ONGC mulls new reporting standard to improve credit rating

State owned E&P major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plans to embark on a new reporting standard- with respect to Environment, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG), which is being benchmarked on the international sustainability reporting guidelines. With this, ONGC would become one of the first public sector enterprises to adopt this stringent reporting standard to strengthen transparencies in its existing statutory reporting norms.

The new ESG reporting is going to enhance the Corporation’s credit rating to a large extent, both in the country and abroad. This rigorous reporting format also immensely increases a corporate’s capacity to raise funds from both debt and equity markets worldwide.

In this new reporting format, the three parameters of Environment, Social and Corporate Governance are extensively studied. In the Environment head, factors such as Energy and Emissions, Preservation of the Ecosystem, Water Utilization and Waste Management are covered. Under the Social head, key factors such as Community Engagement, Local Employment, Human Rights and Workforce Inclusivity are emphasized. Under the Corporate Governance head, parameters like Health & Safety, Ethics and Compliance and Customer Protection are covered.

ONGC plans to hire a consultant shortly to revamp its integrated reporting system to strengthen its corporate governance policy and ensure greater transparency in its business.

Mr A K Dwivedi, Director (Exploration) and Director Incharge HSE, ONGC said, “Globally, the ESG Reporting system is emerging as the latest trend in Integrated reporting. The system embraces sustainability factors to help identify companies with superior business model and is said to offer investors long-term performance advantages”.

Mr Shashi Shanker, CMD ONGC, said that the company is continuously striving to improve its statutory reporting system in order to strengthen its policies pertaining to sustainability and corporate governance. “The ESG reporting will be benchmarked with the world’s best practices in terms of sustainability reporting. As an energy company, ONGC relentlessly pursues to promote environmental consciousness and protect the ecosystem”, he added.

“Corporate Governance and Sustainability factor high in ONGC’s business model and with this new reporting standard, ONGC would pave the way for aligning itself with global best practices”, Mr Shanker added

ONGC, as a responsible corporate citizen, is committed towards the goal set by Hon’ble Prime Minister for environmental protection and climate change. ONGC is one of the foremost companies in terms of initiatives for carbon footprint mitigation, with 15 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects registered with the UNFCCC, and 4 more projects in the pipeline.

Mr Shanker said the ONGC is fully committed to this global cause. “We are leaving no stone unturned to live up to the clarion call of Hon’ble PM to ensure coexistence of development and sustainability”, he said.