Managing Director on sustainability

 

Video transcript

For over 100 years, Wesfarmers has focused on the long term, because by focusing on the long term, we're able to deliver a superior return to our shareholders.

We know we need to manage our businesses in a sustainable way with a focus on people and the planet. And this year has certainly been no exception. In a world where we're all still dealing with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. It's especially pleasing that we have continued to deliver progress against our comprehensive sustainability agenda. Safety remains our highest priority. And we're pleased with the continuous improvement in safety performance, and the new safety initiatives that we've implemented across the group. Alongside support for government and community efforts to contain COVID-19. This year, we've also added new measures to support mental health and wellbeing among our teams.

At Wesfarmers, we know that to have a healthy business, you must have strong vibrant communities in which we live and work. Our team members are the driving force behind our approach to community engagement. And this year, which has included some times where our stores were closed, they have adapted and found new ways of supporting our communities.

We continue our dedication to advancing reconciliation in Australia and ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people like all Australians feel welcome in our businesses as team members, visitors, customers and suppliers. This year, over 1100 additional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people joined our team. And we are well on track to meet our target of 3%, which is employment parity within our Australian workforce. And we look forward to achieving that by the end of 2022.

Ethical sourcing and human rights have long been and remain a key focus for our divisions. We are committed to continuous improvement and we regularly assess the effectiveness of our ethical sourcing and human rights policies and actions. One such action is to improve channels for team members and workers in our supply chain to report any issues.

We remain very focused on climate change, and our businesses have continued to make good progress, improving their energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable power. We are taking bold steps putting in place ambitious targets and strategies across our businesses to meet them. We're also playing our part towards the global goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, consistent with the Paris Agreement.

Managing waste remains a significant issue for Wesfarmers. And reducing operational waste, like packaging, continues to be a key focus across all of our divisions. As more waste is diverted from landfill we're finding opportunities to adopt more circular economy principles, including by specifying recycled and recyclable materials.

Finally, we have maintained our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact, which is a collaboration amongst companies to uphold the universal principles of human rights, labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption. This initiative remains an example of companies working together as a powerful force for change. Achieving sustainable outcomes in our businesses would not be possible without the relentless focus of our team members across the group. So, a special thanks to all of our team and also to our customers and our suppliers. We can all be proud of the positive difference we're making through our sustainability initiatives.

 

Rob Scott

Managing Director

28 July 2021

 

 GRI 102-14, GRI 102-15, GRI 102-16

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