First Materiality Analysis on CSI 300 CSR Reports Released
Over 80% of CSI 300 components companies have published CSR reports.
Over 50% of CSI 300 CSR reports have a disclosure rate above the average 34%.
State-owned enterprises and manufacturing enterprises account for the majority of reports
CSR consulting firm SynTao, together with Good Business Research Center, recently published a report on the materiality analysis of CSR reports for China Securities Index 300 (CSI 300) components in National Business Daily. It is the first time in China that such analysis was conducted on the benchmark CSI 300, which has a significant market value and good liquidity.
CSI 300 components companies updated in July 2018 were selected, and 250 CSR reports issued by component companies were evaluated according to the Material and Quantitative Indicators (MQI) Guidelines. The analysis has found that over 80% of CSI 300 components have CSR reports, among which state-owned enterprises and manufacturing enterprises account for the majority. However, the average disclosure rate of CSI 300 CSR reports is 34%, which is lower than the 48% disclosure rate of CSI 100 CSR reports; moreover, over half of the CSR reports have a disclosure rate below average. Among all disclosed indicators, economic indicators have the highest level of disclosure, while social indicators and indicators with negative implication have the lowest level.
According to the report, since 2002, the number of CSR reports released by CSI 300 components has increased on an annual basis, consistent with the overall trend of Chinese listed companies’ release of CSR reports. As of the end of September 2018, 82% of CSI 300 components have released their CSR reports. Among then, state-owned enterprises accounted for the most significant proportion —a total of 1280 reports were issued over 17 years. Concerning industry, manufacturing industry (per this research, including pharmaceutical manufacturing, technical hardware and equipment manufacturing, automobile manufacturing, food and beverage, smelting, textile and apparel manufacturing and other manufacturing) accounts for the majority of reports, a total of 778 reports were issued over 17 years. Concerning specific sectors, the financial sector has issued the most CSR reports, with a total of 439, which is closely related to a large number of financial companies included in CSI 300.
The report uses the MQI Guidelines developed by Syntao to assess further the level of disclosure of CSI 300 components CSR reports. This guideline presents 20 most critical and quantifiable indicators for each sector, to guide companies in improving the quality and value of their CSR reports.
The assessment found that the average disclosure rate of 250 listed companies included in CSI 300 is 34%, which means 6 to 7 MQI indicators out of 20 have been disclosed. Of the 250 companies, over 58% were below the average disclosure rate. There is a considerable gap regarding disclosure rate among listed companies. The highest disclosure rate is 95% of Fuxing Pharma. Four companies have the lowest disclosure rate of 0, which means that these four companies only disclose qualitative information but not quantitative indicators in their CSR reports.
Regarding sector, the disclosure rate of the extractive sector and the financial sector is relatively high, which is consistent with the findings on CSI 100 components. The average disclosure rate in the financial sector reaches 44%. The extractive industry, including oil and gas, coal mining and other mining industries, reaches 75%, 64% and 42% respectively. Regarding indicators, it is consistent with the CSI 100 component findings that economic indicators have the highest disclosure rate, while the social indicators have the worst disclosure rate.
Similar to the previous CSI 100 analysis, the CSI 300 report found that the disclosure rate of indicators with negative implication was not good as well. Taking the financial sector as an example, only 8 out of 55 financial companies disclosed “the number of confirmed corruptions and the frequency of actions taken”, 7 disclosed “the number of violations of regulations and the amount of fines imposed”, 10 disclosed “FI-PR.2the number of incidents and complaints regarding the infringement of client privacy and the leakage of client information", 13 disclosed "FI-PR.5 number of laws related to products and service violated and the number of fines imposed
Based on the findings above, the report suggests that Chinese listed companies should fully recognise the value of substantive information disclosure, increase the disclosure of MQI related to social, environment, labour and product, and do not overlook indicators with the negative implication. Moreover, besides the qualitative description, quantitative data should be used more often. To make the disclosure comprehensive, balanced and more credible, companies should disclose the whole data of the entire company, rather than data from a specific project or a subsidiary. As the substantive disclosure of CSR information is getting mandatory for listed companies, the report recommends that companies can refer to the MQI guidelines when disclosing, preparing and publishing CSR reports to meet the substantive and mandatory requirements from regulatory authorities.
Established in 2005, SynTao Co., Ltd. is a leading Beijing-based consultancy promoting sustainability and responsibility in the Asian region. Currently, SynTao has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Washington D.C. As one of the earliest CSR consultancies in China, Syntao has accumulated substantial experience in CSR and sustainable development. We focus on consulting, education and investment in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
About Good Business
To be responsible for both public and business, National Business Daily has launched the “Good Business” report and series of activities since 2016. Good business focuses not only on topics related to business, business innovation, social innovation but also on corporate social responsibility and the sustainable development of the business. We hope to use the power of media to promote sustainable development and pay tribute to industrial civilisation and business innovation!
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About MQI Guidelines
“Material and Quantitative Indicators Guidelines for CSR Report” (MQI Guidelines) offers material and quantitative indicator system for different sectors in terms of information disclosure in CSR reporting, with the aim of helping companies in different sectors to identify material topics in CSR reports, promoting the disclosure of material and quantitative information in reports, and helping stakeholders with evaluation and application of the reports. In the process of preparing the MQI Guidelines, SynTao thoroughly sought the opinions and suggestions from regulatory authorities, enterprises, consulting agencies, academic institutions, representatives of civil organisations, etc., and strived to reflect the views of different stakeholders.
The MQI Guidelines (version 1.0) currently provides key quantitative indicators for 23 sectors. We hope to include more listed companies in our research and provide a reference for ESG governance, investment decisions and policy development.
About MQI database
MQI database (www.mqi.org.cn) collects corporate social responsibility reports released in China. The disclosure rate of these collected reports is regularly evaluated using MQI Guidelines. The results of the analysis are open for public inquiries. MQI database is an open platform, and we welcome cooperation and suggestion from corporations, academic institutions, governments and other stakeholders to promote the development of CSR reporting jointly.
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