As many as eight Indian companies in Fortune Global 500 list including Reliance Industries and ONGC spend as much as USD 81 million a year on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, a report says.
According to a report published by the Varkey Foundation in partnership with UNESCO, while, the eight Indian companies in the Fortune Global 500 spent USD 81 million a year on CSR activities. In comparison, 132 US companies in the Global Fortune 500 spend over USD 10 billion on CSR.
In UK, 26 companies spend more than USD 2 billion on CSR, eight Australian firms spend USD 980 million and eight Spanish firms spend USD 648 million.
The report, however, said average CSR spend per year of the eight Indian companies in the Fortune Global 500 stood at USD 10 million, which is higher than their counterparts in China USD 5 million and Japan USD 8 million.
The average annual CSR spend was worked out by taking the average of the years 2011 -13.
Globally, Australia has the highest average CSR spend per company at USD 123 million, followed by the UK USD 102 million, the US USD 78 million and Brazil USD 55 million.
On the other hand, China and Japan have amongst the lowest average CSR spend by company.
Meanwhile, the eight Indian companies in the Fortune Global 500 spend USD 15 million a year, or 18 per cent of their total CSR expenditure on education CSR activities.
“The promotion of education and employment-enhancing vocational skills were two key focus areas for Indian companies, especially at primary and secondary levels,” the report said.
As per the report, a vast majority of education related CSR spend went to primary education 39 per cent, followed by secondary education 29 per cent, vocational education 14 per cent and spending on infrastructure 14 per cent.
“Spending on education by companies in India is often institutionalised, long-term, and needs-based. Most of the companies in the list had built and run schools for several years, particularly in urban areas for underprivileged children (and many had done the same for hospitals targeted at the underprivileged),” the report said.
The report also shows that the largest 100 companies in India based on net sales, plus information from the government on Maharatna and Navratna Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), showed an actual corporate spend of USD 57.9 million annually on education-related CSR.
Vikas Pota, CEO, Varkey Foundation, said: “This campaign comes at exactly the right moment, but to be successful it requires the world’s business leaders to take a fresh look at their philanthropic spend.”
From India, the study included 121 companies, including the largest 21 PSUs, which reported extensive CSR programmes. Eight of these were in the Fortune Global 500.