores from their salaries. As part of its corporate social responsibility for COVID-19 relief, the PSU organised ‘Swachhata Pakhwada 2020’ from July 1 to 15, 2020. This special initiative was in support of the Indian government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. BPCL also tied up with an NGO named Bisnouli Sarvodaya Gramodyog Sewa Sansthan (BSGSS) for a cleanliness and awareness drive in Nuh district of Haryana. The CSR team also went around villages with a medical team and distributed special kits comprising dustbins, face masks and a hand sanitizer to 400 families. The medical team informed them of precautionary measures.
Under the umbrella of “enabling quality education”, the focus of BPCL CSR is on imparting holistic education, preferably through technology apart from catering to adequate infrastructural facilities, access to education and improvement of education systems. BPCL’s CSR philosophy also includes involving the creation and maintenance of toilets, associated sanitation facilities, Waste Management initiatives leading to overall health and hygiene for the communities.

4. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group, declared a series of interventions after the pandemic hit the nation, from manufacturing ventilators to using Mahindra Holidays resorts for COVID-19 patient care. Project teams have assisted the Government and the defence forces to build quarantine facilities. The company has set up a special fund through the Mahindra Foundation to assist small businesses and professionals who have been affected financially. The chairman donated 100% of his salary to the fund, and urged his colleagues to volunteer their contributions.
Mahindra & Mahindra spent INR 93.50 crores on CSR initiatives during the financial year 2018-19, according to the annual report published by the company. The company spent INR 8.36 crore on Project Nanhi Kali which provides educational support to underprivileged girls in India through an afterschool support programme. M&M also supported a pilot project for Project Nanhi Kali 2.0 which will help aspiring girls to complete their graduation as well as achieve proficiency in spoken English and digital literacy.
Through Mahindra Hariyali 0.95 million trees were planted which contributed to improving green cover and protecting bio-diversity in the country. Of these, 0.83 million trees were planted in the Araku valley, which besides greening the environment also provided livelihood support to tribal farmers growing coffee in this region.

5. ITC Ltd.

ITC Limited is an Indian multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal. The Company has spent more than the prescribed CSR budget in the last three financial years. In FY 2018-19, ITC Limited spent INR 306.95 Crores.
CSR of ITC set up a COVID Contingency Fund of INR 215 crores for those affected. Together with local authorities, they distributed cooked meals, food and hygiene products across 25 States and Union Territories.
Responding to the needs arising out of the unprecedented lockdown, ITC has spearheaded a CSR initiative to enable the creation of an eco-system that would lead to significant livelihood generation for farmers and daily wage earners under the ambit of the Government’s MGNREG Scheme. As soon as restrictions on agricultural activities were eased during the pandemic, ITC swung into action. CSR of ITC galvanized its NGO partners to mobilise farmers and wage earners in the catchment areas of its operations to enable them access work opportunities.

https://youtu.be/lrg6xAww31g

ITC is among the top Indian companies for CSR because it believes that in the strategic context of business, enterprises possess, beyond mere financial resources, the transformational capacity to create game-changing development models. In line with this belief, ITC crafts unique models to generate livelihoods and environmental capital. Such corporate citizenship interventions are far more replicable, scalable and sustainable.
Among its implementation partners for CSR are BAIF Development Research Foundation, Pratham Education Foundation, Ramakrishna Mission, Bandhan Konnagar, SEWA Bharat, Foundation for Ecological Security, ITC Sangeet Research Academy (ITC SRA), ITC Rural Development Trust and CII–ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development to implement CSR programmes.

6. Ambuja Cement Ltd.

Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) – the corporate social responsibility arm of Ambuja Cement – has been pivotal in advancing the company’s objective to be a socially responsible corporate citizen.
Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) aims to ‘Energise, Involve and Enable Communities to Realise their Potential’ through its initiatives. These development initiatives address the needs of the people by working with the beneficiaries, NGOs and the government. ACF is functional across 12 states covering 22 locations in India and has succeeded in bringing about change in the lives of 1.5 million people.

