Chinese listed firms urged to detail environmental protection efforts

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/2 12:58:39

Chinese companies have been urged to improve their environmental protection consciences to help realize sustainable development, with some experts calling for detailed measures in public filings of listed firms at a forum on Saturday.

In spite of unfavorable conditions such as financing pressures and industrial restructuring, domestic companies surveyed for the Sustainability Index 2018 have adopted measures to enhance corporate management and have been focusing on innovation and high-quality growth. The index was jointly released by Chinese Business for Sustainable Development and the China Enterprise Confederation, and is the first of its kind in China aiming to thoroughly evaluate corporate performance.

The survey analyzed 310 Chinese companies, covering industries such as energy, auto, construction, transport and so on.

From the perspective of protecting the environment, companies had relatively lower scores compared to their performance in corporate management and innovation.

Some failed to come up with sustainable environment management, environment-friendly product development, risk management and ecological restoration, the survey said.

"The results show that we owe a lot to our environment, which has to be changed," Wang Jiming, project director of the Sustainability Index 2018, told a forum held in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province from Saturday to Sunday.

The Chinese government released a reform plan for promoting ecological progress in 2015, which has been attracting a lot of attention since, Wang Jinnan, chief engineer of the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning, told the forum.

"There has been a significant gap among listed companies in revealing information about environmental protection," he said, noting that a large part of listed firms have not published related information yet as requested.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the China Securities Regulatory Commission should work together to draw up plans to regulate companies in regard to publishing filings with detailed environmental protection measures, Wang said. 

In the first half of 2018, the ministry issued fines totaling 5.85 billion yuan ($856.5 million) to companies that violated environmental protection policy, according to media reports.

"The list of "laolai," (deadbeat listed companies who avoid repaying their debts), should be shared among similar firms regarding this matter," Wang added.


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