2 Draft ICSI SAS – 05 on ensuring environmental sustainability, addressing climate change including mitigation and adaptation, forest and wildlife conservation

ICSI SAS – 05 Social Audit Standard on ensuring environmental sustainability, addressing climate change including mitigation and adaptation, forest and wildlife conservation

Applicability and Scope

This Social Audit Standard (‘the Standard’) is applicable to the Social Auditor as defined under sub-Regulation (f) of Regulation 292A of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018 conducting the Social Audit of the Social Enterprise as defined under sub-Regulation (h) of Regulation 292A of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018.. This Standard deals with procedures, responsibilities and duties of the Auditor with respect to the Social Audit being conducted by him/ her of the Social Enterprises engaged in the activities prescribed under sub-regulation 2(a)(v) of Regulation 292E of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018.

Objective

ICSI Social Audit Standard – 05 (ICSI SAS-05) aims to aid the Social Auditors with necessary instructions or guidelines for the effective Social Audit of Social Enterprises engaged in the field of “ensuring environmental sustainability, addressing climate change including mitigation and adaptation, forest and wildlife conservation”. Social Auditor shall follow the minimum criteria as specified in this proposed Social Audit Standard issued by the ICSI.

Effective Date

This Social Audit Standard will be in force with effect from –/–/20–. Social Audit Process and Documentation

Social Auditors shall conduct the Social Audit in accordance with the procedures/ mandates established and notified by the ICSI from time to time. Social Auditor shall perform their functions that provide sufficient and adequate evidence to support Social

Audit. Social Auditor can acquire evidence for the effectiveness of Social Audit through inspection, observation, inquiry, consultation, interview, questionnaire, analytical procedures and/or other research techniques or any other acceptable methods as he/she deems fit. The procedures to be followed are as under:

I. Define Social Audit objectives and planning Social Audit;

II. Intimation to the Management of the Social Enterprise about the Audit Plan;

III. Identification of Stakeholders and consultation;

IV. Visit to/inspection of the area where project/activity was implemented;

V. Collection of data, Analysis and assessment;

VI. Reporting.

I. Define Social Audit objectives and planning Social Audit

The Social Auditor shall define the object and scope of the Social Audit prior to conducting Social Audit. It is always better to have a proper plan prior to Social Audit and it includes nature, timing and extent of the procedures and standards to be followed while conducting Social Audit. The Social Auditor should also analyse the report, recommendations of the previous Social Audit, if any, and review the corrective actions taken by the Social Enterprise with respect to the recommendations suggested in the previous Social Audit Report. This is the first stage of Social Audit process.

II. Intimation to the Management of the Social Enterprise about the Audit Plan

It is expected that the Social Auditor should intimate the audit plan to the Management of the Social Enterprise so that they can have the necessary documents and materials ready and available for the Auditor.

III. Identification of Stakeholders and Consultation

The key stakeholders who can be involved in the Social Audit process include project beneficiaries, forest officials, officials of the local bodies, testing agencies, NGOs working on the related fields, population living in a polluted area taken up for analysis, sustainability trainers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media, etc. The consultation must be done with the stakeholders to extract accurate and needed information.

IV. Visit to / inspection of the area where project / activity was implemented

The Social Auditor must make it a point to visit / inspect the location and this will also give him / her better opportunities both for collection of data and consultation with the stakeholders.

V. Collection of data, analysis and assessment

This activity involves identifying key issues that need to be cross checked in the Social Audit as well as how information and data pertaining to the activity undertaken by the Social Enterprise will be collected. Moreover, in Social Audit process, two types of data are crucial. Primary data collected from stakeholders and community members, followed by Secondary data collected from various other sources. Gathering secondary information is very important in the process of Social Audit. Secondary data are inevitable for making Social Audit reports. Information required for preparing Social Audit reports may not be available in single point but may be in different records in different forms.

Social Auditor shall collect the relevant information through any of the following methods:

  • Documents and records.
  • Sustainability policy of the Social Enterprise
  • Sustainable Forestry Management Policy
  • Water Conservation Management Policy
  • Sample test reports
  • Data on generation of waste, wastewater, collection of waste, treatment of waste, recycling etc.
  • IUCN Red List
  • World Database on Protected Areas
  • Land category classification for GHG inventory reporting as per Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • Questionnaires and surveys.
  • Published data from authorized sources.

Evaluation should be based on certain criteria and suggestive list of such criteria is provided hereinafter. However, the list is inclusive and not exhaustive and the Social Auditor must exercise his own discretion and judgement on case to case basis. Also, the feedback from stakeholders should be considered while preparing the Social Audit Report.

