GoldenBee Insights

2015 GoldenBee Research on CSR reports of China’s Mining Industry

source:China WTO Tribune    date:2016-09-23 11:09:36


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Mining industry exploits all kinds of raw materials, fuel from the nature, mainly covering the selection of various kinds of metal and non-metallic minerals, such as coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas etc. It also includes wood cutting and production and supply of tap water. Mining industry is an important part of energy supply.

As of October 31, 2015, we collected 49 CSR reports released by foreign-invested enterprises through their submission, downloading from their website, network searching and other channels. We evaluated them in accordance with GoldenBee CSR Report Evaluation System 2015 and categorize these reports as five levels: infancy, development, upswing, excellence, and outstanding. According to the statistics, the reports of mining industry are in the level of development. In general, the reports of mining industry are better than the average level of the Chinese CSR reports in readability, comparability and creativity, but their credibility and creativity score lower and need to be enhanced in the two aspects. 

 

Our Findings:

Finding I: Seizing the Key Stakeholder Issues to Realize the Goal of “No Accident”

According to the statistics, in the aspect of stakeholder, the CSR reports of mining industry disclose more about community, government and employees. Their average coverage rates of indicators are 59.7%,59.2%and 52.4% ,which are higher than the rates disclosed by that of the Chinese CSR reports . This shows that the mining industry has paid more attention to the social responsibility for main stakeholders and made some progress: as of September 27, 2015, a total of 256 accidents with 420 deaths happened in China’s coal mines, respectively decreased by 33.2% and 39.0%. Among them, there are 28 major accidents causing 129 deaths, less than 9 accidents and 25 deaths compared with the previous year. Besides, 2 critical accidents happened in 2015, less than 7cases in 2014 .

Finding Ⅱ:Two Drives of Green Eco-system——Pollution Emissions Reduction and Sustainable Resources

The sustainable development of mining industry have to be based on the sustainable use of natural resources and shoulder more responsibility on reducing pollution emissions than other industries. To this end, the CSR reports of mining industry focus on the disclosure of reducing pollution emissions and resource conservation and utilization. The coverage rates of indicators of them are 54.59% and 53.57%. For example, the Social Responsibility Report 2014 released by China Coal Group takes the “implementing green strategies, constructing green mines and carrying out low-carbon actions” as the strategic approaches in fulfilling environmental responsibilities, and carries out related practices.

Finding Ⅲ:Improving Supply Chain Management to Maintain “Rear Area”of the Industry.

Most information on supply chain management involves commercial secrets and has low transparency. So, all the Chinese CSR reports disclose fewer contents about procurement principles, supplier qualification and the information of supplier management. However, coverage rates of these three indicators of mining enterprises are 33.67%, 21.94% and 13.61%. All these rates are well above the average level. This also shows that mining enterprises have determination and confidence in improving supplier chain management. 

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Finding Ⅳ:Active Compliance with Laws and Regulations to Create Enterprises with the Legal System

Relevant laws and regulations and industrial internal procedures are the guidance and standards of business behaviors. Only by adhering to relevant laws and industrial regulations can enterprises be healthy and enjoy sustainable development. the CSR reports of mining industry focus on the disclosure of compliance with laws and tax paying. Their coverage rates of indicators were 79.59% and 69.39%.In general, mining companies strictly abide by relevant laws and regulations, and actively explore the construction of norms within the industry, reflecting their good sense of law and legal operations.

Finding Ⅴ:Striving to Achieve “High Standards”—— Conformance of Diversified Reporting Standards

In the 49 CSR reports, there are 29 reports with several reporting standards, 11 reports with one kind of reporting standard and 9 reports with no definite reporting standard. There are 22 companies using GRI guidelines as reporting framework, which makes the GRI guideline the most welcome reporting standard to the enterprises in mining industry in 2014.

Our Suggestions

Suggestion Ⅰ:Exploring the Incentives of the CSR Evaluation

In 2014, 49 mining industry companies released CSR reports. However, for nearly 18,000 companies of the entire mining industry, the number can be described as the tip of the iceberg. In the reports research, we find that most of the enterprises that released social responsibility reports are state-owned enterprises and have abundant funds. Private enterprise and other types of enterprises released fewer reports. We therefore recommend that mining industry regulators, industry associations and relevant social responsibility institutions to establish and improve the CSR evaluation and incentives, and give proper honor incentives or political incentives to the enterprises which pay attention to social responsibility and release CSR reports on time. In this way, they can guide the enterprises in all industries to focus on the social responsibility.

Suggestion Ⅱ: Gear to  International Development to Improve the International Image of Enterprises.

China and Australia are important mineral resources and mining countries in the world. With increasing foreign exchanges, China has more opportunities to cooperate with other countries including Australia. While going deep into the domestic business, the mining enterprises will gradually increase the efforts in going out" and develop extensive overseas operations. The audience of mining corporate reports will no longer be limited to Chinese readers. From the report we gathered, it can be found that only seven companies released bilingual reports, and the other 42 companies only released Chinese version of CSR reports. Thus, the opening-up and globalization of reports should be improved.

Suggestion Ⅲ:Improving the Reports Assurance and Cleaning up the Channels of Report Feedback.

The CSR reports assurance means that after a series of professional procedures such as testing, auditing, evaluation and confirmation, the independent party uses definite principles and standards to evaluate the quality of CSR reports and guarantee the management, process and capacity of CSR performance. The independent assurance has active effects on the reliability of reports. Among all the 49 mining enterprises which have released reports, only China Shenhua Energy Co., Ltd. and China Minmetals Corporation have been conducted assurance. As to the feedback of reports, only 25 companies announced feedback channels of the reports, and the remaining 24 companies did not disclose any relevant information. Therefore, no matter in the reports assurance or the interaction of reports, mining companies are expected to be strengthened.

Suggestion Ⅳ: Leveraging Internet Era to Diversify the Communication Carriers

As the new enterprises complying with the development of the times, rational use of network tools will have larger effects on corporate publicity and development. Currently, the report can be released and spread in four forms, namely paperversion, electronic version, web page version and H5 version. The paper reports and electronic reports are used by most mining enterprises and no enterprise uses web page version reports. The web page version and H5 version are the products of the development of internet era. In this competitive society, the information is transformed rapidly. The enterprises which are the first and the fastest to seize the market's attention may remain invincible

Suggestion Ⅴ: Increasing the Disclosure of Biodiversity Issues

The biodiversity protection is very important for the harmonious coexistence between human and environment. However, the production process in mining industries will inevitably have bad effects on the natural ecosystem of the mining place. So, the mining enterprises should totally realize the significance of the biodiversity protection and define the key field of biodiversity protection. Meanwhile, it is suggested that enterprises dig and collate good practices of biodiversity protection and disclose them in the CSR reports. Qualified enterprises can also release a special report on biodiversity.