Westpac Sets Sustainability Challenge
Wednesday, 20th February 2013 at 10:29 am
Banking giant Westpac has set a challenge to Australian corporations to do more to address sustainability issues in society with the release of its five year sustainability strategy.
The bank says it will invest over $8 billion over five years as a part of its 2017 strategy to “create a better future”.
Westpac Group Executive Christine Parker said the bank wanted to set big targets and “raise
awareness of these issues and challenge everybody to do more”.
“Our new strategic focus is to anticipate and shape the most pressing emerging issues where
we have the skills and experience to make a meaningful difference,” Parker said.
“We want to respond in a way that benefits not only our business, but our customers
and the wider community.”
According to the strategy, $6 billion will be committed to clean technology and environmental services lending and $2 billion committed to lending for social and affordable housing.
Areas to be targeted include demographic and cultural change for an ageing and more multicultural population, economic solutions for environmental challenges and identifying new ways of wealth creation that are less dependent on debt, according to the report.
Westpac also said it will become carbon neutral over the life of the five-year strategy.
Head of Sustainability at Westpac Alison Ewings said Westpac’s previous sustainability plan saw them offer a full range of financial solutions across regional carbon markets in the lead up to the introduction of the Australian Carbon Price Mechanism as well as the increase in the the percentage of women in leadership to 40%, up from 35% two years ago.
“Organisational Mentoring is now fully embedded into operational processes. In Full Year 2012, there were 75 active participants supporting approximately 33 Not for Profit organisations, social enterprises and social sector projects,” Ewings said.