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Open AccessArticle

Is Environmental Sustainability Taking a Backseat in China after COVID-19? The Perspective of Business Managers

1
College of Information and Management Science, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450046, China
2
Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10369; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410369
Received: 3 November 2020 / Revised: 5 December 2020 / Accepted: 10 December 2020 / Published: 11 December 2020
China’s quick economic recovery from COVID-19 has presented a narrow but vast opportunity to build an economy that is cleaner, fairer, and safer. Will China grab this opportunity? The answer rests with both business managers and the government. Based on a questionnaire survey of 1160 owners and managers of companies headquartered in 32 regions of China and covering 30 industries, this paper explores how COVID-19 has impacted Chinese business, especially with regard to the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social, and environmental). The results suggest that Chinese companies’ sustainability priorities have been shifted towards the social dimension both during COVID-19 and into the post-pandemic phase, regardless of the type of ownership, company size, or market focus (domestic, overseas, or mixture of the two). However, all types of company prioritize the need for economic sustainability in the post-pandemic phase and in relative terms the importance of the environmental dimension has been diminished. Hence the potential for a post-pandemic environmental rebound effect in China is clear. But it does not have to be the case if Chinese businesses and the government take actions to change its recovery plans to embrace the environmental dimension of sustainability. The paper puts forward some suggestions and recommendations for businesses and the government. View Full-Text
Keywords: social sustainability; economic sustainability; environmental sustainability; COVID-19; China; business social sustainability; economic sustainability; environmental sustainability; COVID-19; China; business
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, D.; Hao, M.; Morse, S. Is Environmental Sustainability Taking a Backseat in China after COVID-19? The Perspective of Business Managers. Sustainability 2020, 12, 10369. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410369

AMA Style

Zhang D, Hao M, Morse S. Is Environmental Sustainability Taking a Backseat in China after COVID-19? The Perspective of Business Managers. Sustainability. 2020; 12(24):10369. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410369

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Dongyong; Hao, Mengge; Morse, Stephen. 2020. "Is Environmental Sustainability Taking a Backseat in China after COVID-19? The Perspective of Business Managers" Sustainability 12, no. 24: 10369. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410369

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