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A full-fledged Research and Monitoring Unit, along with numerous external, independent studies show significant change – in income levels, health indicators and overall harmony and happiness. Ambuja Cement Foundation plans to spend Rs 125 crore, including Rs 40 crore in Rajasthan, towards corporate social responsibility in the current fiscal. Pearl Tiwari, Director and CEO, ACF also informed that the annual increase in the CSR budget was around 10-15 per cent!

7. Tata Motors Ltd.

Auto brand Tata Motors Limited went beyond compliance and spent INR 22 crores (standalone) towards various schemes of CSR. The CSR spend amount excludes INR 2.99 crore donated to Tata Community Initiative Trust (TCIT) for repair of infrastructure which was affected during the flood in Kerala (August 2018), company said in its Integrated Annual Report for the FY 2018-19.

https://youtu.be/rVn7_6jgHSs

Health, Education Employability and Environment are major area of works where most of CSR amount has been invested.

8. Vedanta Ltd.

Vedanta Limited on a consolidated basis spent INR 309 crores on social investments and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities. This is 26% more than the previous year’s INR 244 crores. This money is spent across 1,169 villages, benefiting nearly 3.1 million people.
Vedanta has a large and complex CSR portfolio with multiple and diverse projects running across various locations. There are 10 broad thematic areas under which, it undertakes community development projects. The Nandghar Project is among the flagship initiatives, which aims to re-build Anganwadis for ensuring the health and learning of children in rural areas, and also for becoming a platform of women’s empowerment and skilling.

9. Hindalco Industries Ltd.

Hindalco Industries Limited is the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group. With a consolidated turnover of US$18.7 billion, Hindalco is the world’s largest aluminium rolling company and one of Asia’s biggest producers of primary aluminium.
Hindalco Industries went beyond compliance and spent INR 34.14 Cr, which is a higher figure than the prescribed INR 29.97 Cr. The Company supports education, healthcare, sustainable livelihood, infrastructure development and social reformation under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with 12 Lakh beneficiaries in more than 730 villages across 11 states in India. Hindalco has spent the highest amount of INR 10.99 crore on education sector among all its CSR initiatives.

10. Toyota Kirloskar Motor India

As a socially committed corporate, Toyota Kirloskar Motor India has actively contributed towards the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”. The company has constructed more than 650 units of sanitation facilities in 206 government schools across India, of which 125 units are located in Varanasi, 426 units in Ramanagara district in Karnataka and 125 units in Vaishali in Bihar.

https://youtu.be/eyzS1qdQDIc

11. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.

Indian Oil has been actively engaged in a gamut of social welfare activities across the nation, in addition to reaching essential fuels to all corners of the country. Indian Oil CSR spend has been increasing year-on-year, from Rs. 113.79 Crores five years ago to a generous Rs. 490.60 Crores in the financial year 2018-19. Actual amount spent on CSR funding was higher than the prescribed spend for the last four years in a row. Last year, there was 100% budget utilisation; the entire budget of Rs. 490.60 Crores allocated for social responsibility was spent on CSR projects.
The PSU has aligned many of its ESG targets with the Global Goals set by the United Nations in such a way that they meet the welfare objectives of government schemes like Skill India Mission and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. CSR thrust areas include Safe drinking water and protection of water resources, Healthcare and Sanitation, Education and employment-enhancing Vocational Skills, Women Empowerment and Empowerment of PwDs as well as socially/ economically backward groups.
The efforts to rejig outdated modes are being noticed by watchdogs and industry bodies. The company won the Sustainability 4.0 Award 2018 by Frost & Sullivan and TERI as a ‘Leader in the Mega Large Business Process Sector’. Indian Oil shared the PETROTECH-2019 Special Technical Award for ‘Greening of the Oil & Gas Business and Sustainability’ with Engineers India Ltd.

