The China Business and Social Sustainability Check is a self-assessment tool designed to help companies identify and comply with the most essential human rights and labor standards in relation to their activities in China. These standards represent the baseline that companies should follow to contribute to overall social sustainability. The China Business and Social Sustainability Check was developed by the Human Rights and Business Project with the support of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Political Affairs Division IV.
The China Business and Social Sustainability Check seeks to address the seeming conflict between the absolutist, universalistic nature of international human rights commitments on the one hand, and Chinese social, economic, cultural, and political realities on the other hand. The China Business and Social Sustainability Check thus
aims to demonstrate how international standards can be operationalized in China without loosing their essential core. As a reflection of the Chinese ownership of the process of developing The China Business and Social Sustainability Check, the tool in its early development stages was tested and evaluated by several Chinese civil
society organizations, representatives from Chinese companies of various sizes and Chinese CSR experts.
The China Business and Social Sustainability Check contains 28 questions and a total of 245 corresponding indicators to help companies evaluate their human rights performance. It is based on comprehensive research and analysis of Chinese legislation in reference to each question and indicator. Essentially, international human rights standards have been modified to adapt to a business setting, and in particular to a business setting in China with reference to Chinese laws and standards. In short, The China Business and Social Sustainability Check can measure a company’s policies and practices against the set of defined international human rights standards as well as Chinese legal requirements.