GoldenBee Insights

GoldenBee Research on CSR Reports of Central SoEs in China 2015

source:China WTO Tribune    date:2016-04-06 11:50:06


Central SoEs are the state-owned enterprises under the direct supervision of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council. There were 112 central enterprises supervised by the SASAC by the end of November 2015. They are the central force to strengthen the economy, implement the national strategy and maintain social harmony and stability.

As of October 31, 2015, we collected 64 copies of CSR reports released by central SoEs through their submission, downloading from their website, network searching and other channels. We evaluated them in accordance with GoldenBee CSR Report Evaluation System 2015

Main findings

Finding I: The CSR report has become the regular communication form between SoEs and stakeholders

Central SoEs are the groups to release social responsibility report earlier. By 2015, 76.6 % of them released CSR reports for more than 5 times, far higher than the overall average level in China. Among them, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, State Grid Corporation of China and Aluminum Corporation of China have released 10 CSR reports. But the common problem for the reports of central SoEs is weak on timeliness. There are only 5 CSR reports released within 4 months of the fiscal year, only accounting for 7.7% of the total reports, which leads to the poor communication efficiency with stakeholders.

Finding II: Their CSR reports take the lead in the quality of reports

Central SoEs achieved the average scoring rate of 78.5% for their CSR reports, 1.8 times of the total scoring rate (43.3%). As a whole, their reports stand at the good level, with 89% of excellent reports and good reports and only 2% in starting phase. Their reports strictly follow the six reporting dimensions to create high quality CSR reports with complete reporting structure, high credibility, good readability and creativity, and strong comparability and materiality, showing a clear benchmarking role. They have much higher scoring rate than the overall level, more than 3.5 times in the readability and creativity of reports and over 1.5 times in other four aspects. Central SoEs pay attention to refine the concept of social responsibility, and make it show the industry characteristics and be a system. Compatible with the concept, the reporting structure is also with more characteristics. A lot of reports have gradually improved the reading experience of the stakeholders while stressing the innovative forms and high quality of the reports.

Finding III: They generally emphasize the materiality of CSR reports.

Central SoEs pay attention to the material analysis of the reports, and 32.3% of them disclose the identification and priority of the key topics. Material analysis can help Central SoEs identify the key topics and content for disclosure, and further enhance the report targets.

Founding IV: Their CSR reports cover all the information about stakeholders.

Central SoEs have kept the same concern of all stakeholders as all of Chinese enterprises. However, they have put much higher attention to the responsibility to their stakeholders, especially to the government, communities, employees, environment and suppliers. The average coverage rate of stakeholders and issues are much higher than the overall level.To be exact, the average coverage rate of stakeholders and issues is 1.5 times and 1 times respectively higher than the overall level.

Finding V: Their CSR reports have higher readability and need to improve credibility.

Central SoEs have put greater attention to readability, especially on the information position, expression, saturation, colors and layouts, with the score rate of 92.5%.On the contrast, the credibility score rate is only 47.8%, far below the average rate of 78.3%, and only 10% of Their CSR reports accept the independent assurance.

Founding VI: They have novel modes for CSR report communication

There are over 11 SoEs who published H5 version report, including the State Grid Corporation of China, Aluminum Corporation of China, China Minmetals Corporation, China Southern Power Grid Co. , Ltd, China Petroleum Group, China state construction co., LTD., and China Mobile. The H5 version is an innovation on the CSR report forms. The QR code scanning and network link realizes the convenient and widespread communication in the mobile Internet, which also changes the stiff image of central SoEs.


Suggestion I: Enhance the timeliness to increase the communication with stakeholders

To enhance the transparency of corporate operation. It is necessary to strengthen communication and exchanges with the society, establish and perfect the engagement mechanism for stakeholders, and accept social supervision to actively win stakeholders’ understanding, trust and support and open more channels for stakeholder engagement.

To improve the report compilation mode and enhance the timeliness of the reports. It is suggested to establish the regular system for social responsibility report compilation and publication by releasing the previous year’s report before the end of June each year, which can timely disclose the social responsibility concept, system, action, performance and future plans to the stakeholders.

To establish daily disclosure mechanism of social responsibility information.   The platforms of company website, the newspaper, internal publications and new media such as Weibo and WeChat, can be used to strengthen the daily disclosure of social responsibility information. It is also suggested to take the special communication system, like social responsibility weeks,  demonstration bases of social responsibility, social responsibility events and social responsibility emergency, to strengthen the information disclosure, disseminate corporate social responsibility concept, practice and achievements. The daily disclosure of social responsibility information, if included in the data collection system of report compilation, can enrich the content of the report.

Suggestion II: Clarify social responsibility issues to enhance disclosure of responsibility performance

To Clarity core social responsibility issues. The central SoEs should take the advantage of report compilation to identify the social responsibility issues and analyze the materiality. It is necessary to closely combine with national conditions, industry characteristics and the business characteristics, refer to social responsibility standards at home and abroad, and further clarify the social responsibility issues according to the correlation of enterprise business activities and the potential effect of stakeholders. After that, the key of social responsibilities fulfillment can be confirmed according to the internal and external environment changes and then make dynamic optimization of the core social responsibility issues, which can ensure the issue disclosure is timely and cover comprehensively the corporate sustainable development and stakeholders.

To strengthen the disclosure of social responsibility performance. The diagnosis on the current situation of the corporate social responsibility helps to summarize the advantages and disadvantages of enterprises, analyze the domestic and international environment for social responsibility fulfillment, clarify the vision, objectives, main tasks and specific actions, safeguard mechanism and evaluation system of social responsibility promotion, and make systematic deployment to social responsibility promotion. To reflect the implementation and evaluation content of social responsibility plan in the report and reflect the implementation and the evaluation results of social responsibility plan in the disclosure of social responsibility performance is also suggested.

Suggestion III:   Release country social responsibility report to enhance the communication with local stakeholders

As the globalization and opening up goes deeper, Chinese enterprises, in the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and "going out" strategy and during the process of international operations, have faced a series challenges in laws, culture, environment and management. Central SoEs should play a leading role to fulfill social responsibility abroad to carry out the "going out" strategy. They are suggested to actively communicate with the local government, communities, and NGOs, etc. to improve the operational transparency. The leading central SoEs should release country social responsibility report to fully disclose the content concerning the local  social responsibility  organization, specified social responsibility idea and planning, honesty management, and engagement in community construction, which can enhance the communication with stakeholders,  establish a good image of responsible central SoEs and win more understanding, acceptance and support from the international community.

Suggestion IV:  Improve the credibility to further promote the quality of the reports

The negative information should be disclosed with sincere, open and transparent attitude and further explain the reasons and show the will, measure and achievement of the improvement in the report, which will enhance the transparency of the enterprise; The introduction of stakeholders’ evaluation and the third party assurance in the report will also improve the credibility; Labeling the information source to expand the reading can enhance the traceability of the report content.