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The Chinese government’s intensifying focus on improving the sustainability reporting of local companies indicates that better sustainability reporting is desired by regulators. The demand of the Chinese public for better sustainability standards, enforcement, and transparency is driving this trend.
It is all but certain that foreign companies active in China will soon be expected to produce sustainability reports that prove their good environmental conduct in the country – and most likely they will be held to higher standards of conduct and criticized more forcefully for any misconduct. To benchmark environmental performance and reporting standards, we analyzed corporate disclosure across 35 environmental practices (11 policies or initiatives and 24 quantitative metrics), using data systematically collected from global and China-specific corporate sustainability reports of companies on the 2014 Fortune 500 (F500) list (foreign as well as Chinese).