THE TOP 6 COMPANIES WITH THE BEST CSR REPUTATION

By: Moksha Grover

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WHAT IS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR)?

Its been six years of the advent of Companies Act, 2013 that obligated companies to contribute over a specific size and profitability, a portion of their profits or benefits towards the societal development, discourses about corporate social responsibility or CSR, is all over the place. There have been workshops, seminars, meetings, newspaper articles and award distributions ceremonies galore on the matter.  Today, CSR has become an important aspect for all the companies in contributing towards both, society as well as increasing the brand value reputation of the companies. As corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not compulsory, many companies might not prioritize it or engage in it. However, there are many companies ranging from middle class companies to high valued companies who have contributed a lot to CSR and continue to contribute, knowing its importance. The top 6 companies with the best CSR reputation are:

INFOSYS LIMITED

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Infosys Limited is ranked as the top company in India, contributing the most towards CSR. Being an early adopter of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, its contributions towards environment and society have been key factors in the holistic growth of its business.

The company spent nearly Rs. 360 crores towards various CSR schemes in the financial year of 2019-20[1]. It has contributed towards many covid relief works and among its main CSR 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[2]. This company has also established Infosys foundation— a non profit nodal body aimed at contributing towards community and society development and betterment and also fulfilling its CSR commitments. Infosys foundation has worked with many non-government organizations for implementing its projects. Highlights of the 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].

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The above graph shows CSR spend of Infosys Ltd. in the last 5 years[4]

ROLEX WATCH CO. LTD.

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Rolex has been on the top 10 list of the most reputable companies in the world for four consecutive years. Rolex’s success is attributed towards the authenticity and longevity of its charity work. By investing in and committing to long-term social enterprise projects, Rolex has an impressive record of over forty years of philanthropic work[5]. The Rolex Awards for Enterprise which were established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Oyster Chronometer is a great example of CSR activity carried out by the company. All the individuals who demonstrate leadership and entrepreneurialism in the areas of technology, applied sciences, and environment are presented with these awards. Since the inception of the Awards 33,000 people from over 190 countries have applied, and 140 laureates have been selected[6]. These laureates have worked on projects benefitting millions of people in 60 countries across the globe[7]. Several initiatives under the Rolex Perpetual Planet have been taken up for upgrading our environment. These include watching over the Earth’s blue heart, Heroes of the Oceans and Paula Kahumbu: defending rights for elephants.

MAHINDRA AND MAHINDRA LTD.

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Mahindra and Mahindra ltd. is known for its contributions towards climate change and sustainable business practices. The company spent INR 93.50 crores on CSR initiatives during the financial year 2018-19[8]. The biggest CSR project for educating girls in India known as Nanhi Kali was conducted by Mr. Mahindra. This project provides free education to girls, who belong to low-income backgrounds and also empower their families. The group works closely with non-profits like Naandi Foundation, which feeds over 1.3 million government school children every[9]. This project also encourages environment friendly farming practices by working with many small farmers. Mahindra and

Mahindra Ltd. has also won the award for India’s best CSR project in Enviroment and Sustainability category for its green initiative of project Hariyali, which aims at planting 1 million trees to India’s green cover every year. In the financial year of 2019-20, Mahindra & Mahindra planted 1.32 million trees, taking the total tally to 17.93 million trees[10]. Of these, 10.78 million trees have been planted in the Araku Valley, which besides greening the environment, also provides livelihood support to tribal farmers growing coffee in the region[11]. The comapany’s other CSR projects include Mahindra Pride schools: a unique 90-day livelihood training programme for youths from socially and financially disadvantaged communities, Integrated Watershed Management Programme, saving life with safer roads, employee social options and covid-19 releif[12].

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The above graph shows the CSR Spends of Mahindra and Mahindra Limited of last five years.

WALT DISNEY COMPANY

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Considering the Walt Disney company CSR report, it can be said that it is well organized, consistent and is in connection with the global reporting initiative (GRI) too.  The company has contributed a lot towards renewable energy, workforce investment, community engagement, charitable giving and diversity and inclusion. In the financial year of 2019-20, Disney brought online a massive 270-acre, 50+-megawatt solar facility onsite in Orlando, in collaboration with the Reedy Creek Improvement District and Origis Energy USA[13]. The facility generates enough power from the sun to operate two of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World annually[14]. This, along with other initiatives, helped to reduce the net emissions by 47% in FY19 from 2012 levels[15].

Disney has also donated a lot towards workforce investment, supporting long term career goals of its employees through education.

The company is investing $150 million over the first five years to cover 100% of employee tuition, books, and education fees[16].

