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Chinese CSR Reports Called into Question

CassState-owned enterprises perform better than private and multinational companies in corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to a report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), reports Global Times. However, some analysts have concerns about the report’s methodology and results.

As an example, Li Youhuan, a researcher at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, told Global Times that the report does not reflect the real CSR situation in China because it focuses on what the companies say rather than their performance.

In November, PricewaterhouseCoopers analyzed more than 600 Chinese companies’ CSR reports, citing a discrepancy between what the companies wrote in their reports and what they actually did, reports Global Times.

The report ranked 100 top state-owned companies, 100 top private companies and 100 top multinational companies, which were evaluated for their responsibility management, market responsibility, social responsibility and environmental responsibility, based on information released by the companies including their CSR and annual reports, according to Global Times.

On a scale of 100 points, the 300 companies averaged 20.2 points, with state-owned companies averaging 30.6 points, while private companies only averaged 17.9 points, according to Global Times.

The report finds that only 14 companies received more than 60 points, including 12 state-owned companies such as State Grid Corporation of China, China Datang Corporation and China National Petroleum Corporation, as well as two private companies, Legend Holdings and Ping An Insurance, according to the article.

A total of 179 companies received below 20 points, including 79 multinational companies such as Adidas, Nike and Microsoft.

In August, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo were named two of the top-12 polluters of water in the Beijing by the Beijing Development and Reform Commission. In 2007, more than 90 multinational companies were targeted by Chinese environmental authorities for pollution committed as far back as 2004.

Zhong Hongwu, director of the Research Center for CSR at CASS told Global Times the main reason why multinational companies lagged behind Chinese companies is because they rarely release CSR data for China. He cited in the article that 10 multinational companies do not have Chinese version Web sites, and 12 multinational companies have not released any information on their CSR situations on their Web sites.

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One thought on “Chinese CSR Reports Called into Question

  1. China is just transitioning from a more eastern way of doing things to a more capitalist approach. And with that when industry is not regulated as it should be there are severe environmental consequences. Although I don’t agree with their political system it’s easy to see how from an environmental standard there is an advantage. Should Chinese leaders decide they really want environmental quality, I believe within 5 years that would see a significant improvement in their air and water quality.

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