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Feb 23 2024

BRSR Software Showdown: Key Considerations for Choosing the Right Reporting Platform

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BRSR Software Showdown: Key Considerations for Choosing the Right Reporting Platform

It's been a long time coming, but the era of mandatory ESG reporting has finally arrived in India. As of this fiscal year, the country's 1,000 largest listed entities are required to file Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reports (BRSRs) based on the framework released by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in May 2021.

For many companies, the BRSR marks a significant expansion of their sustainability disclosure efforts. The framework requires reporting on a comprehensive set of ESG metrics, from greenhouse gas emissions and water usage to diversity and human rights indicators. What's more, at least some of this data will need to be externally assured.

Meeting these new requirements is no small feat, particularly for first-time reporters. And with investors, customers, and other stakeholders paying ever-closer attention to ESG performance, the stakes for getting it right are high.

Fortunately, companies don't have to go it alone. A growing number of software providers are offering BRSR-specific reporting solutions to help streamline the process. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right one for your organisation?

Having helped develop one of the first BRSR software platforms, here are the top factors I believe every company should consider:

Comprehensiveness: Does the software cover all the metrics required under the BRSR, or will you need to supplement with manual data collection? The best platforms will have the full framework pre-built out of the box. Flexibility: How easy is it to customise the software to your company's specific needs and existing systems? Avoid solutions that require extensive re-coding or expensive consulting engagements to implement.

Data management: What capabilities does the platform have for collecting, validating, and storing ESG data from across your organisation? Automated data feeds, built-in error checking, and robust security are all essential.

Reporting and visualisation: Can the software generate BRSR-ready reports and disclosures at the push of a button? Bonus points for customisable dashboards and performance analytics.

Assurance readiness: Does the platform have features to facilitate external assurance, such as audit trails and data verification workflows? This can save significant time and cost when engaging with assurance providers.

Ongoing support: What kind of customer support and training does the software provider offer? As BRSR requirements evolve, you'll want a partner that can help you stay ahead of the curve.

Ultimately, the right BRSR reporting software for your company will depend on a range of factors, from your existing IT infrastructure and reporting maturity to your budget and in-house capabilities. But with mandatory disclosures now a reality, it's a decision every large listed entity in India will have to make - and soon.

As the old adage goes, "what gets measured gets managed." By investing in robust reporting systems, companies can not only streamline their compliance efforts, but also unlock powerful insights to inform their sustainability strategies and drive long-term value creation. The BRSR may be a challenge, but it's also an opportunity. Make sure you have the right tools to seize it.

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Newtral AI Platform- Enterprise ESG Platform for Corporates and Supply Chain

We help organizations automate their ESG metric measurements, tracking and reporting across company as well as their supply chain. Our platform solves for all corporate sustainability reporting and carbon accounting needs.

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