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Cosco's CSR 'first' heralds Chinese growth area, says DNV

Cosco's CSR 'first' heralds Chinese growth area, says DNV

Beijing: In a very public affirmation of its Corporate Social Responsibility credentials, Cosco has become the first company in China to comply with the United Nations' Global Compact, issuing its first Annual Sustainable Development Report. The report, verified by DNV, covers three separate aspects of sustainability: economic performance, environmental protection performance and social impact.

"I made a promise on implementation of Global Compact to the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. After two years of efforts, Cosco established its Global Compact Social Responsibilities Management System and issued the sustainable development report," said Cosco president Capt Wei Jiafu. All Cosco subsidiaries will now follow suit with similar CSR management systems

Peter Bjerager, DNV senior vp and coo for DNV Industry (pictured with Capt Wei) remarked, "Cosco has made a great step forward... (and) we also expect more state-owned and private enterprises in China will be inspired by COSCO's sustainability initiative and start the journey towards sustainable development."

Separately, DNV has said it hopes the fast growing Chinese economy and the increasing appreciation of risk management issues among Chinese companies will help it achieve its newly stated target of doubling the number of its employees in Greater China to 1,000 by 2010. "We aim to double in size... to service our clients and, hopefully, our revenues will increase similarly," says Bjørn K. Haugland, DNV's regional manager for Greater China.

DNV has already been expanding rapidly in China over recent years and opened its 31st office in China earlier this year, hiring employee number 500 this month. Last year, DNV's China operation achieved revenues of RMB 470m, 25% up on 2004 levels, with maritime accounting for 55%, offshore for 15% and other industries representing 30%

Risk assessment and management are areas DNV feels will become increasingly significant in China given the tighter industry regulations and the increasing importance of environmental protection and corporate responsibility.