Walvax Biotechnology: Inadequate Environmental Policy Disclosure

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Walvax Biotechnology [300142:CH] is a Chinese biopharmaceutical company engaging in the R&D, production, and sales of human vaccines and other products. According to rating agency CSRHub, the Chinese firm scores 38 out of 100 in overall Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance, compared with 20,094 companies worldwide. Walvax claims to fully comply with GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards) for reporting on economic, environmental, and social performance. An analysis of the company's environmental, social, and governance policies are as follows:

Environment: Needs More Environmental Protection Efforts

Walvax has established a special team responsible for environmental, health, and safety management. It continues to promote environmental protection in strict accordance with national rules and laws. To meet environmental protection standards, the company sets relevant targets at the beginning of each year and reviews annual practices in clean production, resource and energy conservation, pollution reduction, waste management, etc.

Specifically, Walvax has pledged to strictly oversee the sewage treatment facilities in its affiliates. For those units with insufficient sewage treatment capacity, Walvax has increased hardware investment to add or upgrade relevant equipment and devices for them. The company has also formed carbon emission reduction and other green targets and said to have reached the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, according to Walvax’s 2019 CSR report, some of its subsidiaries have teamed up with suppliers on packaging materials recycling. For hazardous waste, the company has asked all units to handle waste following regulations and deliver to licenses recycling companies.

However, there is plenty of room for Walvax to implement policies to realize green development. The company’s 2019 CSR report failed to indicate Walvax’s progress in launching various environmental protection programs. Also, the company did not report on measures for creating an environmentally-friendly workplace.

Social: Underperformed in Creating Diversified Workforce

As of 2019, Walvax has employed 1,237 personnel. However, it did not mention efforts to offer equal and fair employment opportunities as well as to improve employ diversity. For instance, the company’s percentage of female staff and staff from minority ethnic groups remains undisclosed. Notably, the firm has formed various skill-training programs for its employees. For instance, its personnel training scheme, Walvax College, has covered all grassroots and middle managers of subsidiaries.

Additionally, the company has formed a strict code of conduct to regulate employee behaviors. For instance, Walvax bans employees from engaging in data fraud, plagiarism, releasing confidential information, etc.

Regarding its engagement with suppliers and partners, Walvax claims to conduct regular evaluations on their performance and strives to maintain efficient communication. To ensure product quality, the company guarantees to have all products pass national examinations and receive relevant certificates before production and marketing.

Governance: Has Dispersed Ownership Structure

The company’s ownership structure is dispersed as no shareholder directly or indirectly control the company. The state-backed Yunnan Industrial Investment Holding Group is the largest shareholder, owning 6.99% of the vaccine maker.

Walvax has formed a Strategy Committee, an Audit Committee, a Nomination Committee, and a Remuneration & Assessment Committee under the Board of Directors. The Board consists of nine members including three independent directors. According to the company’s 2019 annual report, the remuneration of directors, supervisors, and senior executives in 2019 totaled RMB18.70m.

Moreover, the company organizes regular general meetings of shareholders to ensure all shareholders, especially minority shareholders, to receive equal and fair treatment. In 2019, the company held a total of three shareholder meetings, 11 meetings of the Board of Directors, and eight meetings of the Board of Supervisors to ensure compliance operations.





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