Corporate Environmental Management in China: Observations from Various Empirical Studies

Event: The Contribution of Labor and Environment Practices to Chinese Competitiveness in World Market
Date: Workshop of Sao Paulo University, Brazil

This paper gives a summary of observations from various empirical studies of corporate environmental management (CEM) in China, which were conducted in the past three years under a project titled ‘Proactive Policies and Business Strategies for Strengthening Corporate Environmental Management in Developing Asia’. The surveys target the companies based in Yangtze River Delta and aim to measure the involvement level of their internally proactive CEM and green supply chain management (GSCM) as externally cooperative CEM practices. A policy evaluation study was also conducted to identify the functions of a mandatory environmental information disclosure (EID) program in enhancing environmental performance improvement of participating companies. The result confirms that the companies in the study area have achieved environmental legitimacy and start to practice certain CEM out of basic compliance. The companies are really sensitive to the market factors like the environmental performances of their business competitors. The mandatory EID program oriented by local governments has positive effect in improving the company’s environmental performance. This program is particularly useful to help the companies more clearly understand their problems of internally environmental management. In overall, GSCM practices of the surveyed companies, especially those activities jointly implemented with external actors on the supply chain, are still marginal. In spite of the importance of pressures from regulations, clients and competitors, the company’s capacity fundamentally determines the level of GSCM practices as an internal factor and significantly mediates the influences of external pressures.