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Chinese CSR still ‘nascent’ among big firms

November 2009

Four in ten of China’s leading companies are not publicly engaged in corporate responsibility, says the country’s first national CSR report card.

The newly published 2009 CSR Blue Book, released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), says only 44 of China’s largest 100 businesses have ever published a sustainability report, and many of the others have little to say publicly on the issue.

Zhong Hongwu, director of the CSR Research Centre at CASS, said that despite recent improvements, allied to a government push on corporate responsibility, Chinese CSR ‘is still at its nascent stage, with about 40 per cent of the companies not getting involved’.

He said many ‘are afraid to talk about, or have nothing to say about, their corporate responsibility situations’.

The survey trawled 94 of China’s largest 100 companies for publicly available CSR information. Collectively the companies had revenues of 16billion yuan ($2.34bn, £1.43bn) in 2008.

Liu Weihua, director-general of the China Committee on Corporate Citizenship based in the civil affairs ministry, recently told Global Times, an English language offshoot of the official People’s Daily newspaper, that the government would consider regulatory measures to speed up change on CSR.

The research centre was set up in Beijing last year as a non-profit academic institution. One of its main pledges was to publish an annual CSR Blue Book to record progress on responsible business practices. It is also developing a CSR index for China.




Chinese Academy of Social Sciences | Asia | Transparency

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