Westpac was founded in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales, and was the first company and the first bank to be established in Australia. In 1850 the bank was incorporated by an Act of the New South Wales Parliament. We became Westpac Banking Corporation in 1982, following a merger with the Commercial Bank of Australia.
We are one of the major banking corporations throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region, with offices in New York, London and Asia. We provide a broad range of banking and financial services in these markets, including retail, commercial and institutional banking and wealth management activities.
Westpac & CSR
Westpac was assessed as the global sustainability leader for the banking sector in the 2004/2005 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, for the third year in a row. Westpac also topped the Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI) in both Australia and the UK. Within Australia, Westpac retained top ranking in the 2004 RepuTex assessment for the second year in a row and was again the only company to receive a AAA rating.
We report on our progress in integrating sustainability considerations into our business policies and practices, both in Australia and in New Zealand, through an annual Stakeholder Impact Report.
In June 2003, Westpac was one of the founding signatories to the Equator Principles, a risk assessment framework aimed at introducing global best practice standards for the assessment of social and environmental risk in project finance.
Westpac was an inaugural signatory to the United Nations Environment Program Statement by Finance Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development (UNEPFI), joining in 1992. Since then, we have been an active participant, working to improve reporting on environmental concerns for the finance sector and focusing on the integration of sustainability concerns into mainstream financial decision-making systems and processes.
In late 2004, we were voted on to the Interim Steering Committee and currently hold the position of Chair. We are also currently Co-Chair of the UNEP FI-GRI Finance Sector Supplement (Environment Performance) working group, representing financial institutions. This group is reviewing current environmental performance reporting frameworks for financial institutions, which will replace the EPI-Finance framework currently serving as the Finance Sector Supplement to the GRI reporting framework.
Westpac & CSR on the web:
Link to Performance Report