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Australian Companies Recognised for Changing the World

13 September 2017 at 5:02 pm
Luke Michael
Two Australian companies have been recognised for making a positive social impact, after being named in Fortune Magazine’s Change the World List.

Luke Michael | 13 September 2017 at 5:02 pm


Australian Companies Recognised for Changing the World
13 September 2017 at 5:02 pm

Two Australian companies have been recognised for making a positive social impact, after being named in Fortune Magazine’s Change the World List.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, along with insurance group IAG, made the list which identified 50 companies around the world which have made an important social or environmental impact. The list “aims to showcase the power of capitalism to improve the human condition”.

Fortune prioritised companies which have an annual revenue of more than $1 billion and measured organisations by their measurable social impact, how this benefited the business results of the company, and the degree of innovation demonstrated.

Both these companies are founding members of the Shared Value Project, which helps with the implementation of shared value strategies among leading companies and government organisations.

Peter Yates AM, the chair of the Shared Value Project, congratulated these companies for having their contributions recognised.

“Both Bendigo Bank and IAG are great examples of organisations that have used their business capabilities and resources to address a pressing social issue in a measurable and sustainable way and improved their profitability,” Yates said.

“Their recognition by Fortune as two of the 50 companies changing the world is a clear sign that Australian companies are achieving competitive advantage through the adoption of shared value.”

It is this shared value business model which has allowed these Australian companies to rank above major corporations such as IBM, Dell and American Express.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank use a Community Bank model, by operating in partnership with a community owned company. This way, they can support “self-selecting communities to run their own branches as franchisees, leveraging the bank’s infrastructure and expertise.”

By reinvesting a portion of their revenue back into the community, they have driven long-term growth and sustainability in local areas, through a contribution of $165 million in profits.

Mike Hirst, the managing director of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank said: “Shared value is a concept now gaining global momentum, although it has been central to our strategy for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s entire 160 year history.

“To be recognised among international enterprises committed to strengthening the connection between corporate and community success by addressing social and environmental needs is confirmation that our business model is ahead of its time.

“We are enormously proud of our Community Bank model, which is the most obvious of our shared value models. The concept of feeding into community prosperity, rather than off it, is fundamental in all we do.

“The performance of the financial system is ultimately only as good as the benefits it delivers to its users whether they be individuals, communities or businesses. We believe that to be truly successful, all stakeholders in our business – customers, staff, shareholders, partners and suppliers – must feel fairly rewarded for the effort they put in to help our business be successful.”

IAG’s social impact is fostered through its Shared Value Framework, recognising that “safer, stronger, and more confident communities” were necessary to make the world a better place.

The company also have a Good Hands program, which “encourages individuals to take a first step of connection and interaction by listing existing neighbourhood initiatives and encouraging the launch of new ones, ultimately aiming to build a more resilient nation”.

IAG managing director and chief executive officer Peter Harmer said: “The recognition from Fortune reflects our strong focus on embedding shared value into our business and could not have been achieved without the support of our people, from the frontline to the boardroom.

“Shared value provides a pathway for us to approach every aspect of our business with our communities, customers and people at front of mind, while still delivering the commercial value and strength our stakeholders expect from us.

“We know that collaboration is critical in creating long-term and impactful change. We are proud to be featured in the Fortune Change the World list alongside the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank who we have partnered with for more than 120 years.”

The full list, which is headed by American banking giant JPMorgan Chase, can be viewed here.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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