We regularly and openly listen to our stakeholders to understand their expectations and how these expectations are changing. We welcome your feedback on our sustainability performance or reporting and you can do so by sending us an email here.
At a Group level, Wesfarmers considers the interests of a wide cross-section of stakeholders in a variety of ways, determined by the actual or potential impact of our business on their interests.
Our divisions work collaboratively with non-government organisations (NGOs) on a range of projects. NGOs engage with us on issues such as human and labour rights and environment and public policy. In 2021, their engagement focused on ethical sourcing and human rights generally as well as their progress on the reporting requirements of the Australian Modern Slavery Act.
We continue to build relationships with accredited and reputable NGOs.
We work with a range of industry associations appropriate for our operations, including the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, the Carbon Market Institute, Chemistry Australia (formerly Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association), the National Retail Association, the Business Council of Australia and the Global Home Improvement Network. While we work with these organisations, we formulate our own position on diverse issues affecting our business which may not always align with the positions adopted by these organisations.
Wesfarmers engages with external media organisations and uses its own media channels to communicate regularly with our stakeholders. ‘Earned’ or independent media is an important avenue for this communication. We work with international, national and local media organisations because we believe it provides transparency and contributes to the reputation of Wesfarmers. Media commentary and enquiries indicate an expectation that we uphold high standards, including around sustainability, transparency, integrity, corporate governance coupled with a longstanding focus on financial and operational performance.
Our engagement with media organisations includes holding media conferences to coincide with financial results announcements and other major events, as appropriate. Our corporate affairs departments consider all media enquiries and respond appropriately, guided by what is in the best interests of our company and businesses. The Chairman, Group Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer and Executive General Manager of Corporate Affairs, along with Divisional Managing Directors are available for other media interviews on request.
Other than financial performance, the focus of media interest in the 2021 financial year centred on our operational and community response to COVID-19, along with our views on the wider economic impact of this event and on paths to recovery.
Other areas of growing media interest include our response to climate change, the impact of Target store closures and K hub conversions on team member employment and affected regional towns and how we are continuing to manage cyber-security risks and protecting the privacy of customer data.
During the 2021 financial year, we liaised with the federal and state governments on a range of issues that affect our businesses, including extensively over our and their responses to COVID-19.
The time and resources required to contribute to all Local, State and Federal Government enquiries that we are asked to participate in is significant. We endeavour to contribute in a constructive manner to Government enquiries where most relevant to our business and balance these requests with other important business requirements.
Wesfarmers is committed to long-term outcomes that benefit shareholders and our suppliers. We recognise robust negotiations are part of normal and acceptable business practice and contribute to innovation, efficiency and the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of all parties.
Our divisions have close working relationships with their suppliers. They also have ethical sourcing audit and review systems for higher-risk suppliers. Our businesses are members of supplier bodies, recognise suppliers for positive actions and contributions through awards and meet with suppliers regularly and as requested.
Shareholders and investment analysts
We listen to our shareholders throughout the year. We engage with our retail shareholders through regular shareholder communications, at our annual general meeting, at briefings to retail broker networks and we respond to ad hoc correspondence. The Wesfarmers share register is managed by Computershare Investor Services Pty Limited. We listen to our institutional investors at results announcements, strategy and operational briefings, post-result road shows and other ad hoc meetings.
We hold investor briefings each year relating to Wesfarmers’ half and full year results. These are open to all shareholders to listen to live or delayed via public webcasts and are an opportunity for investment analysts and the largest institutional investors to ask questions on behalf of the wider investment community. Analysts are encouraged to ask questions of the Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer and divisional Managing Directors.
The main issues that shareholders raised during the financial year related to the challenges facing our businesses as a result of COVID-19, opportunities for growth, proposed acquisitions and portfolio activity, our approach to capital allocation and the Group's outlook.
Our investors are also interested in understanding our approach to sustainability, including ethical sourcing, supplier relationships, climate change resilience and broader corporate governance. These topics are discussed in investor briefings and at our annual general meeting.
Our customers provide regular feedback to team members in our businesses and contact us through emails, letters, websites, telephone calls and in person throughout the year. Customer feedback received directly via email is monitored every working day and passed on as soon as possible to the area of the Group which is best positioned to respond.
As at June 2021, Wesfarmers employed almost 114,000 people. We use multiple channels to listen to our team members, including enterprise social networks such as Workplace and Yammer, periodic divisional team members surveys, discussions with unions, personal contact, our whistle-blower process, our website and via email.
During the 2021 financial year, as in previous years, the key messages we received from team members included discussions around professional development and concerns relating to individual circumstances. Divisions act on the feedback they receive and individual concerns are investigated and addressed. Our whistleblower process is reported to our Audit and Risk Committee annually and processes are in place to escalate to the Board if required.
GRI 102-13, GRI 102-21, GRI 102-33, GRI 102-40, GRI 102-42, GRI 102-43, GRI 102-44, GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2, GRI 103-3