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Chinese CSR reporting driven by image

September 2007

The main triggers for sustainability reporting in China are raising image, supporting government policies, increased enterprise management awareness and media pressure, a CSR consultancy has concluded after studying 20 reports and interviewing more than 40 experts and professionals.
 
SynTao, based in Beijing, found that the public, consumers, non-governmental organizations and local communities had little influence on whether a company reported. SynTao believed that sustainability reporting certainly promoted image, enhanced communications, stimulated CSR implementation, attracted investment, raised a company’s ability to manage risk and improved performance. However, it did not seem to enable companies to attract the best employees or to innovate.

The consultancy said the main factors impeding the development of sustainability reporting were poor awareness among management and a lack of stakeholder requests for the information.

SynTao said: ‘We found the Chinese sustainability reports do relatively well in terms of their presentation of performance, governance and strategy. Yet, at the same time, we found that Chinese sustainability reports are not strong in management indicators, nor did they do well in the areas of accessibility of information and assurance.’

The conclusions are set out in SynTao’s report, A journey to discover values.



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