THE Westpac Group has retained its placing – for a ninth time – as the most sustainable bank internationally, according to the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices review.
Westpac Group regional head for South Asia and the Pacific Greg Pawson, attributed the ranking to the bank’s commitment to achieving positive outcomes with its sustainable programmes in the region.
“So much of what we do in the Pacific contributes to this ranking, and we can all be very proud to work for the world’s most sustainable bank,” Pawson said.
“Many of our customers in Fiji and Papua New Guinea choose Westpac because of our sustainability credentials.
“They want their money to be with the bank who, to put it simply, does the right thing and has a clear commitment to delivering sustainable outcomes for its customers, employees, investors and for the communities of which we are a part.”
Westpac Group achieved its highest score yet – 95 per cent – in the 2016 review.
“Part of the reason we are number one in the world is because our staff take the time to match customers with financial services that can really help them thrive and because we take the hard decisions,” Pawson said.
“We only bank with industries and customers who have in place the high standard governance, environment and social protections that we know to be essential.”
Westpac Group chief executive officer Brian Hartzer said the ranking reflected the bank’s central strategy in assisting the community it operated in.
The banks sustainability programmes in Fiji and PNG largely focus on:
- Banking the unbanked;
- making women count; and
- Empowering through education.
Westpac has branch locations in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea.
According to Westpac’s website, the PNG operation commenced with the first branch opening in Port Moresby in 1901. Today it employ around 400 team members.