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Corporate Social Responsibility in HK:
A Socio-Political Perspective
Prof. Kin-man CHAN
Director, Centre for Civil Society Studies
Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Data on Corporate Social Responsibility in HK
• CSR Survey of Hang Seng Index Constituent
Companies 2009 – Oxfam Hong Kong
• Caring Company Scheme – Hong Kong
Council of Social Service
• Survey documents the CSR policies and initiatives of the
42 Hang Seng Index Constituent Companies in 2009
• Dimensions of CSR: CSR strategy and reporting,
stakeholder engagement, workplace quality,
environmental performance, supply chains, and
community investment
• Strength:
– High level of stakeholder engagement except trade union
• Weakness:
– A significant gap in CSR performance between the best and worst
performing companies
– Weak in environmental performance, e.g. no tangible reduction
– Very weak in supply chain management (ethical procurement)
2,217 companies and organizations are awarded. Among them, 986 are small and
medium size enterprises (SME) in 2011
For the Caring Company Award , corporate must at least fulfill two criteria in each
of the three scopes (Caring for the Community, Caring for the Employee, Caring for
the Environment)
• Strength:
– Friendly way for SMEs to engage in CSR
– Majority achieved Caring for the Employees
• Weakness:
– Very low hurdle for joining – the case of LINK-REIT
– Weak in Caring for the Community (47.3% achieved Mentoring Charity
Organizations and 36. 2% achieved Employing the Vulnerable in 2011)
– Weak in Caring for the Environment (35.8% achieved Green
Partnership and 23% achieved Environmental Label or other
recognition in 2011)
CSR as an indicator of state-marketsociety relations
• Laissez-faire economic system
• Corporatism and state-business ruling
• SMEs and weak trade union
Political decay and the growth of
anti-business sentiment after 1997
• Accusations of “land/property hegemony”
• Anti-rich sentiments
• Anti-business sentiments
Failed attempts of the corporate sector
to reach out?
• Caring Company Scheme
• Community Care Fund
• “Love Ideas, Love HK” of Li Ka Shing
Challenges from multiple fronts and
some positive developments
Challenges from multiple fronts
Positive developments
•LINK Watch
•Oxfam research on listed
•SACOM and its campaign on
OEM factories (OEM stands for
original equipment
manufacturer) in China
•Social enterprise and impact
investment: Wofoo Social
•Investor activism: The promotion
of socially responsible investing,
like ASRiA
•More local intermediaries
working on CSR, like Community
Business established by local
founder Shalini Mahtani
Restoring CSR and corporate
citizenship to its rightful place
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