State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) plans to adopt stringent reporting standard on environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) to help improve its credit rating, top company officials said.
ONGC, India's top oil and gas producer, will be the first public sector company to adopt reporting standards that are at par with international benchmarks, which will bring greater transparency.
Officials said the new ESG reporting would help raise the company's credit rating, which will increase its capacity to raise funds - both debt and equity - from markets worldwide.
Under the new reporting format, the three parameters of environment, social and corporate governance are extensively studied.
Under the environment head, factors such as energy and emissions, preservation of the ecosystem, water utilisation and waste management are covered. Under the social head, key factors such as community engagement, local employment, human rights and workforce inclusiveness are emphasised.
Under the corporate governance head, parameters like health and safety, ethics and compliance and customer protection are covered.
ONGC plans to hire a consultant shortly to revamp its integrated reporting system to strengthen its corporate governance policy and ensure greater transparency in its business, they said.
ONGC Chairman and Managing Director, Shashi Shanker, said the company is continuously striving to improve its statutory reporting system in order to strengthen its policies pertaining to sustainability and corporate governance.
"The ESG reporting will be benchmarked with the world's best practices in terms of sustainability reporting. As an energy company, ONGC relentlessly pursues to promote environmental consciousness and protect the ecosystem," he said.
"Corporate governance and sustainability factor high in ONGC's business model and with this new reporting standard, ONGC would pave the way for aligning itself with global best practices," he added.
A K Dwivedi, Director (Exploration) and Director Incharge HSE at ONGC said, "Globally, the ESG reporting system is emerging as the latest trend in integrated reporting. The system embraces sustainability factors to help identify companies with superior business model and is said to offer investors long-term performance advantages".
Officials said ONGC is committed towards the goal set by the Prime Minister for environmental protection and climate change. It is one of the foremost companies in terms of initiatives for carbon footprint mitigation, with 15 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects registered with the UNFCCC, and 4 more projects in the pipeline.
"We are leaving no stone unturned to live up to the clarion call of the Prime Minister to ensure seamless coexistence of development and sustainability," Shanker said.
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