The CSR Asia Business Barometer 2008 (PDF) – which compares the corporate social responsibility disclosure of the 20 largest listed companies in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand – found that companies listed in Hong Kong demonstrated a superior quality of CSR disclosure across all of the report’s six indicator sections (company codes and policies; CSR strategy and communications; marketplace and supply chain; workplace and people; the environment; and community investment and development).
Companies listed in the Hong Kong scored an average of 52 points, far ahead of those listed in the second highest average country score which came from Malaysia at 36 points. Companies listed in Thailand scored 31 points, and Singapore scored 30 points.
The report says although the companies listed in Hong Kong performed well against regional neighbors, the majority of companies listed in each of the countries have room for improved disclosure.
What’s interesting to note is that Chinese Mainland companies represent two companies in the top ten. The report also looked at which companies were global compact signatories – only five out of the eighty companies had signed the Global Compact and this in itself did not seem to have any correlation as to how well the company performed with the top signatory, PetroChina, in fifth place, and the lowest signatory, Dairy Farm, in 78th position. No correlation was found between the size of the company and its position on the Barometer.
Fred Pearce, an environmental consultant for New Scientist magazine, recently spoke with Treehugger and said he is trying to find the greener side of China’s rise. Pearce even asserts that China’s per-capita carbon emissions are unlikely to reach those of the U.S. because of its growing green efforts.
Pearce talks about China’s eco-cities at the mouth of the Yangtze river and the country’s nation-wide ban of free plastic bags in shops. He says China employed “green construction” methods during its construction for the railway into Tibet.
Although China is boosting its green efforts, its clean up effort before the Beijing Olympics involved moving factories elsewhere.