Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Growing awareness in China sparks demands for corporate transparency

April 2012

Chinese civil society is becoming increasingly environmentally aware, with indications of meaningful pressure on the government and companies operating in China, says a new report.

Giving the latest sign that the world's most populous nation is poised to adopt the CSR agenda, a report by Chinese NGOs has confirmed an accelerating growth in non-financial disclosure and public appetite for CSR data.  

Ma Jun, of the Chinese Institute for Public & Environmental Affairs, which co-authored the report with the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council, said: "We can draw the conclusion that a system for environmental information transparency has been established at an initial stage in China."

The Pollution Information Transparency Index says 500 enterprises are now in talks with NGOs about their disclosure systems, a practice virtually non-existent a few years ago.

Scores from the index for individual cities, however, remain far below the NGOs' minimum standards. Only 19 of 113 meet the 60% pass score.

Nevertheless, the average score rose to 40% from 31% a year ago. In total, two-thirds of authorities have improved environmental standards during the past 12 months. Only one city has become less transparent.

The news follows significant decisions by computer giant Apple, which is exposing its suppliers' factories to independent investigation by the Fair Labor Association (EP, March 2012, p1), and Samsung, which promises a 'massive' improvement in renewable energy in China after, it claims, being taken by surprise by rapid Chinese growth in the area.

Chinese Institute for Public & Environmental Affairs | Asia | Transparency

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