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15th International Conference on CSR Reporting in China held


· The overall level of CSR reporting in China has improved from development to “catching up” stage

· 3,803 enterprises have issued CSR reports in China

· Listed enterprises are the main issuers of CSR reports in 2022

· Among the 145 Chinese enterprises in Fortune Global 500 list, 114 have issued CSR reports

On December 2, the 15th International Conference on CSR Reporting in China was held. Guests conducted in-depth discussion on topics including the latest trend of global CSR reports, finding ways to corporate responsibility communication, and exploring the value of CSR reporting.

2022 GoldenBee CSR Report Honor Roll was released at the same time.

The conference was hosted by China Sustainability Tribune, China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD) and GoldenBee ThinkTank, and co-hosted by the CSR Center at the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing with support from GoldenBee Consulting, and Finance.china.com.cn provided promotion support as the strategic media partner.


New Values of CSR Information Disclosure

As the global economy enters a new phase of green recovery, CSR fulfillment and information disclosure have been given more significance of times for enterprises.

The Conference indicated that enterprises are playing more active roles in making disclosures from CSR to ESG and showing new adaptability to hot topics such as climate change and biodiversity.


Mr. Wang Yang, Deputy Director of Bureau of Social Responsibility, SASAC, pointed out in his speech that the successful holding of the 20th CPC National Congress provides more opportunities for corporate development, gives new missions for social responsibility work and adds new value to social responsibility disclosure. New expectations and requirements on better CSR communication also ensued.

Mr. Zhai Qi, Executive Secretary-General of China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD) pointed out that ESG embodies the concept of sustainable development that takes into account the economy, environment and society, which is in line with “accelerating carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals”, the important spirit proposed in the 20th Party Congress Report, and is the key to boost the new development pattern of “a dual circulation”.


Ms. Linn Engvall, the Acting Head of CSR Center at Embassy of Sweden in Beijing said that Sweden is the first country to require state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to submit sustainability reports and is looking forward to the ongoing discussions and cooperation with international partners, especially Chinese and European partners in the reporting field.

As the main achievement of the Conference, the GoldenBee Research on Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting in China 2022 shows the strong resilience and vigorous momentum of Chinese enterprises to move up and towards goodness. The consultant of GoldenBee Consulting conducted a systematic analysis of 2,300 CSR reports collected in China and found the following characteristics:

◉ Since 2009, the average score of the report exceeded 60 for the first time, marking that the overall level of the CSR report has entered a new stage of “catching up” from the development stage.

◉ The growth of completeness, credibility, comparability and materiality indices is relatively stable, while readability and innovativeness indices are growing significantly. More attention is paid to information saturation, timeliness and materiality of the report.

◉ The information disclosure on the enterprises’ performance of responsibilities to stakeholders, such as customers, environment, peers, and regulators continue to improve, with particular emphasis on communication with suppliers, regulators and peers.

◉ The disclosure rate of indices at the three levels, namely obligatory responsibilities, expected responsibilities, discretional responsibilities, maintains a step-by-step decrease, which accords with the characteristics of CSR practice in China.

◉ The overall social responsibility reporting index of all industries rose with volatility, and the level of social responsibility reporting of industries enters the “excellent” level for the first time, with the finance and insurance industry performing particularly well.

◉ On the whole, the report quality of enterprises from different fields is rising with a narrower gap. The report quality of central SOEs remains the highest, and the number of CSR reports from private sectors has increased for five consecutive years.

◉ The total number of reports released has increased significantly, among which growing enterprises increased most in numbers and leading enterprises in their report quality, which are about to leapfrog the “catching up” stage.

◉ The CSR reports are becoming increasingly international, which can be seen in the rapid growth of the number of bilingual reports (Chinese and English) and the growth of enterprises taking international standards as preparation references.

Accordingly, the Research offers suggestions for enterprises from five dimensions: first, having more disclosure on responsibility fulfillment, enhancing management transparency and consciously accepting social supervision; second, promoting the integration of social responsibility concepts with corporate management; third, highlighting CSR performance results and improving the disclosure rate of key performance; fourth, following the development trend, increasing ESG disclosure, especially information on hotspot issues; fifth, bringing cooperation and communication closer, and living up to first-class enterprises and national standards so as to create a model of high-quality CSR reports.

The latest developments from Japan and organizations including the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), S&P Global, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), China National Institute of Standardization(CNIS) also showed that in the face of new issues, regulatory requirements and social expectations in sustainability, and the quality and transparency of information disclosure should be improved. Hotspot issues such as climate change, biodiversity, business and human rights deserve more discussions. It is becoming a consensus and a direction of effort to improve international and national standards and guidelines on social responsibility disclosure.


Highlights of carbon neutrality, ESG and biodiversity

As a professional communication platform for CSR reporting, this Conference has followed the hot topics of the times and invited experts, scholars and enterprise representatives from different fields to conduct professional and in-depth discussions on topics including ESG, carbon neutrality, and biodiversity etc.

To follow the trend at home and abroad, the 6th Symposium on Carbon Neutrality and Corporate Green Development themed on “Accelerating Climate Change Adaptation", shared and exchanged thoughts and practices in taking climate adaptation measures to reduce the negative impacts of physical and transition risks from different perspectives, such as agriculture, infrastructure construction and green finance.

As ESG (environmental, social and governance) plays a decisive role in corporate decision-making, a breakout session “ESG: A Decisive Role in Sustainability” was set up with three major themes: Thoughts on ESG Work of Central SOEs, ESG Competitiveness 2022: China Progress Report, as well as ESG and the Construction of Valuation System with Chinese Characteristics. Moreover, guests conducted discussions around three topics: China's ESG Standardization Process, ESG Ratings and Meaningful Data, ESG Strategy and System Building.

Biodiversity is a key element of the UN SDGs and a supporting factor for other sustainable development goals. In the “Biodiversity Disclosure and Stakeholder Communication” forum, representatives from SOEs and outstanding private enterprises shared their responsible business practices in their fields and reached a consensus on the fundamental role that biodiversity plays in promoting sustainable development of human society.

Benchmarks of Industries

92 enterprises listed in the CSR Honor Roll

During the Release Ceremony of GoldenBee CSR Report Honor Roll 2022, 92 enterprises stood out from 2,300 candidates to be listed in the honor roll for “Leading Enterprise”, “Growing Enterprise”, “Foreign-Invested and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan-Invested Enterprise”, “First Time Report Award”, “Special CSR Report Award”, and “Evergreen Award”, etc.

The GoldenBee CSR Report Honor Roll is the earliest and longest-running professional list focusing on the information disclosure in the field of CSR and sustainable development in China. Up to now, more than 20,000 reports have been evaluated and over 900 CSR reports released by over 300 enterprises have been listed in the GoldenBee CSR Report Honor Roll. The event has provided a professional platform for outstanding enterprises and CSR reports to manifest their advantages, and also indicates the increasing number and quality of CSR reports in China.

As one of the earliest international events on CSR reporting in China, for 15 years, the Conference adheres to the concept of “CSR Communication Creates Value”, highlights professionalism and internationality, discusses the issues and trends of social responsibility reports in related fields such as standards, preparation, management, and dissemination, witnesses and promotes CSR reports to a higher level. It also plays a positive role for improving the quality of CSR reports, enhancing corporate transparency, improving the information disclosure and innovating in stakeholder communication.

Click here to watch the video replay. 
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