Wesfarmers Chairman Michael Chaney on sustainability
For a company like Wesfarmers sustainability is all about being here in the long term. We've been in existence now for over 100 years. And so by that definition, we're a very sustainable company.
Since we went public a bit over 35 years ago, our main objective, of course, has been to provide good returns to our shareholders. But we've always understood that we're never going to be able to achieve that unless we act truly sustainably. And that means looking after the interests of all of our stakeholders.
Well who are the stakeholders? Firstly, our team members, our employees we’re one of the largest employers in Australia. And the COVID experience has enabled us to demonstrate that it's not just words, our philosophy about looking after employees, we've been able to keep paying our employees during the lock downs, even if they may not have had a job.
In the case of our suppliers, that rely on us ordering goods from them, we've continued to do so and we've made sure that we paid them on time.
In the case of our customers, we've continued to provide them with the goods and services that they need, what they want, where they want it in a timely way. And in all of our stores, we've made sure that we have social distancing, and people wear masks where they're required and they check in and so on.
Over the last year, we've continued to support all of those good causes in the communities in which we operate. And we'd gone out to many of them and asked them if they needed extra support because they were struggling.
With regard to our environmental footprint, we've set some pretty ambitious targets. Our retail operations expect to be operating only on renewable power by 2025 and to be net zero by 2030. And we've got targets for reducing our water consumption and our use of plastics and packaging and so on.
So they're the ways that Wesfarmers acts sustainably and if we continue to do that and to build on the successes that we've had in this respect in the past, we'll be here for another 100 years.
Michael Chaney AO
Wesfarmers Non-executive Chairman
27 July 2021
GRI 102-14, GRI 102-15, GRI 102-16