Keep up with current developments in the dynamic field of corporate law, since it is crucial for legal practitioners as well as businesses. The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles represent one of the biggest paradigm changes in recent years. This revolutionary force has altered not just the way business's function but also the way they are regulated and held responsible.

This is where we start our exploration: "Emerging Trends in Corporate Law: ESG and Sustainability." We explore the fascinating relationship between corporate law and the sustainability revolution in this blog. We shall set out on a quest to comprehend the ramifications, obligations, and legal issues associated with ESG practices.

Companies are at a turning point as the emphasis on social, ethical, and environmental responsibility grows on a worldwide scale. Their decisions as they navigate this changing environment may have far-reaching legal ramifications. Corporate law is changing dramatically to meet these new norms, which range from regulatory compliance and reporting requirements to the growing impact of shareholder activism.

Blog explores the various facets of sustainability and ESG within the context of business law. Whether you are a lawyer looking for insights into the changing legal landscape or a business leader trying to guide your company towards a more sustainable course, our investigation seeks to equip you with the knowledge and comprehension required to prosper in this quickly evolving corporate environment.








Legal implications


A company's ability to protect the environment, manage stakeholder interactions, and uphold internal control over management, leadership, decision-making, and shareholder rights is measured by a set of standards known as ESG. By guaranteeing that a firm adheres to ethical business practises, these standards help investors assess a company before making an investment. Even though creating and maintaining a thorough ESG framework can be expensive for a business at first, there are long-term advantages. Due to non-compliance, ignoring ESG factors may have negative effects for finances, reputation, and legal standing.

Specific remarks made during a company's general meeting must be included, per Section 134(39)(m)) of the Companies Act 2013 (Companies Act). These declarations cover a wide range of topics, including technology, foreign exchange earnings and expenses, and other specific issues.


ESG, or Environmental, Social, and Governance, is the next step in the journey of corporate sustainability. It is a collection of standards used to monitor and assess a corporation. Not only is ESG different from its predecessor programmes in terms of acronyms, but it also represents a paradigm shift away from a shareholder-centric approach and towards one that is unquestionably focused on all stakeholders. These three key shifts can be used to analyse the transition from CSR to ESG:

  • A company's commitment to good impact is shown in its self-regulated practises and policies, such as CSR and other precursor programmes. Although these CSR pledges are routinely disseminated through marketing communications, there is a dearth of comparable and quantitative evidence to support their results. Customers are becoming increasingly suspicious of corporate sustainability activities due to the criticism levelled at certain corporations and their CSR programmes for engaging in "green washing." When it comes to ESG, storytelling is still crucial, but it is backed up with particular measurements that assess a business's overall performance. A new level of significance is added by the ESG measures' degree of specificity and transparency as well as by incorporating larger frameworks like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Companies' CSR initiatives varies greatly from one another, with each containing a range of loosely related activities such as staff volunteerism and philanthropic causes. Because CSR covers such a wide range of subjects and activities, organisational control of these projects is sometimes fragmented. However, ESG problems are inherently intersectional. "E," "S," and "G" are related terms rather than distinct ones. Take climate change, for instance. ESG considers social justice concerns including the unequal effects of climate change on low-income groups in addition to an organization's environmental impact. An integrated management approach, involving the Board of Directors and the entire leadership team, is necessary for this kind of system-based project.
  • The incentive for pursuing business sustainability is the last distinction in the transition to ESG that is important to note. Historically, the rationale employed to secure support from stakeholders for corporate social responsibility endeavours has been the advantage of reducing operational expenses, like reduced energy usage.That story has drastically altered in the present. ESG is a strategic lever that improves performance and creates new growth prospects. In fact, a BlackRock analysis found that even in the midst of a market slump in 2020, 81% of a globally representative selection of purpose-driven companies with stronger ESG profiles outperformed their peers. When implemented properly, a customised ESG strategy is firmly ingrained in the business processes and supported by the company's mission.


  • Establishment of ESG committees

The creation of specialized board-level ESG committees is one of the most important phases in adopting ESG concepts. The foundation of the organization's ESG integration is these committees. These committees, which are made up of people with various specialties, are in charge of developing, carrying out, and supervising ESG plans. They are essential in setting the organization's ESG goals, monitoring its progress, and guaranteeing compliance.

