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2020 Sustainability Strategy – Half Year progress update

4 May 2020

We continue to make progress in a number of areas where we believe we can help create positive social, economic and environmental impact.

Our first half year 2020 progress against our sustainability goals includes:

Priority areas Goals Half Year 2020 performance
Helping people make better financial decisions Help more people better understand their financial position, improving their financial confidence
  • Continued to offer financial health check programs for superannuation members, including the digital Wealth Review tool and My Wellbeing online portal;
  • Delivered a range of financial literacy programs to individuals, businesses, not-for-profit organisations and community groups through Westpac’s Davidson Institute in Australia and the Managing Your Money program in New Zealand; and
  • Delivered financial capability communications for different demographic segments including for young Australians, in partnership with Year 13 women, via Ruby Connection; and older Australians, via Starts at 60.
Helping people by being there when it matters most to them Help people recover from financial hardship
  • Helped customers experiencing financial hardship, issuing over 34,700 financial assistance packages.
Help people lift out of a difficult time and recover stronger
  • Refer to the ‘Bushfires and COVID-19’ updates provided in the Key developments section in the ASX Release.
Helping our most vulnerable customers
  • Developed a Vulnerable Customer Standard to provide guidance to staff when supporting customers in vulnerable circumstances;
  • Assisted over 1,700 customers since launching the Priority Assist team to support customers experiencing vulnerable circumstances; including domestic and family violence and financial abuse;
  • Enhanced our series of Life Moments tools and resources to assist customers and their families going through challenging circumstances such as the loss of a loved one, divorce or separation, with over 125,000 visits to the Life Moments web page; and
  • Supported over 4,500 Indigenous Australians since the establishments in December 2018 of a dedicated Customer Care team to support remote Indigenous communities.
Helping people creating a prosperous nation Build the workforce of the future
  • Over 2,400 employees from our Consumer division completed ‘Own the Moment’ workshops – providing training to help frontline employees deepen their relationships with customers and deliver on Our Service Promise; and
  • Partnered with Macquarie University to deliver our Core Lending Program, with over 800 business bankers completing this program since launching through The Business Institute.
Invest and back the people and ideas shaping Australia
  • Westpac Scholars Trust1 has awarded $3.9 million, in educational scholarships to the next 64 Westpac Scholars, bringing the total cohort to 479;
  • Westpac Foundation2 job creation grants to social enterprises helped to create 539 jobs3 for vulnerable Australians;
  • Added 208 businesses through Many Rivers partnership; cumulatively the partnership is currently supporting 2,495 people with jobs3, with 868 identifying as Indigenous;
  • Maintained a portfolio of direct investment in nine early stage companies; and
  • Current commitment to Reinventure of $150 million across three funds, supporting Reinventure’s investment in 27 early stage companies.
Back the growth of climate change solutions
  • Increased lending to climate change solutions, taking total committed exposure to $9.7 billion, progressing towards our 2020 target of $10 billion; and
  • Facilitated $4.5 billion in funding for climate change solutions, exceeding our 2020 target of $3 billion.
Bring together partners and harness the Group's capacity to tackle pressing social issues  that matter most to the nation
  • Continued involvement in the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Banking, an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI); and
  • Refer to the ‘AUSTRAC – Safer Children, Safer Communities’ update provided in the Key developments section in the ASX Release.
A culture that is caring, inclusive and innovative Promote an inclusive society, where our workforce reflects our customers, and where more people feel safe to speak up
  • Maintained 50% women in leadership4 roles; and
  • 80 new-to-bank Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander hires.
Increase channels where customers can provide feedback
  • Reduced non-external dispute resolution average time to solve for complaints from 9.4 days inn First Half 2019 to 6 days; and
  • 74% complaints resolved within five days, compared to 62% in First Half 2019.
Continuing to lead on the Sustainability fundamentals Employees
  • Maintained lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 0.4 and achieved total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) of 2.4, a 23% reduction from Full Year 2019; and
  • Refer to the ‘Bushfires and COVID-19’ updates provided in the Key developments section in the ASX Release.
Human rights
  • Published our 2019 Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement in accordance with the requirements of the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015;
  • Progressed work to meet the requirements of the Australian Modern Slavery Act (2018); and
  • Joined the Australian Banking Association’s (ABA) Corporate Sustainability Working Group to promote the implementation of best practice approaches to Modern Slavery Act reporting within the ABA membership.
Sustainability lending and investment
  • Continued to embed the requirements of our updated Sustainability Risk Management Framework; and
  • Announced first green loan developed for the superannuation sector, specifically for Local Government Property Fund (LGPF), managed by Local Government Super (LGS).
  • Maintained carbon neutral status6;
  • On track to achieve an 8% reduction in GHG emissions compared to Full Year 2019 and 48% reduction compared to Full Year 2016;
  • On track to achieve over 25% reduction in water consumption in our Australian workplaces7 compared to Full Year 2016; and
  • Achieved 73% diversion of waste from landfill in our main Australian offices8.


Responsible sourcing
  • Sourced $6.1 million from diverse suppliers, including $1.4 million from Indigenous suppliers.
Community & social impact
  • 7.9% employees participated in our volunteering programs, with 362 Westpac employees involved with volunteering support to community partners and social enterprises to build their financial sustainability and social impact; and
  • Refer to the ‘Bushfires and COVID-19’ updates provided in the ASX document – Key developments section in the ASX Release.

More information:   


1 Westpac Scholars Trust (ABN 35 600 251 071) is administered by Westpac Scholars Limited (ABN 72 168 847 041) as trustee for the Westpac Scholars Trust. Westpac Scholars Trust is a private charitable trust and is not a part of Westpac Group.

2 Westpac Foundation is administered by Westpac Community Limited (ABN 34 086 862 795) as trustee for Westpac Community Trust (ABN 53 265 036 982). Westpac Community Trust is a Public Ancillary Fund, endorsed by the ATO as a Deductible Gift Recipient and is not a part of Westpac Group.

3 Jobs created through the Westpac Foundation job creation grants to social enterprises and Many Rivers job creation for the year ended 31 December 2019.

4 Women in Leadership refers to the proportion of women (permanent and maximum term) in leadership roles across the Group. It includes the CEO, Group Executives, General Managers, senior leaders with significant influence on business outcomes (direct reports to General Managers and their direct reports) large (3+) team people leaders there levels below General Managers, and Bank and Assistant Bank Managers.

5 Environmental footprint data as at 31 December 2019, unless otherwise stated.

6 Metric updated annually. Status as at 30 June 2019.

7 Australian workplaces include commercial offices, retail branches, data centres and subsidiary sites.

8 Our main Australian offices are Sydney based Westpac buildings located at Kent Street, Barangaroo and Kogarah.