Investor expectations and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) score improvement are driving large Indian corporates towards circular business practices, a just released theme paper by FICCI and Accenture on 'Approaches for Measuring India's Circular Economy Transition', says.

A survey conducted by Accenture as part of the theme paper found that 60% of the companies surveyed are planning to report under any available circular economy (CE) measurement frameworks in the next one year. Approximately 50% of the companies surveyed are aware of at least three or more standards or assessment frameworks.

"This joint study by FICCI and Accenture Strategy showcases the current maturity of Indian businesses on circular economy measurement, assesses the existing global frameworks and proposes a new sector agnostic circular measurement framework which satisfies global standards while also catering to Indian regulatory and business context. The study also provides sector-specific guidelines and appeals for focus on national level strategic raw materials data aggregation to secure the country's interest," Arun Chawla, director general, Ficci, notes.

The theme paper also indicates that reduction in the risk associated with resource availability, cost reduction and operational efficiency are the other key business drivers behind the private sector's interest in having a CE measurement framework for India.

It noted despite more than 10 off-the-shelf measurement solutions available today, challenges remain with their applicability in the Indian context. The theme paper proposes an overarching industry-agnostic framework, list of indicators and a scoring methodology as the three-pronged public-private joint action to carve out an effective framework for India.

The other major conclusion of the paper is that while India should chart a path where it takes leadership on business-level circular measurement, it should be harmonised with global standards and frameworks.

It proposes the development of sector-level guidelines and action plan to provide an approach to companies which is customised to their sector's context. A call to mobilise early adopters such as leading players across each priority sector and scale-up adoption is another suggestion.

The authors said the theme paper is not to present a definitive point-of-view but rather provide a tool which can be used by policymakers and industry members to have deeper consultations.

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