An official circular by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and a linkage document released by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) put integrated reporting (<IR>) and GRI at the forefront of corporate reporting in India.

Since 2015, the top 500 listed entities in India are required to produce a business responsibility report in which they have to report on areas such as environment, governance, stakeholder’s relationships, etc.

SEBI has now published a circular advising the top 500 companies in India to adopt <IR> on a voluntary basis either in their annual reports or in a spate report from the financial year 2017-2018.

 “This official circular from the securities regulator in India to the country's top 500 companies is another breakthrough moment for Integrated Reporting, not just in India but internationally,” IIRC CEO Richard Howitt said. “It sends a very clear message that the current 'Business Responsibility Report' undertaken by these companies is a stepping stone to a fully integrated report, with the clear aim of long-term value creation as advocated in the International <IR> Framework.”

The circular is available online here

A few days after the circular was published a linkage document between GRI standards and the SEBI business responsibility report framework was released by the BSE and GRI.

The linkage document aims to serve as guidance to top 500 companies wishing to use the GRI standards to comply with SEBI’s reporting requirements.  It builds on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between GRI and BSE signed in 2016 to support the top 500 listed companies in establishing sustainability reporting processes and preparing sustainability reports by the end of 2017.

Commenting on the release of the linkage document, GRI director reporting standards Bastian Buck said: “Our aim is that companies will be able to create a sustainability report based on the GRI Standards while complying with the SEBI BRR Framework, without duplicating effort.”

The linkage document is available here