China’s three major stock markets, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE), Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), and Beijing Stock Exchange (BSE), announced the publication of new sustainability reporting guidelines for listed companies, including a new requirement for hundreds of larger cap and dual-listed issuers to begin mandatory disclosure on a broad range of Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. More topics in 2026.
With the announcement, China joins other major markets in the midst of introducing new sustainability reporting requirements for companies, including the EU’s recently launched Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive (CSRD), the U.S. SEC’s upcoming climate disclosure rules, and other jurisdictions, including Australia, Brazil, Singapore, and the UK.
According to the new guidelines released by the Chinese exchanges, reporting requirements for companies will encompass four “core content” topics, including Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights. More, strategy, impact, risk and opportunity management, and indicators and goals. The listed topics indicate that the exchanges are adopting a “double materiality” approach to sustainability reporting, which includes reporting both on the risks and impact of sustainability issues on an enterprise, as well as on the enterprises’ impacts on environment and society.
According to the exchanges, the core content topics outlined are included in the guidelines “so that investors and stakeholders can fully understand the listed companies’ efforts to cope with and manage sustainable development.”
The guidelines outline reporting requirements across a broad range of Environmental criteria consider how a company performs as a steward of nature. More, Social criteria examine how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. More and Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights. More categories, including climate change, ecosystem and biodiversity protection, circular economy, energy use, supply chain security, and rural revitalization, as well as anti-corruption and anti-bribery, among others. Notably, the rules include reporting on Scope 3 value chain greenhouse gas emissions, which has been a key point of controversy for the SEC as it prepares its final climate rule, as companies have raised concerns about the unreliability of, and difficulty in collecting, value chain emissions data.
Mandatory reporting requirements under the new guidelines will apply to larger companies, including those on the flagship Shenzhen 100, SSE 180 and Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation 50 index, as well as dual-listed companies with securities on both domestic and foreign markets. Overall, the mandatory requirements apply to more than 450 companies, representing around half of listed market value. The Beijing exchange, which houses primarily small and medium enterprises, is introducing the guidelines on a voluntary basis.
For those included in the mandatory requirements, reporting is set to begin in 2026, for the 2025 reporting period.