GoldenBee Insights

Salute to ten years of International Conference on CSR Reporting in China

source:goldencsr    date:2017-12-12 13:46:31

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On December 1, the 10th International Conference on CSR Reporting in China hosted by China WTO Tribune and China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD) and co-hosted by the Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility of the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing was convened in Beijing.

Themed on “Responsible Communication Creates Value”, this conference discussed the latest trends of CSR reporting around the world. Topics of discussions include “How to Perform Well in Localized Information Disclosure for Enterprises”, “Challenges and Opportunities in Environmental Information Disclosure”, “Enhancing the Non-financial Information Disclosure”, and “The New Trends of CSR Report Communication”. The 2017 GoldenBee CSR Report Honor Roll was also released during the conference.

Joining hands for ten years: greater persistence on CSR

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Hi, My Ten Years!

Ten representatives from central SOEs, foreign enterprises, private enterprises and research institutes shared their stories of development and transformation in the past ten years that they spent together with the International Conference on CSR Reporting in China.

As a platform for professional exchange in the field of international CSR reporting, the International Conference on CSR Reporting in China has been held for ten consecutive sessions since 2007, and has become a brand activity in China’s CSR field.

Over the last decade, the conference has continuously released GoldenBee Research on Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting in China. Representatives of Chinese enterprises and all sectors of the society have discussed about related topics and trends of the standards, compilation, management and dissemination of CSR reports, witnessing and promoting the development of CSR reporting to be more standardized, transparent and diversified during economic globalization.

GoldenBee research data shows that from 2001 to 2017, the number of CSR reports released by enterprises in China has been on a constant rise. Since 2011, the number has grown rapidly and reached over 3,000 in 2016.

What is worth mentioning is that as a conference for promoting sustainable development, this year’s conference carries forward its tradition to work with stakeholders and become the first conference with zero carbon emission in accordance with GB/T 31598-2015 Event Sustainability Management Systems—Requirements with Guidance for Use and ISO 20121: 2012 Event sustainability management systems—Requirements with Guidance for Use. Carbon emission generated from this conference are commissioned to be neutralized by Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) of Guangzhou Greenstone Carbon Asset Management Co., Ltd (Greenstone) released through purchasing wind power.

Ten years of value: a new era for CSR communication

The Report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China pointed out “With decades of hard work, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era.”

Standing at a historic new starting point, enterprises should uphold the five development concepts of “innovation, coordination, green development, opening-up and sharing” while actively fulfilling social responsibilities. The new era requires new directions and connotations of corporate social responsibility. CSR communication and information disclosure are facing both challenges and opportunities.

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Wang Li, Associate Counsel of Comprehensive Bureau, State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), remarked in her speech that in recent years, the overall quality of CSR reports issued by central SOEs is relatively high, and a regular CSR reporting mechanism has been gradually established to diversify the forms of social responsibility information disclosure. However, there are also new challenges to the innovation of information disclosure coverage, disclosure mechanisms, and report dissemination and use.

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Guo Xiuming, Associate Counsel of Department of Policies, Laws and Regulations, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), gived some suggestions on CSR reporting in his speech: CSR reports should demonstrate new dimensions of responsibility and evaluate social responsibility topics from the perspective of a new era; new responsibility issues should be focused and social concerns should be highlighted, such as supply chain management; CSR reports should be put into better use for improving corporate management while serving as a corporate declaration to the society.

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Li Ling, Vice Chairman of China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment, mentioned in her speech that the remarks of President Xi on the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, such as “China will not close its door to the world; we will only become more and more open” and “All businesses registered in China will be treated equally”, not only provide development opportunities for foreign-invested enterprises in China, but also put forward more new requirements. For foreign-invested enterprises, it is even more important to release CSR reports for the purpose of enhancing transparency in decision-making and operation, communicating with stakeholders in a comprehensive and systematic manner, and winning wider trust and support.

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Zhai Qi, Executive Secretary General of China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD) pointed out in his speech that there is still much room for the development of CSR ideological concepts, practical methods and tools, and capabilities and actions. For example, during the process of implementing the Belt and Road Initiative and the process of “Going Global”, effective mechanisms for communicating with international stakeholders should be developed, communication skills and methods should be improved, and timely responses should be made.

Global trends of CSR information disclosure from Chinese view

The conference adheres to its feature of internationalization and sets the theme panel “New Trends of CSR Reporting”.

