Chairman and Managing Director's 2023 sustainability message
Well, I guess it's true to say that Wesfarmers is a sustainable company since it's been in existence now for over 100 years. But sustainability means a lot more than longevity. It means that while recognizing that our main objective is providing good shareholder returns, we can only do that if we look after the interests of all stakeholders, the interests of our team members, of our customers, of our suppliers, the environment and the communities in which we operate.
I think Wesfarmers is seen widely as a company that operates with honesty and integrity and a leader in contributing to a whole range of community causes. That's allowed us to develop a really great reputation as a good corporate citizen.
That in turn leads to the communities in which we operate supporting the company and provides us with good shareholder returns. Sustainability today covers a broad range of issues, but for Wesfarmers, it's at the heart of everything we do.
I'm really pleased to talk about the continued progress we're making with our sustainability agenda. This is a key focus across all our divisions and a consideration in decision making processes on how we allocate our resources and capital.
Firstly, I'd like to talk about our people. The safety and wellbeing of our team members is our key focus. In most of our businesses we’ve again seen improvements in our safety performance. Unfortunately, we saw an increase in reported injuries at Bunnings, which was the result of a change in reporting methodology and an increase in manual handling injuries. But with a renewed focus, we are now starting to see improvements.
Looking at our team across all our operations and locations, we have close to 50% of women in leadership roles. We have also increased the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members maintaining proportional representation as part of our commitment to providing opportunities for Indigenous people to expand their careers.
[OVERLAY GRAPHIC: 3.3% Indigenous employment – maintaining parity]
It has been great to see more than 100 team members embark upon a Cert II or IV in Indigenous Leadership through our bespoke leadership development program.
We continue to grow our procurement spend with Indigenous businesses by leveraging our extensive supply chains. Wesfarmers is helping strengthen the economic prosperity of Indigenous communities. In the long term, we're confident that these actions make a real and practical difference in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and a positive difference in our businesses.
[OVERLAY GRAPHIC: $47.5M spend with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses 2.8% increase]
Turning to climate. Across the Group we've long managed our businesses with a deep carbon awareness, considering our climate related risks alongside opportunities that emerge as economies decarbonize. Through our continued focus, during the year we've lowered our operational scope one and two emissions, and we continue to make good progress on our interim and longer term net zero strategies.
[OVERLAY GRAPHIC: 2.4% Reduction in Scope 1 % Scope 2 market based emissions]
We have progressed our understanding of scope three emissions across our value chains, and this will assist with strategies to further reduce emissions and to improve future reporting.
We are committed to sourcing the goods that we sell ethically and sustainably. Our businesses have ethical sourcing programs and deploy a breadth of strategies to manage and reduce the risk of modern slavery in their supply chains.
Our sustainability actions help generate stronger financial performance and are aligned with Wesfarmers corporate objective, to provide a satisfactory return to our shareholders over the long term.
We know that through these actions we also deliver real benefits to all our team members, communities, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Our focus and progress across sustainability is a result of our dedicated team members across all parts of the Group and I'd like to thank them for their commitment.
We know that there’s still more to be done and I look forward to sharing our achievements with you in the future.