The guidelines were first released by the ministry of corporate affairs in 2009 and then refined. These guidelines can be applied by all businesses regardless of size, location and sector. In fact, they merely serve as indicators of what the businesses should aim at and in fact if possible, businesses should try and do more than what is specified to in the guidelines. The guidelines target the spirit of the enterprise. The nine principles are mentioned below;
CSR is increasingly becoming an important activity for businesses both locally and globally. Such programs benefit the industry or operation and so all businesses try to adopt them. CSR aims at building up sustainable business practices also taking into account the triple bottom line- people, planet and profit.
Corporations are not merely responsible only to their shareholders but also to the society as a whole. These guidelines are therefore congruent with the nature of business practices and will help in enhancing the image and reputation of the business and also help in employee engagement. CSR is not philanthropy but an investment in social, environmental aspects that can help in engagement of the company into these processes.
The guidelines also come with a set of core elements which elaborate the principle. The guidelines are not exclusive, that is, they should be applied in whole. A business should not adopt only those guidelines which it finds easy to adopt. This will make them socially, environmentally and economically responsible. For a business to be responsible, it should be transparent and accountable. Accounting therefore is an important part of these guidelines. The guidelines suggest that a Business Responsibility Reporting Framework should be put into place; it can in turn not only help to reach out to various stakeholders but also throw up some good guidance models.
Although the most demanding feature of sustainability guidelines is mandatory spending their 2% of profit on CSR has not been approved under the Company Bill but no enterprise today can hide behind the excuse that it cannot implement these guidelines due to paucity of resources. In fact with so much emphasis being made on CSR and sustainability, if the businesses do not incorporate these guidelines, they might tend to lose out on future business opportunities and will cease to remain socially relevant.