Disney also gave $338.2 million in cash and in-kind donations to non-profit organizations that bring comfort, inspiration, and opportunity to kids, families, and communities around the world[17].

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COCA- COLA COMPANY

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Coca- Cola aims to create a sustainable and better future. For this, they follow various activities like Focusing on a World Without Waste, Maximising water conservation, reducing carbon footprint etc.

In addition to this, all the countries where coca-cola has its market, they have increased employment and helped to raise the standard of living which has in turn helped to strengthen national economy.

The company has also launched its project known as last mile, which aims to expand the access to HIV and malaria medicines across Africa. The Coca-Cola Foundation recently awarded a $2 million grant to Project Last Mile—$1 million for South Africa and $1 million for additional countries across the continent—as part of the foundation’s $20 million “Stop the Spread” fund[18]. An additional $500,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation has supported COVAX, a program co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines tests and treatments in the world’s poorest countries[19].

The company also aims at making all their packaging 100% recyclable and also reduce its carbon emissions 25% by 2030 from a 2015 base year[20]

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TATA CHEMICALS LTD.

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The CSR model of Tata chemicals limited is very unique. Although the prescribed CSR for 2019-2020 was 21.39 Crores, the company went on to spend 37.81 crores on community development projects[21]. Tata Chemicals spends INR 12 crores on CSR annually, and wildlife conservation accounts for 30% of the budget of the TCSRD[22]. The company has also established Tata Chemicals society for rural development. The company’s CSR agenda also focuses on empowerment, inclusion—especially of women and socially backward communities, volunteering, technology, innovation etc. At Okhai, the company provides sustainable livelihood to 900 rural women artisans by applying their traditional handicraft making skills to create marketable products[23].

Blossom: Promotion and development of native handicrafts •Enhance: Overall enhancing the quality of life , Aspire: Education and vocational skill development, Conserve: Investment in Bio-diversity, natural resource and climate change management leading to increase in environment sustainability, Nurture: Health care, sanitary solutions, and safe drinking water are some of the other projetcs taken up by Tata chemicals ltd[24].

Image credit: Tata Chemicals

[1]  Kasmin Fernandes and Hency Thacker, ‘Top 100 companies in India for CSR in 2020’, The CSR Journal (November 3,2020) < https://thecsrjournal.in/top-indian-companies-for-csr-in-2020/> accessed 18th October,2021

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4]  Hency Thacker, ‘The Ultimate Report on CSR of Infosys Limited’, The CSR Journal (May 18,2021) < https://thecsrjournal.in/infosys-csr-report-india-2020/> accessed 18th October,2021.

[5]  GivingForce Team, ‘Rolex: CSR Business Model Analysis’, GivingForce (July 18, 2018) <https://www.givingforce.com/rolex-csr-business-model-analysis/ > accessed 18th October,2021

[6] Felix Scholz, ‘LIST: 5 times Rolex helped to make the world a better place (for more than just your wrist)’, Time Tide (September 26,2016) < https://timeandtidewatches.com/list-5-ways-rolex-helped-change-the-world/> accessed 18th October,2021.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Kasmin Fernandes and Hency Thacker (n 1)

[9] Ibid.

[10]  Hency Thacker, ‘The Complete CSR Report of Mahindra and Mahindra Limited’, The CSR Journal (January 27, 2021)< https://thecsrjournal.in/mahindra-csr-corporate-social-responsibility-activities-report/ > accessed 18th October,2021.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] ‘Disney Publishes its 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report’, The Walt Disney Company (March 12,2020)< https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/disney-publishes-its-2019-corporate-responsibility-report/ > accessed 18th October,2021.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] ‘Iteration, for Good: How Project Last Mile is Supporting Covid-19 vaccine distribution in Africa and Beyond’, The CocaCola Company (September 20,2021)< https://www.coca-colacompany.com/news/project-last-mile-covid-19-vaccine-distribution > accessed 18th October,2021.

[19] Ibid.

[20] ‘Sustainable Business’, The CocaCola Company <https://www.coca-colacompany.com/sustainable-business > accessed 18th October,2021

[21] Kasmin Fernandes and Hency Thacker (n 1)

[22] Ibid.

[23] Alka Talwar, ‘Championing CSR’, Tata (March,2018) < https://www.tata.com/newsroom/alka-talwar-championingcsrtatagroup#:~:text=Tata%20Chemicals%20works%20closely%20with,technology%20and%20innovation%2C%20and%20volunteering.> accessed 18th October,2021

[24] Amit Khurana, ‘India’s Top 10 Companies for CSR Initiatives in 2018’, Cross Barriers (November 8,2018)< https://crossbarriers.org/indias-top-companies-for-csr-initiatives-in-2018/ > accessed 18th October,2021.

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