The world is moving towards carbon restricted scenario where excellence and growth in business is contingent upon good governance and excellent low carbon emission related policies, strategies, and long-term values to stay ahead in competition. Existing research insists that multiple external pressures push organizations to navigate towards sustainable internal practices leading to low carbon performance. Rooted in the theoretical concepts of institutional and contingency theory, this study explores the impact of uncertainties of external business environment on complexities of business internal environment. Hypothesis developed is tested by taking data from 134 manufacturing organizations based on their size and sector, and sustainability practices. The data is analyzed using correlation and multiple linear regression analysis (MLR). Chi-square, Cramer's V and MLR is used for regression analysis and correlation whereas ANN is applied for validating the robustness of the MLR model. Comparison of results of MLR and ANN provide similar outcomes. Results rule out the impact of size of organizations on carbon performance. 'Environmental regulations activities' and 'political and legal regulations' along with efficient implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Sustainability activities backed by top management are the main contributors of low carbon performance. The study identified the 'interest of foreign investors' in the region as one of areas requiring further exploration for improved carbon performance. Mode of technology came as major roadblock for low carbon performance and requires top management to ponder over for improved results. Also, found wanting for improvement are-modes of transport, employee motivation and external stakeholders. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.