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Document Abstract
Published: 1 Dec 2008

Corporate social responsibility survey of Hang Seng Index constituent companies

How do Hang Seng listed companies address corporate social responsibility?
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This paper discusses the findings of a survey on how companies listed on the Hang Seng Index practice their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies. The paper notes that companies listed on the Hang Seng Index collectively have an enormous impact on the Hong Kong economy, and thus, on social and environmental issues. It argues that it is necessary to examine their CSR policies and initiatives in the core areas of corporate governance, CSR strategy, stakeholder engagement, supply chain policy, workplace, environmental standards and community investment. The paper suggests that within these core areas, businesses should develop policies, objectives and procedures to pursue sustainability while ensuring the interests of different stakeholders.

The findings of the survey suggest that the strongest CSR initiatives were in corporate governance, strategy, stakeholder engagement and community investment. The areas where many companies struggled were supply chain, environment and workplace. In these areas, companies lacked detailed initiatives or specific standards, and did not have effective monitoring systems or targets in place to mitigate undesirable effects.

The paper concludes that:
  • improvements to corporate social responsibility must begin with the region’s largest and most important companies
  • areas of weakness should be addressed for Hong Kong companies to adhere to higher standards of corporate responsibility and industry practices
  • improvement in these areas can be made by building on the general policies that have been laid out to set more specific and higher goals for the future
  • companies should make improvements by expanding stakeholder engagement to include groups outside of those financially invested in the company

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Authors

R. Welford; J. Dixon

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