Mahindra, Reliance commit to WEF's Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics

According to Mahindra, businesses across the world are already realising that it’s no longer just about “ticking the box but about being alive.”
Mahindra Group and Reliance Industries are two Indian companies that have joined 61 other global firms to commit to the core Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics released by the International Business Council (IBC) at the ongoing World Economic Forum.

The metrics offer a set of universal, comparable disclosures focused on people, planet, prosperity and governance that companies can report on, regardless of industry or region. They strengthen the ability of companies and investors to benchmark progress on sustainability matters, thereby improving decision-making and enhancing transparency and accountability regarding the shared and sustainable value companies create.

Touching upon the rationale behind becoming a signatory to the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics, at a panel discussion at WEF, Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group said, “As a businessman I look at two factors: how do I grow my business sustainably and how do I meet the need and aspirations of my consumers.” Of the 1.3 billion people that India has, the middle and lower segments of the pyramid are the potential powerhouses of consumption. It is therefore in the interest of companies like Mahindra to offer them economic prospects, he said. There are very strong evidences that the Gen Zs of today who are going to be the consumers of tomorrow will put their money behind these expectations, he said.

In the next one year, Mahindra sees a large number of companies committing themselves to the metrics. According to him, businesses across the world are already realising that it’s no longer just about “ticking the box but about being alive.” Therefore, commitment to a sustainable business will become inevitable.

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, said, “Stakeholder capitalism becomes now really mainstream. Public commitments from companies to report not only on financial matters but also their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) impacts are an important step towards a global economy that works for progress, people and the planet.” 

"This is the beginning of a long journey and we look forward to more global businesses joining us in this effort to strengthen our collective action," said Emily Bayley, Project Lead, ESG

By signing on to these metrics, CEOs commit to reflect the core metrics in their reporting to investors and other stakeholders (e.g. annual report, sustainability report, proxy statements, or other materials), by reporting on the metrics most relevant to their business or briefly explaining why a different approach is more appropriate.

They have also agreed to publicly support this work and encourage their business partners to do so in addition to promoting the further convergence of existing ESG standards, frameworks and principles to support progress towards a globally accepted solution for non-financial reporting on common ESG metrics.
“This (Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics) will be one of the fastest ways to accelerate the systemic change the world needs, putting investors on the right track, helping to change consumer behavior for the better, and helping companies to do the right thing,” said Geraldine Matchett, Co-CEO and Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Managing Board, Royal DSM.

In August 2019, the WEF in collaboration with Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC commenced a project to identify a set of universal metrics and disclosures called Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics. It was deliberately drawn from existing standards, focused on the four themes of principles of governance, planet, people and prosperity.

Subsequently, in September 2020, following a six-month consultation process with over 200 companies, investors and interested parties, the project published a refined set of 21 core and 34 expanded metrics and disclosures in its report Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: Towards Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation.

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