Is China stepping up? Celebrate Chinese New Year by diving into the country’s sustainability reporting trends

Today, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) release the second case study in a series designed to provide insights into the sustainability reporting trends across various countries covered by the Reporting Exchange.  

Geneva, Switzerland 13 February 2018: Today’s case study, launched in time for Chinese New Year, sheds light on the corporate reporting requirements and resources across China – a particularly important dataset as China’s global prominence in sustainability continues to grow.

With new legislation on mandatory environmental disclosure being developed in China, information from the Reporting Exchange provides an important baseline to understand how the reporting landscape will evolve in the next few years, and how Chinese businesses will embrace the latest developments in mainstream sustainability reporting.

The launch of this case study also coincides with the translation of the Reporting Exchange into Chinese – making the global resource for corporate sustainability reporting even more accessible to international businesses and users. To date, the platform includes over 1780 reporting provisions from 60 countries and continues to grow.

China’s global economic influence and its interest in integrating sustainability in its economy have made it a key region for developing better and more sustainable business practices.

In this case study, Ms. Ji Qing, Secretariat Director and Ms. Jingzhu Zhang, Manager at China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD), share their views on policy, sustainability, reporting and business practices to help develop a richer understanding of the Chinese corporate reporting environment.

In the study, Ms. Ji Qing and Ms. Jingzhu Zhang share that the country has also seen significant improvements in the quality of reporting, with businesses developing a greater understanding of sustainability-related and material risks and opportunities. Reporting practices in the country are developing beyond static communications pieces, using reporting as a tool to strengthen other business aspects, such as risk and corporate management.

The research also shows that a growing number of Chinese companies are required to disclose sustainability information, while many are already seeing the added value through disclosure.

In particular, large companies “are placing greater importance in elevating transparency and enhancing communication with stakeholders through non-financial disclosure.”

This case study is part of a wider effort across the globe to examine significant developments in ESG reporting to bring more clarity to the sustainability reporting landscape through the Reporting Exchange.