Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) through its circular on 6 February 2017, advised the top 500 listed companies to voluntarily adopt Integrated Reporting (<IR>), additionally to the existing Business Responsibility Reports (BRR) mandate. <IR> will be applicable from FY2017-18 onwards.
Salient Features of the circular
SEBI is in sync with IIRC’s definition that an integrated report aims to provide a concise communication about how an organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects create value over the short, medium and long term. It is left to the discretion of the company to decide the timeline of short, medium and long term.
SEBI makes reference to the 6 Capitals and 7 Guiding Principles of the <IR> Framework
Companies have three options of doing their <IR> viz. create a separate chapter in their annual report, incorporate it in their Management Discussion and Analysis section and re-structure the annual report following the <IR> Framework
<IR> is voluntary and hence cannot be substituted for Listing Obligations and Disclosures Requirements including BRR or any other voluntary sustainability frameworks such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) already adopted by companies.
Drawing from the <IR> Framework, the circular advises cross referencing in order to avoid repetition and duplication.
Allowing companies to put up the report on their website and not necessarily print it along with the annual report is another noteworthy feature.
SEBI is a valued member of <IR> Lab India and the circular on integrated reporting was drafted by SEBI in consultation with <IR> Lab and its members.CESD’s views on SEBI’s circular can be read here