ANZ Bank: Sustainability essential to our reputation

ANZ Bank has achieved an impressive ranking in the annual G100 Index, awarded at the  World Economic Forum.

Announced in January 2016 at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, by research firm Corporate Knights, the annual G100 Index considers a broad range of sustainable business factors including how organisations balance environmental, social, and governance performance while delivering superior returns to investors.

ANZ Bank achieved an impressive 67th in the global index, from 4,609 companies assessed. Canstar caught up with ANZ Head of Corporate Sustainability and Financial Inclusion, Jane Nash, for a Q&A on the initiaitves that saw the ANZ Bank success.

Q: Your G100 ranking this year is a great achievement; 67th of 4,609 companies assessed. What are the sustainability initiatives over the past 12 months that ANZ is proudest of?

In 2016, we were ranked 67th up from 78th in 2015, which represents a 4.4 per cent increase and is something we are very proud of. We achieved or partially achieved 80 per cent of our sustainability targets in 2015.

Some of our 2015 initiatives that we are most proud of include, an increase in lending to lower-carbon power generation, women in management increased to 40.4 per cent, and ANZ employees contributing more than 108,000 hours to community volunteering activities.

Q: Why is sustainability so important?

Our business takes account of social, environmental and economic risks and opportunities.

It’s essential to our reputation and creating value for all stakeholders. And, in considering these factors, we can create and preserve value for our customers, our shareholders, our people, the environment and the communities in which we live and operate.

Q: Can you share any sustainability goals that you are looking to implement over the next few years?

ANZ has 17 sustainability goals for 2016 that cover sustainable development, diversity and inclusion, and financial inclusion and capability.

Some of our goals for 2016 include, enhancing our staff’s ability to support vulnerable customers through improving their training on identifying issues such as family violence and elder abuse; reaching 60,000 lower income people and those with low financial capability through ANZ’s financial literacy program, MoneyMinded; facilitating at least $10 billion worth of investment in low carbon and sustainability solutions by 2020; and, reaching a 50:50 gender representation for recruitment of graduates and no less than 40 per cent women in management.

Q: Does ANZ’s size make it easier or more challenging to achieve sustainability goals?

ANZ is a large organisation, which creates complexity. You need the right governance, policies, and processes and you need to ensure that staff are engaged.

Q: How important is it to have staff engagement and commitment to your goals, and how do you achieve this?

Staff engagement is a key building block for our commitment to goals. We don’t see sustainability as a separate goal, it’s simply engrained in how we do things. Sustainability is built into our policies, processes and operations and this is reflected in the way we engage our staff.

You can read more about ANZ’s sustainability objectives here and access the full list of 2016 Global 100 (G100) Most Sustainable Corporations Index winners here.

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