China Stock Exchanges Announce Mandatory Sustainability Reporting Requirements for Companies

Major stock markets in China, such as the Beijing Stock Exchange, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange, recently announced that they had published new reporting guidelines on sustainability for listed companies. With this announcement, the east Asian country joins other major markets that are introducing new sustainability reporting guidelines, including the U.S. Security Exchange Commission’s (SEC) climate-disclosure rules and the recently published Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive by the European Union.

The EU’s Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive will significantly increase the number of companies required to present sustainability disclosures to more than 50,000. The directive also introduces comprehensive reporting requirements on sustainability-related risk, impacts on the environment, social standards and human rights.

According to the new requirements for the Chinese market, reporting for companies will need to include core content topics, including risk and opportunity management, strategy, governance, impact, strategy, goals and indicators. These topics show that the Chinese exchanges are taking on a double materiality approach to sustainability reporting, which focuses on reporting both the impact and risks of sustainability issues on a company as well as the company’s impact on the environment and society at large.

According to the exchanges, the core topics included in the guidelines will help stakeholders and investors to better understand the efforts of the listed companies in managing and coping sustainable development. The new rules define reporting requirements across a wide range of ESG categories, including biodiversity and ecosystem protection, climate change, rural revitalization, security of supply chains, energy use and circular economy, as well as antibribery and anticorruption, among others.

The guidelines also include reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, which has been a point of controversy for the SEC as it finalizes final climate rules. This comes as more companies issue concerns on the difficulty in gathering and unreliability of value-chain emissions data. Under the new rules, obligatory reporting requirements will apply to bigger companies, including those on the Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation 50 index, SSE 180 and Shenzhen 100, as well as dual-listed companies with securities on both foreign and domestic markets.

Generally, the compulsory requirements apply to more than 450 companies, which makes up about half of listed market value.  The Beijing exchange, which houses mainly small and medium enterprises, plans to introduce these rules on a voluntary basis. For companies included in the compulsory requirements, however, reporting for the 2025 period is set to begin in 2026.

North American companies that are already implementing ESG practices, such as First Tellurium Corp. (CSE: FTEL) (OTCQB: FSTTF), may not find major hurdles in including ESG reporting in their annual reports, should such a requirement ever become a prerequisite in the U.S.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to First Tellurium Corp. (CSE: FTEL) (OTCQB: FSTTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/FSTTF

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