M&M To Measure Social Impact As Rigorously As Financials, Says Anand Mahindra
Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., gestures as he speaks. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

M&M To Measure Social Impact As Rigorously As Financials, Says Anand Mahindra

Billionaire Anand Mahindra said his auto-to-financial services group is going to measure social impact as rigorously as financial performance, with ESG being the compass that guides it.

“We will compute our social impact, quantify it in financial terms and target its increase,” Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., said while addressing the company’s 75th annual general meeting on Friday.

Mahindra, who transitions into the role of non-executive chairman in November, said many major global financiers now insist on evidence that companies have a strong focus on environmental, social and governance criteria before they disburse funds for growth.

Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd. and M&M have joined 61 other global firms to commit to the core stakeholder capitalism metrics including climate change-mitigating steps, pay parity and diversity. These were released by the International Business Council at the World Economic forum earlier this year.

Mahindra said there is now “irresistible pressure” from consumers on companies to create shared value, and do business in a way that enhances the quality of life of communities and the world. Stock markets are beginning to prize companies that are purpose-driven and social impact is becoming increasingly important to investors, he said.

“All this is evidence that business can no longer live in a bubble isolated from the rest of society.”

Mahindra said the group has already started working towards it, outlining 10 specific commitments. These include:

  • Carbon neutrality and science-based targets along the way.

  • 100% zero waste to landfill-certified sites.

  • Water positive group.

  • 100% renewable energy usage.

  • 100% improvement in energy productivity.

  • Internal carbon pricing in business decisions.

  • Plant five million trees per year under Project Hariyali.

  • Educate 1 million girl children a year under Nanhi Kali.

  • Support 1 million women a year.

  • Gold standard in governance, compliance and disclosures.

Every one of these commitments articulates a bold and measurable goal such as carbon neutrality by 2040 and 100% sites will be zero-waste to landfill certified,” Mahindra said.

While the firm is at a preliminary stage in this process, he said rough calculations suggest that Mahindra Group drove economic activity worth $42 billion in FY21, and created social and environmental impact worth $4 billion.

Also read: What Net-Zero Means And How Indian Firms Plan To Meet Targets

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