  • ESG Risk Assessment

For firms, identifying and reducing ESG risks is critical. Indian businesses are evaluating the possible effects of several environmental, social, and governance variables on their operations and reputation by carrying out extensive ESG risk assessments. This entails: - Risk Identification: This entails identifying certain ESG risks that are pertinent to the sector and company plan.

Assessing Impact: Calculating how these risks might affect stakeholder interactions, financial performance, and brand reputation.

Creating Mitigation Strategies: Creating and putting into practice plans to control, lessen, or adjust to recognized hazards.

Stakeholder Participation

Stakeholder engagement is essential to ESG compliance. Indian businesses are realising how important it is to actively involve a range of stakeholders in their ESG journey, such as consumers, employees, investors, and local communities. This calls for: - Hearing Feedback: actively seeking input and feedback from stakeholders to learn about their expectations, worries, and viewpoints regarding ESG activities.

Including Stakeholder Feedback: By including stakeholder feedback, ESG strategies and activities are improved and refined, promoting openness and confidence.


To successfully navigate India's ESG regulations, corporations must meet specific compliance requirements. These requirements include:

  1. 1. Mandatory CSR Spending

Companies falling under the prescribed criteria must allocate at least 2% of their average net profits from the preceding three years towards CSR activities. This mandate underscores the commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

  1. 2. ESG Reporting

Companies listed among the top 100 entities by market capitalization must disclose their ESG performance through Business Responsibility Reports (BRRs). These reports must adhere to SEBI's disclosure framework, promoting transparency and accountability.

  1. GRI and Other Frameworks

To ensure consistency and comparability of ESG data, aligning ESG reporting with globally recognized frameworks like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is advisable. Such alignment enhances the credibility of ESG disclosures and facilitates international benchmarking.


Following best practises is crucial for businesses navigating India's changing ESG landscape since environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors have become crucial to corporate success and sustainability in this day and age.

Include ESG in Your Strategy

Companies need to effortlessly integrate ESG considerations into their fundamental business plans in order to start along the path to ESG excellence. This integration involves more than just compliance; it also involves matching the organization's overall mission and vision with the ESG goals.

Start by determining the precise ESG priorities and goals that align with the long-term aims and values of your company. These could include objectives like lowering carbon emissions, encouraging diversity in the workplace, or advancing moral leadership. Make sure that the mission and strategic goals of your company align with these ESG objectives. ESG ought to be seen as an essential component of the company's mission and identity rather than as a stand-alone endeavour.

Frequent Monitoring and Reporting

The path to ESG excellence requires ongoing commitment and accountability in addition to strategy design. Frequent reporting and monitoring systems are essential for maintaining openness, assessing development, and identifying areas that require improvement.

Establish comprehensive procedures for collecting data that is pertinent to your ESG goals. This should include diversity statistics, environmental measures, and governance procedures. Establish quantifiable, unambiguous Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are in line with your ESG goals.

Stakeholder Participation

Effective ESG programmes are built on proactive stakeholder engagement. Businesses that actively include stakeholders promote cooperation and trust, which can increase the efficacy and impact of sustainability initiatives.

Sort and classify your stakeholders, which could include local communities, NGOs, workers, investors, and customers. Acknowledge that every group might have different expectations and worries about your environmental and social projects. Provide two-way channels of communication with interested parties. This includes asking questions, holding feedback sessions, and giving stakeholders a platform to express their opinions and concerns.

Sustainability Training

The success of ESG initiatives hinges on employee engagement and commitment. Providing sustainability training to your workforce can raise awareness and inspire collective commitment to ESG goals.

Conduct ESG awareness sessions to educate employees about the significance of ESG principles and their role in achieving sustainability objectives. Develop targeted training programs that equip employees with the knowledge and skills needed to support ESG initiatives within their respective roles. These programs may encompass areas such as energy efficiency, diversity and inclusion, and ethical governance.


Navigating India's ESG regulations is an essential undertaking for corporations looking to thrive in the modern business landscape. As ESG principles become increasingly integral to corporate strategy and governance, companies that embrace sustainability and comply with regulations will not only contribute to a more sustainable future but also position themselves for long-term success and stakeholder trust. By adopting best practices and staying informed about evolving regulations, Indian corporations can lead the way in responsible and sustainable business practices.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.