A New Report Reveals Sustainability Challenges for Companies and Investors in China

The most exposed company to ESG risks in China for 2012 was Foxconn. For the second year in a row, Chinese manufacturing companies represent the country’s highest reported environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks for investors, according to the new study Revealing China’s ESG Issues 2012 tracking local news sources by SynTao, the Chinese sustainability research company.

Social concerns were by far the largest type of ESG risk reported in China with occupational health and safety incidents accounting for almost 40% of the total alerts. SynTao says the top five ESG issues were occupational health and safety, product safety, labour conditions, business ethics, and corruption and fraud.

“Drawing from the findings of the SynTao Local News Monitoring System (LNMS), the report provides an up-to-date overview and analysis of the ESG issues specific to the realities of the Chinese market, and underlines the importance of applying an ESG strategy to investment risk management.” said Dr Guo Peiyuan, co-founder and general manager of SynTao.

Continuing media scrutiny of the manufacturing sector meant that the industry accounted for 56% of all news alerts picked up by SynTao. The research firm says the top five industries most exposed to ESG issues were manufacturing, mining, transportation, financial services and petroleum extraction. Among the 10 companies generating the most ESG risk alerts, 6 were part of the Fortune Global 500 (by revenue).

SynTao tracked over 2000 companies and their ESG coverage in local press in China mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan for a period of one year (August 2011 – July 2012). In total, the company identified 417 separate incidents for 300 different companies.

Link to report: Revealing China’s ESG Issues 2012