SMEs in India are prioritising ESG for business growth
Most SMEs in India believe that ESG practices can increase their competitive edge, boost their reputation, and attract investors, according to a survey by DBS Bank and Bloomberg Media Studios. In this regard, 92% of SMEs in India rated ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) practice as a high priority for their business, compared to 83% across Asia.
The influence of the global value chain, including vendors, suppliers, and customers, as well as government schemes or financial institutions, were identified as key drivers for SMEs in India to adopt ESG practices.
The survey respondents also highlighted some of the challenges they are facing when looking to introduce ESG initiatives. These include the cost of deployment of ESG initiatives coupled with ROI assessments of ESG investments (57%), lack of knowledge about how to measure the success of their ESG projects (87%) and how to implement ESG frameworks and solutions (81%). Failing to ensure compliance and policies (75%) and lack of funding (60%) are also areas of concern.
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To further improve their commitment to sustainability, transparency, and social responsibility, 56% of SMEs in India are also focusing on employee wellbeing and 40 % are highlighting DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). Waste management is also a key concern raised by 77% of SMEs in India, as compared to 62% overall in Asia.