25 March 2019
“The statement outlines our commitment to advancing human rights, a zero tolerance approach to modern slavery and the steps we have taken to prevent modern slavery in our business and supply chains,” said Siobhan Toohill, Group Head of Sustainability at Westpac Group.
In the year ending 30 September 2018, we:
- Updated our Sustainability Risk Management Framework and Principles for Doing Business to include more detailed descriptions of modern slavery risks such as slavery and human trafficking, rights of children and migrants. These updates were designed to assist employees to better identify and manage modern slavery risks;
- Continued to apply our established standards for ethical and social business practices of suppliers through our Responsible Sourcing Code of Conduct (our Code);
- Incorporated the principles of our Code into our sourcing frameworks in New Zealand and undertook a baseline assessment of our sourcing practices in the Pacific jurisdictions that we operate in;
- Undertook a number of responsible sourcing due diligence processes that aimed to identify, assess and mitigate potential breaches or abuses of fundamental human rights within the supply chain. A key due diligence process that we continued to implement in financial year 2018 was the Responsible Sourcing Supplier Assessment, which screened supplier engagements to identify inherent environmental, social and governance risks present based on three key risk indicators – country of operation, potential for direct brand impact and commodity and sector specific risks;
- Signed up to the Australian Supplier Payment Code, which provides that signatories will, as buyers of goods or services in Australia, pay small business suppliers within a 30 day period upon receipt of a correct invoice;
- Continued to strengthen our Group Speaking Up Policy, to encourage employees to speak up when they see something is not right, including where they identify any human rights concerns with modern slavery;
- Undertook an exercise, with the assistance of third-party experts, to refresh our assessment of our salient human rights issues – which are human rights at risk of most severe negative impact through a company’s activities and business relationships. One of the salient human rights issues we identified was unfair wages and conditions for workers in our supply chain and broader value chain, impacting worker prosperity, security and standard of living; and
- Delivered our redesigned mandatory training to all employees to help them more clearly understand what ‘Doing the Right Thing’ at Westpac looks like.
Read our full statement for further details.
- In our 2018 financial year we spent AU$6.08 billion with suppliers across Australia and New Zealand;
- We buy goods and services from around 30,000 suppliers; and
- We provide consumer, business and institutional banking services along with wealth management, wealth administration and insurance services to customers predominantly located in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region and maintain branches and offices in New York, London and Asia.