CII-ITC Sustainability Awards

Instituted in 2006, the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards recognize and reward excellence in businesses that are seeking ways to be more sustainable and inclusive in their activities. Winners of the Awards are role models that inspire others to follow suit. The awards are a part of the continued efforts of CESD to create awareness on sustainability practices and to create capacities in business..

More than recognition, the Awards measure performance and provide detailed feedback for opportunities to excel.

CII-ITC Sustainability Awards are the only third party assured award in India. Furthermore, to practice what it preaches, CESD has made Sustainability Awards 2017 carbon neutral. Applicants participated in the endeavour.

CII-ITC Sustainability Awards define the science of sustainability performance. Excellence in sustainability is a journey of continuous improvement in processes and results. Uniquely based on EFQM Excellence Framework, these Awards are designed for those who strive effortlessly to make sustainability their business. The Framework is fleshed with around 250 questions covering governance, ecology, and social dimensions of doing business.

In the past 12 years, cumulatively, 801 businesses have applied of which 236 have been recognised. Limited number of applications are accepted to maintain strong competition and high standards of excellence. 

Winners 2017

In 2017, winners  for the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards were announced on 12th December, at a presentation ceremony. CESD applauds each one of them for their outstanding achievements and commitment to shaping a future that is more sustainable and inclusive. Check the winners of CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2017.

Brochure 2018



About The Awards

Over a period of six months applicants undergo a rigorous assessment process that is based on Business Excellence model and tailored for business in India. A team of CII-certified Sustainability Assessors spends nearly 1000 man-hours per application in close consultations with representatives across the organisation.

Findings of assessments, presented in the form of a detailed Feedback Report to every applicant, help the organisations by providing insights that have the potential to improve sustainability performance.

To ensure that applicants are committed to complete this comprehensive process, a non-transferable and non-refundable application fee is charged, regardless of how far applicants go in the process or whether they ultimately qualify for any recognition. This unparalleled commitment has further established the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards as the most credible sustainability award in the country.

"CII-ITC Sustainability Awards are an excellent platform to pour accolades on the efforts of those companies which have recognised the importance of sustainability, and are implementing it at various levels through various strategies"

Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India
Chief Guest, CII-ITC Sustainability Awards, 2012

"We consciously apply for very few Awards and CII-ITC Sustainability Awards is one of them given its credibility and rigorous process. It has helped various departments and the company as a whole to come together."

Harish Badami, CEO & MD, ACC Ltd.

"We participate in the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards as there is a lot of learning in it. We learn a lot from the assessors, from the feedback we get, we get an opportunity to learn and understand what other companies do and in our quest for continuously raising the bar and in doing better than in the past."

T V Narendran, MD, Tata Steel Ltd.

"It is a great pride for our company to achieve the CII-ITC Sustainability Award. It is not only the company which has got a recognition, but many of our units have applied and received the recognition. In the process of winning, there is lot of learning. The entire process is very rigourous and well-structured and it enables us to benchmark against the best."

Ajay Kapur, MD & CEO, Ambuja Cements Ltd.

"This recognition means reassurance of our business practices, it means whatever we are doing gets a reconfirmation from the society. The process is very detaled and it also tells us where we are lacking, where are the areas of improvements, and how we can do better for the future years."

Sushil Mantri, Naveen Soni, VP, External Affairs & CSR, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd. 

Companies should apply because:

  • They want to be recognised as Excellent in Sustainable Business, by the most credible Sustainability Awards in the country, that help...
  • Identify strengths and opportunities to excel, based on a comprehensive and rigorous assessment by independent and CII-certified Sustainability Assessors, who spend hours to...
  • Assess sustainability performance of applicants based on the EFQM Business Excellence Model

The trophy reflects the need for unity in this world. To sustain the environment, a broad-based alliance between industry and society is required globally. As a result, sustainable development has become a priority for businesses around the world.

The responsibility for the environment rests on our shoulders, as it does in the design of trophy. The figure cradling the globe reflects the need for unity and responsibility when pursuing economic growth, while the leaves surrounding it represent both growth and the environment. The figures arms are raised to the sky, symbolising the future that we must confront daily.

Metal has been chosen as the material for its properties of lustre, beauty, smooth finish and malleability, and because it is a recyclable material - thereby sustainable from a lifecycle perspective. After all, the world is an inheritance that we will leave for the generations to come. It is a legacy that we have borrowed from them.

Corporate Excellence

This award recognises comprehensive efforts companies make in excelling at sustainable business. It expects companies to integrate sustainability into governance, strategy, business processes, and demonstrate through results that sustainability is making impact on its business and relevant stakeholders.

Domain Excellence

Environment Management

The award recognises companies that have employed innovative approaches, including policy and practice, to reduce their environmental impact and achieved exemplary results.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The award recognises companies that have positively impacted both business and society by taking a strategic approach to CSR through collaborative programmes with government and civil society.


The award recognises companies for implementing measures for conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services in value chain.


Companies with operations in India for atleast five years, with results for five years to demonstrate

For-profit companies of any scale

Independent business units or divisions of companies

Companies from manufacturing, agriculture, and services sectors

Each applicant gets secured access to online Awards Questionnaire. Applications are customised depending on turnover classification of applicant and category of Award applied for. The most comprehensive application for Corporate Excellence covers over 250 indicators across 15 Aspects. Applicants for Domain Excellence categories are assessed on indicators and aspects relevant to the Domain. The 15 Aspects are:

  1. Corporate Governance

  2. Business Ethics

  3. Risk Management

  4. Transparency and Disclosure

  5. Financial and Economic Performance

  6. Employee Development

  7. Stakeholder Engagement

  8. Human Rights

  9. Health and Safety

  10. Corporate Social Responsibility

  11. Supply Chain

  12. Product Responsibility

  13. Environment Management

  14. Biodiversity

  15. Compliance to Regulations

Each aspect has a set of indicators or questions. These indicators are in sync with international and Indian standards and reporting frameworks including GRI G4, Carbon Disclosure Project, UN Global Compact, National Voluntary Guidelines, ILO, et al.


Interested applicants for turnover classifications > Rs 50 cr, can review the sample questionnaire. Questionnaire for Domain Excellence are questions limited to specific aspects only.

Sample questionnaire for applicants with T/O > Rs 50cr


Application document for applicants with turnover classifications < Rs 50 cr, is customised to suit their realities. Most questions are open-ended, they are fewer in number, and number of aspects are also less as compared to comprehensive questionnaire for applicants in other T/O categories.

Interested applicants for turnover classifications < Rs 50 cr, can review the sample questionnaire. Questionnaire for Domain Excellence are questions limited to specific aspects only.

Sample questionnaire for applicants with T/O < Rs 50cr



*These are sample questionnaires only. There is every likelihood of few changes in the final questionnaire. CESD reserves the right to make change without informing interested applicants and is not liable to differences between the sample and the actual questionnaires. 


The Awards adhere to a transparent and rigorous assessment process based on the Sustainability Excellence Assessment Model, developed using the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) approach. Equal weights are assigned to Enablers and Results, indicating a cause-effect relationship


The assessment is conducted over a period of six months by a pool of specially trained assessors from diverse professional backgrounds that spend approximately 1,000 man-hours per-application.


The results of each assessment are reviewed by a preeminent Jury, comprising of former bureaucrats, representatives of government, civil society and academia, at two stages before a final decision is taken.