With the current global focus on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in business, there are various voices in the international community emerging on sustainable development. ESG practices and reporting have become increasingly important issues for companies to manage. However, there is no "one-size-fits-all" set of ESG regulatory standards that can be applied across all industries and companies around the world. China's ESG regulatory standards possess strong industry and company-specific attributes. Differentiated governance of ESG is critical to achieve the value objectives of ESG.
Richard Sheng, Secretary of the Board of Directors of Ping An Group, is also Deputy Chairman of the ESG Special Committee of the China Listed Companies Association. In an article for the 16th edition of the Peking University Finance Review, Mr. Sheng says that the same ESG issues have different connotations in China and other countries. These differences reflect the varying expectations of regulators of how ESG should be implemented by companies, the level of each market’s economic development, its social and cultural heritage, and the policy and regulatory environment. Ping An has been proactive in integrating ESG concepts in its business strategy and operations, while fully recognizing the divergent perspectives on ESG issues. It has been an innovator in supporting individual companies in their exploration of ESG practices.
As climate change continues to receive global attention and market fluctuations economic fluctuations related to corporate governance issues have become more frequent, the sustainable development of companies is gaining more attention and recognition from global capital markets and major institutional investors. As China's national strength and corporate influence rises, the ESG practices of Chinese listed companies have also attracted wide attention from domestic and foreign investors, industry organizations, and intergovernmental organizations. There is a Chinese saying that translates as, "Different regions have different customs and practices". Expectations for corporate ESG practices vary across the globe. It is worth considering how Chinese companies make choices and take action in light of these differences, which deserve deep reflection from corporate leaders.
Keep reading the article in the following sections
- Part 2: Recognizing the difference in ESG Regulations around the World
- Part 3: Identifying Commonalities in ESG Values
- Part 4: ESG Practice and Reflective from Ping An
This article was published in the 16th edition of the "Peking University Finance Review."