Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to accessibility page Skip to search input

Our sustainability strategy

Creating a better future for the people who bank with us, work with us, invest in us or are part of our broader communities.

At the heart of our approach to operating sustainably is a simple philosophy.
 

We must be constantly future-focused, looking to identify and respond to the emerging risks and opportunities we believe will affect the future prosperity of our business and stakeholders, for which we have the skills to make a valuable difference.
 

Over almost two centuries, this philosophy has motivated us to take a leadership role in tackling emerging issues and look to embrace new ways of doing business to stay one step ahead (as shown in our timeline of sustainability milestones).
 

As these issues mature, our aim is that our approach becomes part of our standard business practices, embedded in our day to day activities.
 

For example, more than 20 years ago we were the first Australian bank to establish an environmental policy and, soon after, began reporting our emissions. Today, it is a normal part of our day-to-day activities to ensure every business lending decision passes through our environmental filters.
 

We were also the first Australian bank to offer employees paid leave to volunteer, and today our desire to address social disadvantage and financial exclusion extends to offering innovative, tailored products and services. And we were the country's first bank to establish a policy to ensure our suppliers share our values, and it continues to be normal practice for us to independently audit their performance.
 

These actions have become part of the way we do things, because we've long recognised that Westpac Group's future is reliant on us responding to the big shifts around us.

2013-17 Sustainability Strategy

In keeping with this approach, in 2013 we set out a five-year plan (PDF 389KB) with ten objectives across three broad priority areas, against which we are tracking progress:

 

 

The actions we have taken in these three areas have seen us embrace new ways of doing business, continue to examine how we can have a positive impact though our own actions, contribute to debate on the future landscape, and encourage others to do the same.
 

Since setting out our plan, these issues have matured, the actions we've taken have moved closer to becoming part of our standard business practices and, in some cases, we have already achieved our targets ahead of schedule. In these cases, we have replaced or added new objectives to ensure our efforts are responding effectively.
 

With issues changing and developing over time, this plan is a work in progress, which we'll refine and develop with our stakeholders.

 

 

  • Our Vision provides the foundation for all our decision-making.
  • Our Corporate Strategy Priorities aim to set us on the right course to maintain solid short term returns, while positioning us well for the future. Details of our performance against these priorities are contained in our Annual Review & Sustainability Report.
  • Our Sustainability Strategy Priorities recognise that for our business to prosper over the long term, so too must the communities in which we operate.

Driving action

To guide action towards the targets we have a robust governance framework and a series of positions, policies and action plans.