The general understanding on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), till sometime back, was deeply rooted in the concept of philanthropy. However, the emerging concept to CSR is focusing on going beyond charity. Across the globe companies are increasingly recognizing the strategic importance of building business practices that result in sustainable bottom lines, sustainable economies, environments and societies.
The Evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India in the last few years has moved with great speed from the margins to the boardrooms of India Inc. In 2010, Department of Public Enterprises release the DPE Guidelines for the Public Sector Enterprises, then in 2012, SEBI mandate on disclosure in the form of Business Responsibility Reports (BRRs) on NVGs for top 100 listed companies. These were the initial steps towards acknowledging the concept of Business Responsibilities in India.
On 29th August 2013, The Companies Act 2013 replaced the Companies Act of 1956. The New Act has made far-reaching changes affecting company formation, administration and governance, and incorporates an additional section i.e. Section 135 - which lays down certain requirements, expected of companies, pertaining to the execution, fund allotment and reporting on CSR. One of the Act’s most prominent feature is the compulsory corporate social responsibility obligations ("CSR") upon Indian companies and foreign companies listed in India. These obligations mainly come in the form of mandatory amounts companies must contribute to remediating social problems. Ministry of Corporate Affairs notified Section135 and Schedule VII came into effect from 1st April 2014.
FICCI, through its two arms: FICCI Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence (CSRCFE) and FICCI Socio Economic Development Foundation (SEDF), has a long standing practice in designing and implementing CSR Programmes, in partnership with corporate Houses and development organisations, as well as directly with the communities.
Since then, FICCI has played an advisory role to various organisations in developing relevant CSR strategies. And was the first one in the country to establish CSR Awards in 1999.
FICCI Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence is a joint endeavour of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), a rallying point for free enterprise in India since 1927 and the Aditya Birla Group - a prominent business group with a mission to deliver superior value to customers, shareholders, employees and society at large. As a resource centre, the Centre for Excellence provides strategic direction to the development of inclusive and holistic CSR practices; create synergy by providing platform to various stakeholders to share their experiences, learn, exchange ideas and support partnerships that add value to business and recognize and reward business enterprises contributing towards sustainable and inclusive development.
- It works towards advocacy and capacity building for both Corporates and NGOs and awards Companies for exemplary CSR practices through annual FICCI CSR Awards
FICCI Socio-Economic Development Foundation of India (SEDF) was set up in 1995 to provide an institutional base to the social sector activities of corporates in India. Through this initiative, FICCI has been promoting and advocating for Corporate Social Responsibility since early 90s, much before it became a buzz word. FICCI-SEDF has a foundation status and is granted exemption under 80 G.
- The foundation provides end to end CSR project implementation solution and helps its members in project partnerships through CSR Hub.