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“The ESG-integrated reporting is a norm now. It is emerging as a commercial credible tool in various metrics today, including collaborations,” CMD ONGC and President of the UN Global Compact Network India (UNGCNI) RK Srivastava underscored at the 62nd meeting of the Governing Council of UNGCNI that took place on 18 November 2022 at DUB, New Delhi.

CMD ONGC RK Srivastava addressing the meeting CMD ONGC RK Srivastava addressing the meeting

CMD deliberated extensively during the one-hour session on strengthening responsible business practices and Corporate Responsibility that a part of the forum’s top agenda. He said that the cause for our integrated efforts is substantive for all stakeholders. “The sustainability issue is getting evolved day by day. In view of that, the responsibility of Corporates is becoming vital for sustainability goals under UN Charter principles,” Mr Srivastava added further as he touched upon the topics related to climate change and sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Since the meeting happened in a hybrid mode, besides CMD ONGC Mr Srivastava and Director (HR) IOCL Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, the others who attended the cause virtually included Vice President-Northern Region and CSR ReNew Power Vaishali Sinha, AGM and Head-Corp HSE BHEL and Secretary GCNI Ajeet Kumar Sharma, Joint Secretary and Corporate Affairs Director (South Asia) of BASF India Ltd Sunita Sule, Chief Functionary of India Water Foundation Shweta Tyagi, Director of Goa Institute of Management Ajit Parulekar, Director General-Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) Atul Sobti, Chairman Chief Editor Blitz India Deepak Dwivedi and Executive Director GCNI Ratnesh.

Governing Council meeting in progress Governing Council meeting in progress

The members also focused on the upcoming 17th National Convention of UNGCNI, i.e. scheduled to be held on 15 December 2022 in New Delhi, and pondered at length on how can the forum leverage this to improve India’s ranking in ESG sphere, in collaboration with other Corporates. It was inferred by the participants to devise at mechanism that can track on the possibilities so far. “A collaborative effort to put forth our strength is needed at this hour,” Mr Srivastava stressed.

Reiterating CMD’s idea to work on the deliverables, Director (HR) IOCL Ranjan Mohapatra noted, “We should undertake the current efforts to a level so that India also benefits.” To which CMD ONGC asserted that for instance, resources in some tribal areas can be effectively utilized by the Corporates so that the locals can also be entitled, along with the entities. “We need to empower these people with proper program. Certain groups need to be formed and the credit should be given to those who are working for it. In this way, UNGCNI can get registered as a Foundation (non-profit), especially through its CSR initiatives. In addition, we can also showcase the films and documentaries recorded during the service and present it at global levels. It would also bring together many global NGOs to work for this without simply looking for profit,” he said further.

CMD ONGC RK Srivastava discussing with Director (HR) IOCL Ranjan Mohapatra (left) over streamlining the agendas CMD ONGC RK Srivastava discussing with Director (HR) IOCL Ranjan Mohapatra (left) over streamlining the agendas

Global Compact Network India (GCNI), the Indian Local Network of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), has been acting as a country-level platform in providing a robust platform for Indian businesses, academic institutions and civil society organizations to join hands for strengthening responsible business practices. Its ‘10 Principles in areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-corruption’ provide a common ethical and practical framework for Corporate Responsibility and the 17 SDGs adopted in September 2015, by all 195 member states of the United Nations, including India, in order to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect the planet, which is understood and interpreted by businesses around the world, regardless of size, complexity or location.

The meeting was ably compered by Mr Aseem Kumar.