Salman Khirshid, Minister for Corporate Affairs, has reiterated the idea of making Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) quantifiable and urged corporates to debate the possibility of establishing a CSR exchange to deal in CSR credits. Launching the FICCI-Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence here today at Federation House, Shri Khurshid said that through the CSR exchange mechanism, companies would be able to trade in CSR credits, akin to trading in carbon credits. He said that we would be doing justice to the next generation by trading in CSR credits if we are able to find a way of quantifying CSR.
Shri Khurshid’s suggestion would translate into a situation where a company that does not want to do a CSR activity would have to purchase CSR credits from companies that have earned them. This would be quite similar to carbon credits where a polluting entity has to buy carbon credits from companies that have earned them through environment-friendly activities. Minister for Corporate Affairs also urged corporates to ponder over the “conflict of interest” where a company produces consumer products that are deemed harmful to consumption and health. “If there is a business that is inherently destructive and unwholesome, a way has to be found to offset the negativity of that business”, Shri Khurshid said.
The four key goals of the FICCI-Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence are: to provide an enabling environment for business to get engaged in CSR activities; to create a resource pool that will help translate holistic CSR practices into action and lead to sustainable development and sustainable livelihoods; to support the capacity building of enterprises, civil society organisations and other stakeholders through multiple partnerships; and enlisting artisans, craft hubs and technical institutions for honing vocational skills to enable people to stand on their own feet. The Centre would provide strategic and innovative solutions to CSR stakeholders by undertaking baseline studies, needs assessment, stakeholder engagement, programme design, project planning, monitoring and evaluation, CSR policy formulation and CSR reporting.