Westpac named as global ESG leader

Westpac Bank has been named among the world’s best companies for reporting of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

According to research by The Global ESG Monitor, which analysed companies in Europe, US and Australia, Westpac was found to be the fifth-best company in the world for its handling of ESG.

The first four companies were all European firms; there were only two non-European firms in the top 10 which were Westpac and US brand Walgreens. Looking at Australia specifically, other ESG leaders included Woodside Petroleum, Newcrest Mining and South32.

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Australian companies were found to be leaders in making their ESG objectives clear in integrated reports and reporting ESG impacts in separate reports. However, they fell down on reporting names of stakeholder groups they engaged with, describing and defining boundaries in a supply chain and disclosing in-depth details.

Over 75% of Australian separate sustainability reports failed to disclose how stakeholders were identified, 41% failed to report how they engaged with stakeholders and 38% failed to provide a list of stakeholder groups.

Mark Paterson, principal of Currie, a corporate sustainability specialist which co-authored the report, said: “Global standards make stakeholder dialogue a priority for sustainability reporting, yet a weakness in reporting common to all regions is transparency around stakeholder involvement.

“You need look no further than Rio Tinto’s destruction of Australia’s cultural heritage at the Juukan Gorge rock shelter to see what can happen when a company does not listen and respond to stakeholders’ concerns about its impacts.”

 Top Australian companies for ESG reporting transparency

Australian rank

Company

Points

Report Format*

1

Westpac Banking Group

47

S-NFR

2

Woodside Petroleum Ltd

42

S-NFR

3

 

 

Newcrest Mining Ltd

40

S-NFR

South32

40

S-NFR

Amcor Ltd

40

S-NFR

6

ANZ Banking Group

38

S-NFR

7

National Australia Bank Ltd

37

S-NFR

8

Woolworths Ltd.

35

S-NFR

QBE Insurance Group Ltd

35

S-NFR

10

DEXUS

34

S-NFR

*I-NFR = integrated non-financial report, S-NFR = separate non-financial report




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