In This Issue
The Media’s Reporting of Environmental, Social and Governance Issues in China
Investors care a great deal more about negative news on a company than positive news and often depend on the media as an important source of such negative news. The widespread feeling amongst the public is that there is more and more disparaging coverage of companies in the media, but is this true? And if it is, what impact does this have on business practices and, in turn, on investors?
In this issue’s feature article, BSR Advisory Services Associate Yating Shen shares findings from her research on the role of the Chinese media in holding business accountable, including trends identified by the journalists BSR interviewed.
Feedback and comments on this newsletter are encouraged and should be directed to Adam Lane at email@example.com.
Under Pressure: The Chinese Media’s Role in Holding Business Accountable
The Chinese media is playing an increasingly important role in the disclosure and reporting of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in China. In order to understand this trend, the impact on Chinese listed companies, and what this means for investors, BSR researched media reporting of ESG news on 100 Chinese companies.
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News to Know
Chinese Environmentalist, Ma Jun, Wins Goldman Environmental Prize (April 18, 2012, China.org.cn)
Ma Jun wins $150,000 for his work in pressuring companies to clean-up their environmental pollution—and that of their suppliers—by establishing online maps detailing over 90,000 records of companies that have breached environmental regulations.
Compensation Levels Set for June 2011 Bohai Oil Spill (April 27, 2012, China.org.cn)
The State Oceanic Administration revealed that China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) and the Chinese unit of ConocoPhillips will pay RMB 480 million and RMB 113 million, respectively, for environmental protection efforts in the Bohai Sea after the oil spill last year. In addition, ConocoPhillips China will pay RMB 1.09 billion in compensation.
The annual report notes that vast unconventional domestic gas reserves may ease China’s gas shortfall, that private equity investment in the private water sector has increased from $50 million in 2010 to $400 million in the first four months of 2011, and that costs for wind and solar farms have dropped dramatically.
Latest Assessment of Environmental Records of Chinese Banks Released (May 14, 2012, China Dialogue)
Green Watershed along with seven other Chinese NGOs assessed 16 Chinese banks, according to 11 indicators, with noticeable improvements from last year. However, the NGOs identify room for improvement in increased disclosures, responsiveness to stakeholders, implementation of international best practices, and in overall approaches to determining, evaluating, and preventing banks’ environmental and social risks.
On the Horizon
Chinese Companies Expanding Overseas International Financing Forum (July 5, 2012 | Beijing)
Organized by International Financing Magazine, the forum includes speakers from China Import-Export Bank and China Investment Association and features a session focusing on social responsibility of companies overseas.
2012 China International Conference in Finance (July 9-12, 2012 | Chongqing)
Organized by the China Center for Financial Research at Tsinghua University and the Sloan School of Management at MIT, the Conference includes sessions on corporate governance, development finance, and misaligned incentives and corporate fraud.
The First China Green Zone Development Conference (August 9-10, 2012 | Beijing)
Organized by Tsinghua University and China Environmental Investment Union, the conference explores how to develop science parks or manufacturing zones that are environmentally friendly and contribute to local economic development.