Despite structural flaws, Westpac has an example of successful example of integrated reporting
This is Australian bank Westpac’s first report following the publication of a sustainability strategy in early 2013, which identified three focus areas. First, embrace social change (through workforce diversity, wellbeing and financial inclusion). Second, develop environmental solutions (through new environmental financial products, investing in clean tech and reducing the bank’s environmental footprint). And third, aim for better financial futures (through educating and supporting customers in preparing for retirement, advancing access to affordable housing and increasing access to finance in the Pacific islands).
Westpac addresses these strategy elements in a blended, integrated reporting approach that highlights the “shared value” opportunities that will define the bank’s social contribution and business growth in coming years.
Each strategic sustainability element is supported by a set of quantified short term (2014) and medium term (2017) targets, and reporting of performance to date in 2013. This is most definitely a best practice example of coherent sustainability strategy and demonstrates commitment and applied long-term thinking about the role of Westpac in society, beyond the immediate impacts of the services it provides.
Westpac is a banking group with six distinct financial brands. The annual report provides an overview of the group but the detail is to be found in the...