Chinese enterprises have shown a steady improvement in the quality of their corporate social responsibility reports, and more companies are releasing CSR reports, according to a newly released index.
In 2016, 3,043 reports were released in China, up 12 percent over the previous year, according to a report released in December by the Golden Bee Corporate Social Responsibility Index.
Since 2009, China WTO Tribune, a monthly journal on China's World Trade Organization-related work established by the Ministry of Commerce, started to evaluate Golden Bee reports about CSR.
Among the total, the number of reports that State-owned companies generated accounted for 58 percent, and they have shown increasingly higher quality. From 2009 to 2017, State-owned enterprises maintained their leading role for fulfilling responsibilities to communities.
Listed companies generally performed better than private companies. Foreign companies and those from Hong Kong and Macao tended to pay more attention to the integration of social responsibilities into corporate strategies, the report said.
When it comes to different industries, storage and transportation, electric power and the mining industry have released higher-quality CSR reports. Finance and construction sectors showed significant improvements. Stakeholders, including staff, community and government, are what the reports are concerned about most.
Most of the well-regarded companies in China have achieved sustainable growth by operating with credibility and integrity. Leading enterprises, such as China Petrochemical Corporation, China National Petroleum Corporation, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, China Mobile and China Southern Power Grid Co Ltd, were among the companies that steadily released high-quality reports.
"Among all the reports, the proportion of English reports is on the rise, whereas they still only made up for 8.2 percent of the total. The internationalization level of the reports needs to be further improved," said Yin Gefei, vice-president of China WTO Tribune, as well as chief CSR expert at Golden Bee.
Yin suggested that Chinese enterprises should increase the number of reports compiled in accordance with international CSR standards to give full play to the role of CSR as a new international business language.
He added that some Chinese companies lack professional CSR personnel, which has become a bottleneck for the growth of the area. Also, China needs more specific regulations and industry standards to supervise the enterprises on their CSR performances.