UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We are committed to helping Aotearoa deliver on its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - the global agenda to 2030 laying out a roadmap to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and protect the planet. At a local level, we recognise that as a business we have a critical role to play in contributing to the agenda as well as those in Treasury’s Living Standards Framework. Below are the goals that we believe we can have the greatest impact on.

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1. No poverty.

End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

Role of business

Businesses need to respect human rights and have the opportunity to proactively address constraints faced by marginalised groups.

Business themes relevant to Westpac:

  • Availability of products and services for those on low incomes
  • Earnings, wages and benefits
  • Economic development in areas of high priority

Our contributions so far:

  • First bank in Aotearoa to be Living Wage accredited and helping the banking industry to become accredited.
  • Partnered with the Middlemore Foundation to pilot an innovative programme, Mana-ā-Riki, in Papakura to help children and young people reach their potential by providing digital learning, health services in schools and making homes safe and warm.
  • Engaging with government on cross-sector Safer Credit and Financial Inclusion Strategy.
  • Supporting the Ministry of Social Development’s Generator programme which works with communities with the highest level of hardship and funds and supports initiatives that generate prosperity through community action and enterprise.
  • Sponsoring the Moray Foundation Trust which provides interest-free loans to people in Otago to help them avoid unsustainable debt.
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5. Gender equality.

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Role of business

Businesses have a role in mainstreaming gender equality in its operations and more broadly.

Business themes relevant to Westpac:

  • Equal remuneration for women and men
  • Diversity and equal opportunity
  • Workplace violence and harassment
  • Women in leadership

Our contributions so far:

  • Achieving Gender Tick for initiatives including a gender inclusive culture, parental leave, safe workplace, flexible work, equal pay and leadership representation.
  • Pay parity leadership – Publishing a gender pay report and taking action to close the gender pay gap at Westpac.
  • Maintained women in leadership to over 50% across the organisation.
  • Promoted women's success through the national Women of Influence Awards.
  • In collaboration with Shine, developed an anti-domestic violence policy to help ensure our employees are safe from domestic violence.
  • Rolled out Unconscious Bias training for all employees.
  • Westpac Women in Tech ran a #TechGirl! Event at Westpac's head office for 100 school girls with an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math so they could learn about what it means to be a woman working in tech.
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7. Affordable and clean energy.

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Role of business:

Business can accelerate the transition to an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system by, being transparent about its own emissions and climate related risks, investing in low emission technologies such as renewable electricity generation, prioritising energy efficient practices and adopting low emissions technologies, practices and infrastructure.

Business themes relevant to Westpac:

  • Renewable energy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Infrastructure investments
  • Lending to climate change solutions

Our contributions so far:

  • Launched Westpac Warm Up, helping our customers make their home healthier and energy efficient.
  • Rolled out Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams thereby reducing the demand for employee travel.
  • Reduced lending to the fossil fuel sector. Increased lending to the climate change solutions to $1.6 billion.
  • Released the Climate Change Impact Report showing faster action on climate change could save Aotearoa $30 billion by 2050.
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8. Decent work and economic growth.

Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

Role of business:

Businesses are engines for job creation and economic growth and foster economic activity through their value chain. Businesses have responsibility to uphold labour standards, institute non-discriminatory practices and embrace diversity and inclusion.

Business themes relevant to Westpac:

  • Employment
  • Economic inclusion
  • Non-discrimination
  • Capacity Building
  • Availability of a skilled workforce

Our contributions so far:

  • Signed up to the Aotearoa New Zealand Skills Pledge. We pledge to publicly disclose our investment in on-the-job training and reskilling hours annually.
  • Investing in our people through the Best Banker Accreditation programme. The programme offers two courses – the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 4) and the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5), both in conjunction with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
  • Developed an employee financial wellbeing programme in collaboration with the Commission for Financial Capability to help build our employees’ financial confidence and capability.
  • Human Rights Position Statement and 2020 Action Plan.
  • Employee Action Groups made up of individuals who volunteer their time to progress Westpac’s diversity and inclusion agenda in six focus areas – youth, accessibility, mōhio, gender, cultural and Rainbow.
  • Culture of flexibility for employees including working from home options, part-time work, career breaks, job sharing, the opportunity to purchase extra leave and a generous parental leave policy.
  • Releasing a gender pay report and taking action to close the gender pay gap at Westpac.
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10. Reduced inequalities.

Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Role of business:

Businesses are engines for economic growth, having the potential to create jobs, foster economic activity through their value chain and contribute tax revenues for public services and infrastructure. They can also use their influence to address inequality by third parties such as suppliers.

Business themes relevant to Westpac:

  • Availability of products and services for those on low incomes
  • Access to financial services
  • Equal remuneration for women and men
  • Capacity building
  • Diversity and equal opportunity
  • Economic inclusion

Our contributions so far:

  • Westpac collaborated with the Ministries of Corrections, Social Development and Justice, and NZ Police on the New Start initiative to ensure that when prisoners are released they have a valid ID, bank account, a debit card, and can access online banking.
  • Partnering with iwi to launch contemporary papakāinga shared equity housing developments.
  • Human Rights position statement in te reo Māori.
  • Developed a Sustainable Supplier Code setting out our expectation that suppliers act sustainably.
  • Providing paid work experience for Te Waiu O Aotearoa Trust scholarship winners and offering a Māori cadetship programme.
  • Releasing a gender pay report and taking action to close the gender pay gap at Westpac.
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11. Sustainable cities and communities.

Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Role of business

Business can play a vital role in providing specific infrastructure, technology, services and financing solutions, to create inclusive, safe, sustainable and disaster resilient cities.

Business themes relevant to Westpac:

  • Access to affordable housing
  • Infrastructure investments
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Access to public spaces
  • Sustainable buildings

Our contributions so far:

  • Increased lending to the climate change solutions to $1.6 billion.
  • Helping create a more sustainable financial system that directs more capital towards sustainable purposes.
  • Converted 30% of our fleet to electric vehicles or plug in hybrids and committed to 100% by 2025, helping to create a more efficient 2nd hand market for low and zero emissions vehicles in the future, making EV ownership accessible to more people.
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13. Climate action.

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Role of business

Businesses can contribute by decarbonising their operations and supply chains through improving energy efficiency, reducing the carbon footprint of their operations, setting ambitious emissions reductions targets, being transparent about their performance and exposure to climate-related risks & opportunities and scaling up investment in innovative, low-carbon products and services.

Business themes relevant to Westpac:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reductions
  • Risks and opportunities due to climate change
  • Transparency and disclosure
  • Sustainable Finance
  • Sustainable Agriculture

Our contributions so far:

  • Launched Westpac Warm Up, helping our customers make their homes healthier and energy-efficient.
  • Westpac NZ and Contact Energy entered into a $50 million, four-year sustainability-linked loan facility, the first such loan issued by Westpac NZ and one of the first of its kind in Aotearoa.
  • Enabling Meridian Energy to launch its Green Finance Programme converting Meridian’s existing retail bonds to green bonds as certified by the Climate Bonds Standard.
  • First Kiwi bank to raise funding through the issuance of a green bond.
  • First Kiwi bank to become Toitū carbonzero certified.
  • Reduced emissions by 19% since 2019.
  • Partnership with CoGo, an app that makes sustainable and ethical living easy.
  • Increased lending to the climate change solutions sector to $1.6 billion.
  • Decreased lending to fossil fuels by 60% since 2012.
  • Committed to 100% of our fleet being electric vehicles or plug in hybrids by 2025.
  • Published the Climate Change Impact Report.
  • Completed a scenario analysis to better understand our exposure to climate risk and sea level rise. This will be disclosed in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure in late November, 2020.
  • Founding member of the Climate Leaders Coalition.
  • Founding member of the Aotearoa Circle and Co-Chair the Sustainable Finance Forum.
  • Reducing landfill waste by recycling and composting.
  • Installed onsite worm farms and vegetable boxes at head office for use in our cafes and kitchen.
  • Supported the development and launch of Lincoln University’s Farm Carbon Footprint Calculator.