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Yin Gefei, Chief Expert of GoldenBee CSR Consulting released the GoldenBee Research on Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting in China 2017 (hereinafter referred to as “the Research”) during this conference.

The Research collected the data of 1,541 Chinese CSR reports of various types released from January 1 to October 31, 2017 in Chinese mainland, and 1,433 of them were included into the evaluation.

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Apart from the trends in China, Marie Rosencrantz, Adjunct Associate Professor of Business School of HKUST, shared the latest trends of CSR reporting in Europe. Masaya Futamiya, Chairman of the Council for Better Corporate Citizenship (CBCC) introduced the latest trends of CSR reporting in Japan. Ásthildur Hjaltadóttir, Director of Regions and Programs Implementation, GRI, interpreted the newly released GRI standards.

In the second part of the theme panel “New Trends of CSR Reporting”, representatives communicated on information disclosure trends in some special topics.

Cheng Jin, Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist of UNICEF China, gave suggestions on “Child Rights in Sustainability Reporting”. Qi Shaoyun, Assistant President of CNPC Economics & Technology Research Institute shared his opinions on “CNPC Overseas Information Disclosure”. Guan Zhusun, Executive Deputy General Manager of GoldenBee, talked about “Targeted Poverty Alleviation and Precise Disclosure”. Zhou Quansheng, Director of Brand Division of Sinopec Group Information Office, delivered a speech on “Information Disclosure on Targeted Poverty Alleviation of Sinopec Group”.

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Ian Blanden, Managing Director of Stora Enso Guangxi Forestry, a recyclable materials company, shared his experience in “Information Disclosure on Biodiversity” and released the Public Reader on Biodiversity of Sustainable Man-made Forest of Stora Enso at the conference9.

Disclosure of sub-topics: new highlights of CSR reports

In recent years, as the concept of CSR develops rapidly, the general public has gradually become more aware of social responsibility. An increasing number of stakeholders have put forward higher requirements for more sustainable and diversified communication with enterprises. This conference sets several parallel panels for representatives to conduct in-depth exchanges on information disclosure of sub-topics of CSR reporting and CSR report dissemination, invoking thinking and providing reference for CSR reporting.

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During the parallel panel of “How to Perform Well in Localized Information Disclosure for Enterprises”, CNPC Economics & Technology Research Institute, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), NARI Group Corporation (NARI), China Wu Yi, Intel (China) and Canon (China) discussed ways for Chinese enterprises to realize localized information communication during the process of "Going Global" and methods for foreign-invested enterprises in China to disclose information and communicate with Chinese stakeholders.

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Stora Enso Group, Aluminum Corporation of China, HUAWEI and World Wildlife Fund shared their understandings of the current global context of environmental information disclosure and cutting-edge explorations in the parallel panel of “Challenges and Opportunities in Environmental Information Disclosure”.

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In the parallel panel of “Enhancing the Non-financial Information Disclosure”, Greenstone, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd., China Mobile, Mengniu Dairy and Shanghai (OHSA) discussed about their understandings and practices in corporate non-financial information disclosure.

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GoldenBee Sustainable Brand Communication, State Grid Corporation of China, Sinopec Group, China National Nuclear Power Company and LKK Health Products Group discussed about topics including “Should CSR reports be disseminated among particular groups or in the whole society?”, “Does report design really matter?”, “Will electronic reports finally replace printed ones?” and “Should the dissemination start together with or after report compilation?”, and shared impressive cases during the parallel panel of “The New Trend of CSR Report Communication”.

2017 GoldenBee CSR Report Honor Roll—models and pioneers

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To discover and encourage enterprises to release more excellent CSR reports, China WTO Tribune has published research reports on the overall development of CSR reporting in China and held the GoldenBee CSR Report Honor Roll evaluation for nine consecutive years with the support of GoldenBee.

So far, over 10,000 CSR reports have been evaluated and more than 300 reports have been listed on the honor roll. The evaluation provides an integrated and professional platform for displaying excellent corporate CSR reports and outstanding enterprises.

73 CSR reports outstood in the GoldenBee CSR Report Honor Roll 2017 and were awarded in seven categories, including “Leading Enterprises”, “Growing Enterprises”, “Special Award for Foreign Invested and HK, Macao and Taiwan Invested Enterprises”, and “Evergreen Enterprises”, etc. This reflects that China is having more high-quality CSR reports, and more Chinese enterprises become pioneers in fulfilling social responsibilities.