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Westpac outperforms Australian and UK competitors

Westpac outperforms Australian and UK competitors in corporate responsibility

Westpac has maintained its top ranking in the second Australian Corporate Responsibility Index while also outperforming 133 companies in the UK.

The result recognises Westpac’s corporate responsibility processes and reporting in both Australia and New Zealand. In 2004 Westpac produced its first – annual – Social Impact Report specific to New Zealand, How We Measure Up.

The Index, introduced to Australia by the St James Ethics Centre in Sydney, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers and Ernst & Young, is an international benchmarking survey measuring corporate responsibility. It is voluntary and based on self-assessment, but all submissions are validated by Ernst & Young’s Environment and Sustainability Services team to ensure claims are supported by substantiating evidence.

The Index involves a comparison of systems and performances of different companies in and across specific sectors. Its primary focus areas are strategy, integration, management practice and performance and impact. The Index was originally established three years ago by over 80 businesses working with UK charity Business in the Community (BITC).

Executive Director of St James Ethics Centre Dr Simon Longstaff said that Westpac’s top scores in both Australia and the United Kingdom demonstrated that Australian companies could compete in this area of activity with the world’s best, including those driven to perform by a challenging regulatory environment.

Westpac Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr David Morgan, said that for Westpac corporate responsibility was about behaving in a responsible, ethical and trustworthy fashion. “Topping the Index in both Australia and the UK is a tribute to the work of the bank’s people in delivering on its sustainability agenda,” Dr Morgan said.

Westpac New Zealand CEO Ann Sherry said that increasingly people wanted to deal with a bank that reflected their own values. “Corporate responsibility recognises that more and more consumers are linking their consumption choices to their perceptions of how a corporate behaves. It is pleasing to see this independent confirmation that Westpac takes very seriously the need to meet more than just financial expectations.”

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