Managing Director's welcome


Hi everyone, and welcome to our new website that provides the latest information about our sustainability performance across the Group.

For over 100 years, Wesfarmers has remained focused on the long term. Since Wesfarmers became a publicly-listed company in 1984, our core objective has been to deliver satisfactory returns to shareholders over the long term. We believe it is only possible to achieve this if we manage our businesses in a sustainable manner and this means managing and understanding the impact we have on people and the environment and playing a positive role in the communities we serve.

While we are proud of what we have achieved to date we're constantly looking at ways to improve our performance year on year.

As a business driven by people, we're focused on making sure every team member returns home safe every day. So it's pleasing to report that our safety performance has improved with a 1.5% reduction in total recordable injury frequency rate to 13.5 in our continuing operations.

We also continue to strive for gender balance across all levels of the organisation. Businesses with gender balance - which we define as 40 to 60 per cent of either gender - cater better to the strengths, preferences and needs of different team members and customers. And we believe that that helps us to deliver for our shareholders. Over the past five years we've increased the percentage of women at each management level, and I'm delighted to report that this year our leadership team is now made up of 45 per cent women.

Ethical sourcing and human rights in our supply chain continues to be a key focus in our divisions. We recognise the important role that business can play in combatting modern slavery. All our businesses apply a human rights and ethical sourcing audit program to suppliers in countries or areas where we believe we face the most risks. This year, our audit program covered more than 3,700 factories, and where we identified breaches, we acted swiftly.

We continued to play our part in building stronger communities and this year we contributed $72 million dollars to community-focused organisations, either directly or through customers and our team members. This is really important for our teams that take great pride in their ability to have a positive impact in the communities in which they live and work.

But as I said, there are always areas to improve. As one of Australia's largest employers, we're looking at what we can do to provide more opportunities for Indigenous people to have sustainable jobs and careers. Following the demerger of Coles last year, the continuing businesses in our Group have over 1,700 Indigenous team members, which is about 1.8 per cent of our Australian workforce. That makes us a large Indigenous employer, but we've got more work to do to reach employment parity of three per cent and we've set an ambitious target to achieve that by 2022.

All our businesses are continuing to work on embedding our climate change strategy in an effort to reduce their environmental footprint. Our Annual Report contains more information than ever before on our approach to climate change, how we are dealing with climate change-related risks and opportunities and how we are tracking against our key metrics.

Finally, it's important to reiterate that our sustainability strategy is underpinned by our continuing commitment to the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact. This is an internationally-recognised initiative that sets out the responsibilities that all businesses have to look after people and our planet.

As we approach 2020, we recognise that changing technology is transforming the way we work and what our customers want.

This will create new challenges and opportunities, but there's always more to do and I look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to continue this journey.

Rob Scott

Managing Director

August 2019


GRI Standards reference: GRI 102-14, GRI 102-15, GRI 102-16