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Particulars
A. Ensuring environmental sustainability, addressing climate change including mitigation and adaptation
1 Awareness programmes conducted for promoting environmental sustainability in all spheres.
2 Measures taken and assistance provided for energy efficient agriculture in target area and to find sustainable alternatives to minimise emissions from slash and burn agriculture methodology.
3 Assistance and guidance for green building initiatives.
4 Initiatives taken for enhancing the use of natural alternatives to plastic and financial assistance given for research and development on this subject.
5 Measures taken and financial assistance provided for modification of existing production processes to emit less waste or emissions.
6 Initiatives taken to facilitate clean energy research and technology including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and clean fossil fuel technology and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology.
7 Initiatives or awareness programmes for responsible consumption of any form of energy, responsible waste management, reuse and recycling of materials.
8 Initiatives taken for improving energy efficiency and increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix.
9 Initiatives taken for conserving and protecting water resources through efficiency, reuse, and rain water management.
10 Promoting efficient means of transport implementations like mass transit, electrification of public transport, bicycle, shared cars, etc.
11 Measures taken and financial assistance provided for research and development on possible catastrophes, temperature behaviour, etc.
12 Assistance given for landscape restoration (natural landscape) and reforestation.
13 Initiatives taken for promotion of ecological industry, agriculture, fishing and livestock farming, food sustainability and responsible consumption.
14 Assistance for developing technologies for meeting climate emergencies and developing innovative solutions to prevent and manage natural catastrophes.
15 Training provided for preventive and precautionary measures like evacuation plans, emergency health issues, etc.
16 Initiatives taken for improving soil, water and air quality.
17 Initiatives taken for minimizing the use of pesticides and other such chemicals in farming.
18 Measures taken to reduce greenhouse gas emission and strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-induced impacts.
19 Initiatives taken towards sustainable use of resources.
20 Initiatives taken towards arresting land degradation, and promoting afforestation and reforestation.
21 Initiatives taken to address marine pollution and collection of litter from beaches.
22 Alignment of sustainability development curriculum with Global Citizenship Education (GCED) of the UN.
23 Implementation of pollution control and environment protection laws and monitoring thereof.
24 Initiatives to create awareness about nature in an attempt to educate people about human-induced environmental degradation.
25 Initiatives towards collection of garbage and litter, treatment of waste and reduction of pollution.
26 Measures taken for collection of urban solid waste and disposal thereof.
27 Measures taken for collection of hazardous wastes, plastic wastes and bio-medical wastes and reuse, recycling and disposal thereof.
28 Initiatives taken for proper segregation and disposal of wastes.
29 Introduction of water conservation management measures for reduction of waste generation.
30 Initiatives taken for creating awareness about climate change and its mitigation, adaptation and impact reduction techniques.
31 Creating awareness about various types of pollution and their impacts on health.
32 Initiatives taken towards reuse, recycling of water, water harvesting, rain gardening etc to mitigate effects of climate change.
33 Building of flood barriers to protect the passage of harmful water during flood.
34 Initiatives taken to protect mountain diversity.
B. Forest and wildlife conservation
1 Initiatives taken for minimizing the commercial use of forest produce, encourage forest developmental activities like social forestry, agro-forestry, etc.
2 Measures taken and assistance given for replanting forests and restoring damaged ecosystems.
3 Initiative taken and financial assistance provided for prevention of exploitation of forestry and forest products.
4 Initiatives for protection of coastal wet lands and surrounding natural habitats.
5 Initiative for development and maintenance of national parks.
6 Measures taken and assistance given for protection of forest from fire, mining and other natural calamities.
7 Financial assistance given for development of new technologies for conservation of forest and wild life.
8 Training programmes conducted for persons engaged in forest conservation activities.
9 Measures taken for conservation of endangered species of wild animals and birds to prevent their extinction altogether.
10 Initiatives taken for restricting hunting and capturing of wildlife and also export and import of wildlife products.
11 Awareness programmes conducted for people living near to forest for the preservation, protection and making organic relationship with the forest.
12 Initiatives for protecting wildlife from pollution and from natural hazards.
13 Initiatives taken for restoration of natural habitat of threatened animals.
14 Initiatives taken towards the restoration of biodiversity of mountains and forests.
15 Initiatives towards restoration of the quality of soil.
16 Initiatives to build culverts over water bodies in forest areas to connect roads.
17 Measures taken to replicate natural habitats of endangered animals in multiple areas to spread the risk associated with loss of habitat.
18 Measures taken to prevent loss of protected forest areas.

VI. Reporting

The Social Audit Report shall include information about the objective set out at the beginning of the Social Audit, methodologies adopted, observations, findings and recommendations if any. The Social Auditor shall also identify the challenges faced in implementation of the projects / activities and suggest areas for improvement based on observation, interview and feedback received from stakeholders. The Social Auditor shall also list out the limitations of the audit process which might include inability to identify all stakeholders, non-availability of proper response from stakeholders, difficulty in understanding the concept of sustainability or impact of climate change, unrestrained use of plastic and production of waste and so on and point out the extent to which such limitations impact the Audit Report. The Report of Social Audit shall be as per the format notified by the ICSI from time to time.

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To Read Related post Social Audit Standard

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Draft Social Audit Standards
1 Draft Social Audit Standard on eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition and inequality (ICSI SAS-01)
2 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting health care including mental healthcare, sanitation and making available safe drinking water (ICSI SAS-02)
3 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting education, employability and livelihoods (ICSI SAS-03)
4 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting gender equality, empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities (ICSI SAS-04)
5 Draft Social Audit Standard on ensuring environmental sustainability, addressing climate change including mitigation and adaptation, forest and wildlife conservation (ICSI SAS-05)
6 Draft Social Audit Standard on protection of national heritage, art and culture (ICSI SAS-06)
7 Draft Social Audit Standard on training to promote rural sports, nationally recognised sports, Paralympic sports and Olympic sports (ICSI SAS-07)
8 Draft Social Audit Standard on supporting incubators of Social Enterprises (ICSI SAS-08)
9 Draft Social Audit Standard on supporting other platforms that strengthen the non-profit ecosystem in fundraising and capacity building (ICSI SAS-09)
10 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting livelihoods for rural and urban poor including enhancing income of small and marginal farmers and workers in the non-farm sector (ICSI SAS-10)
11 Draft Social Audit Standard on slum area development, affordable housing and other interventions to build sustainable and resilient cities (ICSI SAS-11)
12 Draft Social Audit Standard on disaster management, including relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities (ICSI SAS-12)
13 Draft Social Audit Standard on promotion of financial inclusion (ICSI SAS- 13)
14 Draft Social Audit Standard on facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities (ICSI SAS-14)
15 Draft Social Audit Standard on bridging the digital divide in internet and mobile phone access, addressing issues of misinformation and data protection (ICSI SAS-15)
16 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting welfare of migrants and displaced persons (ICSI SAS-16)

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