companies making a difference

westpac is Australia’s oldest
bank, with branches and affiliates throughout the Pacific region. It was
a founding signatory to the Equator Principles, a set of voluntary
environmental and social guidelines for ethical lending.

 Noel Purcell is group general manager of stakeholder communications.

“By the mid-1990’s
some of our practices had moved out of kilter with the expectations of
staff, customers and the broader community. Initially we understood
these issues mainly in terms of reputation, but we have come to
understand their substance.”

“We’re trying to translate sustainability via our brand into something meaningful for customers. The feedback is positive.”

“Sustainability is as much about change management. It involves
leadership, how people are assessed and remunerated, recruitment and
induction, training and development – and of course a framework to set
objectives and measure performance.”

“People don’t leave
their values at the door. Staff tell us in surveys that sustainability
matters to them. It is a critical part of our ability to attract the
best people.”

“Don’t try to second guess stakeholder expectations – get them involved and tap into all that expertise, goodwill and advice.”

“Put the metrics in place, independently audit and report externally; what is measured gets managed.”

t and linking up
with other companies with the same goal.”