The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Infosys promotes sustainability among its suppliers

Infosys is a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, enabling clients, the world over, to navigate their digital transformation journey. Infosys performs an exhaustive evaluation of its suppliers for ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues  Tweet This!, including OH&S (occupational health and safety), training and development, human rights, compliance and anti-corruption, sanctions, financial crimes, litigation, equal opportunity, and resource conservation.

This case study is based on the 2019-20 Sustainability Report by Infosys, prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards, that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Infosys’s corporate governance practices apply across Infosys and extend to its suppliers and partners, making sure there are no non-compliances with laws and regulations. In order to promote sustainability among its suppliers Infosys took action to:

  • identify, assess and mitigate supply chain risks
  • promote compliance

What are the material issues the company has identified?   

In its 2019-20 Sustainability Report Infosys identified a range of material issues, such as economic performance, employee well-being, community engagement, emissions, water and effluents. Among these, promoting sustainability among its suppliers stands out as a key material issue for Infosys.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Infosys engages with:  

To identify and prioritise material topics Infosys engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Clients

 

·      Client visits and meetings

·      Customer satisfaction surveys

·      Annual customer leadership meets

·      Newsletters

·      Brochures

·      Social media

·      Mailers

Employees ·      Pulse survey

·      Voice of Youth forum

·      Employee affinity networks

·      Grievance redressal board

·      Communication blogs

·      Development centres’ engagement initiatives

·      Bulletin boards

·      LITMUS

Investors ·      Analyst meets

·      Analyst briefings

·      Quarterly results

·      Annual General Meeting

·      Sustainability Report

·      Financial reports

·      US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings

·      Press releases

·      Social media

·      Investor relations surveys

Suppliers and alliance partners

 

·      Suppliers meet, Sambandh

·      Sustainability Report

·      Financial reports

·      Social media

Community

 

·      Site visits

·      Interviews with local NGOs and community representatives

·      Meetings with associations/ NGOs

·      Local community meetings

·      Press releases

·      Social media

·      Joint R&D projects

·      Discussions with academic institutions

·      Participation in events involving academia

·      Curriculum enhancement programmes

·      Case studies

·      Global internship programme, InStep

·      Fellowships

·      White papers

Governments and regulatory bodies

 

·      Engaging with government and global forums

·      Policy advocacy

·      Partnerships with industry bodies and associations

·      Interacting with statutory/regulatory bodies such as stock exchanges, tax departments, SEC, SEBI, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and labour authorities

What actions were taken by Infosys to promote sustainability among its suppliers?

In its 2019-20 Sustainability Report Infosys reports that it took the following actions for promoting sustainability among its suppliers:

  • Identifying, assessing and mitigating supply chain risks
  • Infosys has developed a third-party risk assessment framework which seeks to identify, assess, mitigate, control, reduce or eliminate real or potential risk exposure to its supply chain performance. The framework identifies risk across the supplier process, that is, pre-contract and evaluation, contract execution, ongoing and post-exit. As a part of the pre-contract and evaluation stage, Infosys performs exhaustive due diligence of suppliers in the areas of sanctions, corruption, financial crimes, litigations and ESG issues at the time of on-boarding and periodically thereafter, with the help of a third-party tool. This assessment covers compliance, information security, physical security and sustainability based on the type of vendor. Risk-based audits of selected suppliers are also conducted.
  • Promoting compliance
  • Infosys’s Supplier Code of Conduct is administered to all key suppliers, and its agreement with vendors includes a mandate to comply with local laws and regulations. Infosys also expects its suppliers to support and respect internationally proclaimed human rights guidelines and make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses. Infosys’s contracts have appropriate clauses and checks to prevent the employment of child labour or forced labour in any form. Infosys also provides forums, where suppliers can voice their concerns and issues.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 308-1 New suppliers that were screened using environmental criteria

2) Disclosure 414-1 New suppliers that were screened using social criteria

 

Disclosure 308-1 New suppliers that were screened using environmental criteria does not correspond to any SDG.

Disclosure 414-1 New suppliers that were screened using social criteria corresponds to:

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified & IEMA recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified & IEMA recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP

 

References:

This case study is based on published information by Infosys, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original please revert to the following link:

https://www.infosys.com/sustainability/documents/infosys-sustainability-report-2019-20.pdf

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