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Sebi puts in place regulatory framework for value chain ESG disclosures for listed entities

Sebi puts in place regulatory framework for value chain ESG disclosures for listed entities


Sebi puts in place regulatory framework for value chain ESG disclosures for listed entities

Markets watchdog Sebi on Wednesday came out with a regulatory framework for listed entities on ESG disclosures on supply chain and assurance. ESG refers to Environment, Social and Governance.

In a bid to address the need for ESG disclosure assurance, Sebi has introduced BRSR Core, a sub-set of the BRSR (Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report), comprising nine Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for several E, S and G factors that need to be assured. Under the framework, large listed companies will have to make disclosures and obtain assurance as per ‘BRSR Core’ for their value chain. Keeping in view the relevance to the Indian market context, few new KPIs have been identified for assurance such as job creation in small towns, openness of business and gross wages paid to women.

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Further, for better global comparability, intensity ratios based on revenue adjusted for purchasing power parity have been included. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has introduced disclosures and assurance for the value chain of listed entities, as per the BRSR Core. In the supply chain, Sebi said that ESG disclosures according to the BRSR Core for the top 250 companies on a comply-or-explain basis will start from 2024-25, with assurance beginning the following year, according to a circular. Disclosures for the value chain will be made by the listed company as per BRSR Core as part of its annual report.

In this regard, the value chain would encompass the top upstream and downstream partners of a listed entity, cumulatively comprising 75 per cent of its purchases or sales by value, respectively. As per Sebi, listed entities will have to report the KPIs in the BRSR Core for their value chain to the extent it is attributable to their business with that value chain partner. Such reporting may be segregated for upstream and downstream partners or can be reported on an aggregate basis. Sebi also said the board of the listed entity will have to ensure that the assurance provider of the BRSR Core has the necessary expertise for undertaking reasonable assurance.

Further, the listed entity would have to ensure that there is no conflict of interest with the assurance provider appointed to assure the BRSR Core. For instance, it needs to be ensured that the assurance provider or any of its associates do not sell its products or provide any non-audit related service, including consulting services, to the listed entity or its group entities.

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