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Can you guess Australia’s most sustainable bank?

By Grace Ormsby · September 18 2019
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Can you guess Australia’s most sustainable bank?

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By Grace Ormsby · September 18 2019
Reading:
egg

Despite a number of recent legal dramas, one of Australia’s big four banks has nabbed the top spot as Australia’s most sustainable bank for 2019.

Westpac Group has announced it has regained the Australian number one ranking in the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.

It comes after tumultuous couple of years for the group, which most recently was put on notice for a class action alleging its superannuation subsidiaries were not acting in members’ best interests

The bank has also had to fend off ASIC allegations in court that alleged it had breached responsible lending provisions, and has been hit with fines from APRA for failing to meet legal obligations on the reporting of data

The group’s CEO, Brian Hartzer, said it’s an honour to see the group’s sustainable business practices recognised in such a leading global benchmark.

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“To be named Australia’s most sustainable bank is reflective of the priorities we have set ourselves to be better and do better,” he said.

According to the CEO, “it demonstrates to our customers and communities that we are serious in our actions to help create a more sustainable future, something that is a great source of pride for our people”.

Globally, the Westpac Group was ranked the ninth most sustainable bank.

S&P Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM undertake the ranking process each year, which is a global evaluation of how companies manage and perform across social, economic and environmental dimensions.

The assessment looks at areas including climate strategy, environmental reporting, social reporting, financial inclusion, corporate citizenship and philanthropy as well as corporate governance, risk management, customer relations, brand management, human resources and corporate community investment.

Providing examples of how the group achieved Australia’s number one spot, Mr Hartzer highlighted that “over the past year, we’ve increased our lending to climate change solutions to over $10 billion and launched our world-first certified Green Tailored Deposit – an innovative solution for customers seeking an independently certified green investment product”.

“We’ve also committed to source 100 per cent of our global electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2025.”

The CEO said the group had “continued to align ourselves with the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and report against the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD)”.

“Over the last 12 months, we have also activated a Customer Vulnerability Action Plan, which has included priority care teams to assist our vulnerable customers affected by circumstances such as dementia, financial abuse, problem gambling and family violence,” he continued.

As a result, the group now has “more than 20,000 employees who have been professionally trained around vulnerability to help our customers where they need it most”.

Can you guess Australia’s most sustainable bank?
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About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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