12. Wipro Ltd.

This technology company helmed by philanthropist tycoon Azim Premji has always been dedicated towards CSR activities. Wipro has spent more than the prescribed CSR budget in the last three financial years.
The implementation of the CSR programmes happens through multiple channels – Wipro Foundation, a separate trust set up in April 2017, Wipro Cares, the trust for employee contribution and in some cases, directly through functions and groups within Wipro Ltd e.g. Biodiversity projects for their campuses is executed directly by the Operations group of Wipro Ltd. The implementation approach of Wipro is to primarily work through partners with established track records in the respective domains. The majority of projects are long-term multi-year programmes.
Over the past several years, Wipro has established a strong foundational framework for social and environmental initiatives, both within the organization as well as outside. Wipro’s social and sustainability initiatives center on Education, Ecology, and Community Care. Started in 2011, Wipro earthian, brings together two key concerns: education and sustainability. This national level programme has directly engaged more than 12500 schools and colleges, 6500 educators and 30000 students since inception. Through this programme the company also hosts a national
sustainability quiz program for colleges, a unique internship program and academic partnerships with IIM-Bengaluru, IIM-Ahmedabad, Xavier University – Bhubaneshwar, CEPT-Ahmedabad, IIT-Mumbai and ICT-Mumbai on developing and integrating sustainability curricula.
Wipro’s work in primary health care from 6 projects across four states touches the lives of more than 70,000 people. Apart from providing regular health services, the emphasis is also to build the capacity of the communities in terms of higher awareness and developing a higher degree of self-reliance to handle their own primary health care needs. In terms of disaster management, Wipro has helped rebuild the lives of people affected by Karnataka Floods, Bihar Floods, Odisha Floods, the Japan Tsunami, Hurricane Sandy and Philippines Cyclone.

13. Tata Power Company Ltd.

Tata Power is India’s largest integrated power company. It has always undertaken various initiatives with an aim to improve quality of life and ensure holistic development of its surrounding communities. They deploy development initiatives to incubate, implement and multiply diverse community-based projects and interventions, to help build a better and sustainable society through Tata Power Community Development Trust (TPCDT).
The underlying goal of the interventions is to transform the lives of the community through result oriented participatory approach. The efforts are directed towards inclusive growth, so as to reach out to its nearby communities and help them build a sustainable future. All their community development projects work with the concept of ‘Leadership with Care’ at our heart, which translates as ‘Care for Community’.

14. Reliance Industries Ltd.

Reliance Industries Limited spent INR 904 crores on CSR programmes and projects during the financial year (FY) 2018-19, as per the Annual Report. CSR activities of the Company are carried out under the aegis of Reliance Foundation. The foundation has touched the lives of 26 million people through various platforms.
Reliance’s initiatives in the areas of Rural Transformation, Health, Education, Sports for Development, Disaster Response, Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Urban Renewal are in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and India’s National Developmental Goals. Its social initiatives are based on a three-pronged strategy – Direct engagement with the Community, Forging Partnerships and Collaborations, and Leveraging Technology.

15. UltraTech Cement Ltd.

India’s biggest cement company, UltraTech Cement Ltd spent INR 74.96 crore on CSR initiatives during the financial year 2018-19. It was over and above the prescribed limit of INR 61.18 crore. The company is part of the Aditya Birla Group and a division of Grasim Industries.
Ultratech Cement’s CSR activities were undertaken in education (INR 36.02 crore), healthcare (INR 7.47 crore), environment & livelihood (INR 4.03 crore), rural development projects (INR 18.39 crore), social empowerment (INR 1.73 crore) and cultural heritage, art & culture protection (INR 4.41 crore).
The CSR activities are carried out through The Aditya Birla Center for Community Initiatives and Rural Development. It is engaged in working towards the betterment of 2500 villages across India, out of which 300 villages have been zeroed in on, in the hope of turning them into model villages.

16. Hindustan Zinc Ltd.

Developmental challenges are complex and can never be addressed through lone efforts. At the heart of the approach to CSR at Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) lie efforts to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships, connected by a common core value of ‘Trust’ – where stakeholders like government, civil society, business, academia, and of course local communities can work together.
The core focus of Hindustan Zinc CSR interventions are 184 villages located around our operations – across 66 Gram Panchayats in 12 tehsils spread across Udaipur, Rajsamand, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara and Ajmer districts of Rajasthan. They also work in 5 villages in Pantnagar.
Among the major Indian companies for CSR, HZL respects human dignity and believe in inclusive and equitable growth, striving to improve quality of life, especially in neighbouring communities by partnering with the government and with widely respected and credible NGO partners for implementing Flagship Projects and other interventions.

