India's leading lifestyle and fashion conglomerate, Arvind Limited, clinched Asia's Best First Time Sustainability Report award at the recently concluded 2016 Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards (ASRA) in Singapore. Arvind was also declared joint winner in the Asia's Best Materiality Reporting category where it shared the award with Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation.
Commenting on the award, the chairman of Arvind Limited, Sanjay Lalbhai said, "It gives us great pride to win Asia's Best First Time Sustainability Report, 2016 at the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards (ASRA), 2016 and it reiterates our commitment towards sustainability. Sustainable practices have been a key-focus area for Arvind for quite some time now and we continue to ensure that sustainability remains a top priority."
An impressive 68 companies from 14 countries made it to the final round of the 2016 Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards. The finalists were shortlisted by the members of an independent judging panel. The event was hosted by the British High Commissioner in Singapore H.E. Scott Wightman while the Swedish Ambassador in Singapore H.E. HåkanJevrell was present as the Special Guest.
Rajesh Chhabara, managing director at CSRWorks International and the creator of the Awards said,"Sustainability reporting has become a key indicator to assess a company's long term success. Arvind's win at ASRA 2016 reflects the company's leadership in sustainability reporting and a commitment to long term value creation for all stakeholders."
Hosted in Singapore, the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards (ASRA) is the highest recognition for sustainability reporting in the region. To encourage more Asian companies to embrace sustainability reporting, CSRWorks International, a Singapore-based sustainability firm, has created the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards.
The awards are CSRWorks International's non-profit initiative, and are part of its own corporate responsibility programme. A spokesperson from the ASRA Secretariat said,"ASRA winners are decided by an independent judging panel following stringent criteria. The judging process involves multiple rounds of screening and evaluations to identify the very best in each category. Finally, a comprehensive due diligence is carried out to assess finalists' reputation among stakeholders and the findings are considered to determine the winners."
"Sustainability reporting is crucial to attract Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds which invest only in responsibly-run businesses,"said Chhabara. He added that the assets under management by global SRI funds have grown to more than $21 trillion but less than 0.6 per cent of this is invested in Asia.
"A key reason for low SRI investment in the region may be attributed to the fact that very few Asian companies have adopted sustainability reporting," he added. It may be noted that several stock exchanges in the region have legislated sustainability reporting for listed companies recently, mainly to meet investors' expectations for non-financial disclosure.
In this context, ASRA winners are setting the leadership example which hopefully will inspire more companies to embrace sustainability reporting. The event was attended by the finalists of ASRA 2016, and dignitaries from diverse fields including business, non-profit, embassies, trade associations, advocacy organisations and academics. The winners received a specially designed plaque framed with recycled wood.
The winner of the top honours, Asia's Sustainability Report of the Year, received an exclusive golden plaque. All finalists received a merit certificate printed on FSC certified paper sourced from sustainable forests. In addition, the winners and the finalists will be authorised to use the privileged Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards Icons for branding purpose.