Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) has lately upgraded Bosideng's ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) rating from BB to BBB, making the company a leader in China's textiles and apparel sector.
MSCI is an international company that specializes in providing global indices and related derivative financial products, whose indices are important benchmarks for global investors. The steady rise of Bosideng in ESG rating is a further endorsement of Bosideng's efforts to secure a leading position for its brand in the world and a strong affirmation of the long-term investment value of Bosideng in the capital market.
All-round efforts in sustainability drive Bosideng's ESG rating upgrade
Since China proposed its carbon peak and neutrality goals, enterprises in the country have been gradually incorporating ESG rating criteria into their development strategies and making steady progress in this regard. Bosideng is no exception. From 2021 onwards, Bosideng has put in place an ESG management framework at the three levels of decision-making, management, and execution to ensure effective implementation of ESG standards, pushing the business to meet higher requirements and achieve sustainable development across the board.
The ESG rating upgrade of Bosideng is attributable to its excellent performance in product quality improvement, supply chain management, employee welfare, and social responsibility. As a world leading Chinese down apparel brand, Bosideng has always been proactive in exploring an innovative pathway to sustainable development, with ESG management spreading to all aspects of its corporate strategies and management.
In terms of product quality, Bosideng has been dedicated to the R&D, innovation, and design of down apparel for 46 years. As of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020/21, the company has accumulated 231 patents of all sorts. As a major drafter of the national GB/T 14272 down apparel standards, it has participated in the drafting and revision of a number of international, national and industrial standards, taking the lead in the development of industry standardization. Quality-wise, all of the main technical indicators of its products are above national standards. Product quality is subject to a three-level inspection to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction. Continued efforts are made to promote the use of new environment-friendly fabrics in a bid to effectively reduce environmental impact. It is worth noting that the quality of Bosideng products has been gradually recognized by consumers and in the industry. In FY2020/21, Bosideng was the only textile and apparel brand showcased in the annual China Brand Day gala and included in the list of brands to be promoted under the Brand Power Project sponsored by China Central Television (CCTV) . In 2021, it was for the first time ranked among the world's 50 most valuable apparel brands of the year by Brand Finance, an authoritative global brand valuation consultancy.
Over the course of brand development, Bosideng has attached great importance to supply chain governance, with a focus on the safety, sustainability and traceability of raw materials. As of FY2020/21, 49% of the raw materials purchased by the company have been certified by bluesign ?, and 95% of its partner suppliers and of the down used in its products have passed RDS certification, contributing to the brand's competitive edge.
In terms of employee welfare and training, Bosideng offers competitive salary and benefits and a friendly workplace for employees. So far, Bosideng has implemented five employee equity incentive plans to raise employee satisfaction. It also lays emphasis on employee education and training, personnel structure optimization, and the integration of sustainable development into human resources management with a view to building a talent pool for the company's long-term development.
In terms of corporate social responsibility, Bosideng stays true its mission of Warming the World and constantly gives back to society. As of FY2020/21, the company has donated more than RMB 1.2 billion (around $189 million) in cash and in kind to communities. It donated 300 million high-quality down jackets to affected people around the country at the onset of COVID-19, and gave RMB 50 million in cash and in-kind donations to Shanxi Province in 2021 to aid the reconstruction of areas ravaged by torrential rains and floods.
Aiming for lasting growth, Bosideng enhances ESG management to consolidate its global leading position
Growing ESG awareness and heavy pressure from the national “dual carbon” goals have necessitated ESG management for China's textiles and clothing sector as the second largest polluter only after the oil industry.
Bosideng always attaches importance to the practice of ESG. The ESG rating has seen more extensive and in-depth information disclosure by Bosideng, who not only conducted a multifaceted ESG inquiry, surveying six types of stakeholders, including government and regulatory agencies, shareholders and investors, employees, suppliers, and partners online and offline, but also further expanded the scope of data collection and disclosure. It has enhanced, in particular, the information disclosure of product quality and supply chain management, comprehensively and meticulously showcasing the refined management of the group in all aspects of its operations. Bosideng also discloses its measures and achievements in environmental protection in accordance with the national “dual carbon” policy. Relevant information reveals that, aside from active promotion of the use of new environmentally friendly fabrics, it also funded a carbon neutral forestry initiative in Alxa, Inner Mongolia, demonstrating the group's active response to the dual-carbon targets and solid contribution to their realization.
Bosideng's ESG rating upgrade fully demonstrates the strength of the brand in sustainable development and is vital for cementing its global leading position.
For one thing, the upgraded ESG rating indicates that the company stays ahead of the industry in the strength of sustainable development. Over the past 46 years, adhering to the strategy of “focusing on the principal business and key brands”, Bosideng continues to enlarge its market share through product innovation. In 2021, it launched an innovative down windbreaker-jacket and iteratively upgraded its wholly indigenous Dengfeng 2.0 series featuring the first-ever application of aerospace technology to down apparel. In December last year, Bosideng staged a drama-style public presentation themed “China, a global leader in down apparel”, presenting its 45 years of development and showcasing its innovation achievements in multiple dimensions. Bosideng's continued efforts in launching new, innovative products and exploring the way to technological empowerment make a solid statement of its capability in sustainable development.
For another, ESG rating is not only relevant to corporate development, but also a new yardstick for the general public to evaluate businesses. It is generally believed that those with better ESG performance are more capable of resisting risks, which is conducive to long-term, sound development and more attractive to investors. Hence Bosideng's ESG rating upgrade has consolidated and enhanced the confidence of investors.
Sustainable corporate development calls for long-term exploration to find a suitable approach. Amid the emerging trend of ESG, Bosideng maintains stable performance. In August 2021, it was ranked 1st in the world in down jacket sales by Euromonitor International. Its FY2021/22 interim report shows renewed growth in revenue and profit. The elevated ESG rating represents the highest level achieved by a player from China's textiles and apparel industry, setting a good example for industry peers. In the future, hopefully more textiles and clothing manufacturers will join in the ESG development to push for the realization of the “dual carbon”goals.