2016 Wesfarmers Sustainability Report released

18 October 2016

Wesfarmers today released its 2016 Sustainability Report. This is the 19th year Wesfarmers has published a sustainability report and the third year the report has been published primarily online.

The report details the Group’s performance against its 10 community and environmental impact principles in the areas of people, sourcing, community, environment and governance. 

The report also addresses the sustainability performance of each of Wesfarmers’ businesses with more than 40 case studies from across the Group. 

Performance highlights covered in the report include:

  • Safety: reducing the total recordable injury frequency rate by 15.2 per cent
  • Diversity: increasing by 20.5 per cent the number of employees identifying as Indigenous to 3,300
  • Ethical sourcing: improving the transparency of our supply chain with more than 3,200 factories in our audit program
  • Community: directly and through support from our customers and team members, our community contributions exceeded $110 million
  • Climate change resilience: reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by more than two per cent in the last year and decreasing the emissions intensity of our business by 30 per cent since 2012.

In his introduction to the 2016 report, Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder said good progress had been made in key focus areas including ethical sourcing and climate change resilience. 

“We have recorded lower greenhouse gas emissions intensity across the Group for the last five years and Wesfarmers is absolutely committed to continuing to make progress on that front because we believe it is essential for the communities in which we operate,” Mr Goyder said. “Our businesses have more work to do now to take the next step in reducing emissions intensity in our business and we will do that.”

Last month Wesfarmers was advised it had achieved its highest score in the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Index – 82 out of 100, a jump of 11 percentage points on the previous year.

In a video case study on governance, Wesfarmers Chairman Michael Chaney said one of the reasons Wesfarmers had been successful was because of the structure of its corporate governance arrangements, which disseminated and reinforced the Group’s culture across its businesses.

“We expect people to operate ethically and honestly in an open and transparent way,” Mr Chaney said. “We expect people to observe all laws and regulations. We want people to have a focus on the genuine needs and desires of our customers, to treat suppliers with great respect, to make sure that our employees are looked after, and we operate with environmental responsibility. And finally, we expect all our businesses to be making a solid contribution to the societies in which they live and work.

“Occasionally of course we have people who don't live up to those values and we have to be very strong and decisive when that occurs and take action very quickly.”

The 2016 report can be viewed at sustainability.wesfarmers.com.au.