17. Tata Steel Ltd.

Tata Steel Ltd spent INR 315 crore on its CSR initiatives during FY 2018-19, with an aim to touch more than 2 million lives by 2025 through CSR initiatives. Tata Steel’s CSR strategy looks at establishing replicable change models which impact core development gaps across India and enhance thematic development focus on communities in operating areas. Projects in health, drinking water, sanitation, education, livelihoods and infrastructure meet community needs.
With a keen interest in encouraging quality healthcare in India, the company started Maternal and New Born Survival Initiative (MANSI) which focuses on working with pregnant women, mothers and children on the issue of infant mortality through partnerships with the government, and national and international nonprofits. Healthcare CSR programmes cover the regions of East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Dhanbad, Ramgarh in Jharkhand, Ganjam, Jajpur, Kendujhar, Sundargarh in Odisha, Mumbai in Maharashtra, Kolkata in West Bengal.

18. Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), has spent INR 126. 45 Cr crore as against its prescribed CSR expenditure of INR 124.19 crore (2.4% of Average Net Profit of the Company for last 3 financial years of INR 6209.71 Crore) during FY 2018-19 towards various schemes of CSR and Sustainable Development programmes.
HUL is committed to operate and grow its business in a socially responsible way. Their vision is to grow their business whilst reducing the environmental impact of its operations and increasing the positive social impact. They work according to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) which contributes to activities listed in the Schedule VII of Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013. The USLP has three global goals namely help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and wellbeing, reduce the environmental footprint of its products and enhance the livelihoods of people as they grow their business.
The company has various flagship programmes including Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat, Lifebuoy Help a Hand Reach 5, Water For Public Good (water conservation), Project Shakti (women empowerment), Project Prabhat (sustainable community building), Domex Toilet Academy and Asha Daan in which majority of CSR funds have been invested.
HUL has pledged INR 100 crores to help the administration fight Coronavirus. The company also donated face masks worth INR 13 Crore and 29 ventilators to the Maharashtra government, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Metropolis Labs and Apollo Hospitals. In partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the CSR team distributed sanitation and hygiene products to sanitation workers across 15 cities. Through Project Prabhat, HUL CSR is supporting 1,00,000 migrant labour families by donating food kits and essential hygiene products.

19. GAIL (India) Ltd.

GAIL (India) Ltd was incorporated in August 1984 as a Central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. CSR initiatives at GAIL cover a wide spectrum of welfare and developmental activities spanning across various focus areas and are mostly undertaken in and around our major work centres.

20. Larsen & Toubro Ltd.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is a major technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services conglomerate, with global operations. The company pledged INR 150 Crores to the PM-CARES Fund. The project management conglomerate set aside an outlay of over INR 500 Crores per month to support about 160,000 contract workers by continuing to pay their wages during the lockdown. They are also being given food and basic amenities at labour camps, all the while maintaining safety protocols.
L&T partnered with municipal and police agencies to roll out smart technology solutions in more than 20 major cities across India. The technology interventions helped city administrations in tracking patients, containing spread, monitoring quarantined people, controlling crowding by police personnel, disseminating public services messages and establishing rule of law in the pandemic scenario.
Corporate social responsibility works to build a collaborative ecosystem comprising L&T, the community, our employees, their families, NGOs, government agencies, chambers of commerce and academic institutes to fulfil a larger social commitment.
Larsen & Toubro Limited fosters a culture of caring, trust and continuous learning while meeting the expectations of all stakeholders and society at large. As a responsible Corporate Citizen, the Company contributes to inclusive growth by empowering communities and accelerating development.
It runs a special volunteering program called – L&T-eering, which encourages and empowers employees to contribute towards social issues and development of the community. The employees’ wives and female employees are also involved in the CSR works of Larsen and Toubro and run the Prayas Trust, driving CSR initiatives in their own capacity and reaching out to remote communities.
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