Our Corporate Responsibility framework supports and strengthens our business strategy, brand and values, and ensures that we continue to make a significant contribution to the world we live in.
Our framework provides clear direction for our initiatives and investments, allowing flexibility to suit the specific needs of our diverse geographies and markets, and supports that work we are already doing for our employees, our customers, our communities, our suppliers and the environment.
- show our customers and communities that we live in their world, and care about and respond to issues that matter to them both locally and globally
- build trust among governments and regulators seeking responsible corporations to invest in their countries
- attract the best employees who want to work for respected companies that are making a sustainable contribution to society
- encourage and attract investors who target well-managed companies with superior prospects for medium- to long-term growth.
|Understanding our impact and defining our approach|
Our Corporate Responsibility framework and priorities were developed following research and consultation with stakeholders across our key markets.
This process helped us to identify material issues and opportunities for our business and sector, articulate our purpose in society and define our Corporate Responsibility priorities. Our Board, Management Board and Corporate Responsibility Committee provided leadership and oversight at all stages of the development process.
We commissioned research across a sample of key markets (Australia, Indonesia and China), which showed that despite different cultures, there are strong similarities in consumer expectations of responsible corporations. Being honest and transparent, treating employees fairly, providing responsible products and services, and contributing to local community issues and causes were consistently identified as threshold issues.
Environmental concerns varied across regions and countries and largely related to local challenges such as fresh water shortages, water sanitation, air quality and traffic congestion.
We also reviewed findings from extensive focus groups undertaken with more than 1,300 customers and 250 staff to develop our new global brand. This brand research found that regardless of age, gender and geography, customers want their bank and bank products to be people-focused and uncomplicated.
In addition, we researched the agendas of governments, NGOs (local and international) and multilateral organisations to understand their respective views on the most pressing economic, social and environmental issues and opportunities facing specific countries and the region more generally. We considered their medium- to long-term strategic priorities and assessed where we, could make the most constructive contribution.
It was important to engage personally with local stakeholders in key markets to develop a Corporate Responsibility framework that would resonate with our employees, customers, communities, governments and regulators wherever we operate. We listened to people’s concerns for their own lives and communities and their expectations for a bank that shares their world. This became one of the most significant engagement exercises undertaken by the bank.
In addition to day-to-day stakeholder conversations, we formally consulted almost 600 people through face-to-face workshops conducted in seven countries as part of this process.
More than 500 employees in Australia, New Zealand, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Fiji and Tonga, including our newest recruits, best performing employees and senior executives, gave us thoughts and feedback on the key issues affecting society and our business, and their expectations of a responsible corporation as part of the framework’s development.
We also listened carefully to the views and perspectives of external stakeholders across our region through one-on-one conversations and workshops held in key markets in Asia. Here, we held eight workshops with a total of over 60 participants representing governments, regulators, local and international NGOs, academia, our customers, business associations and business partners. Consistent themes emerged:
|Embedding and implementing our framework|
Our five CR framework priorities will help to guide our initiatives and investments over the coming years. Our annual CR targets contribute to the achievement of these goals.
Our framework describes the important role we play in the lives of our customers, staff and wider society on three levels:
Building individual prosperity
For people: helping to create pathways to security and prosperity through our products and services and innovation education and employment programs for disadvantaged and under-represented individuals.
Contributing to thriving local communities
For local communities: championing the development of local leaders and contributing our skills and resources to help create solutions to important community issues.
Navigating responsible growth
For our business and region: being a role model for responsible business growth and business behaviour and making decisions that balance economic, social and environmental considerations in every market across our super region.
The framework identifies five priority areas of focus to guide our decisions and approach to investments and business initiatives:
|Priorities||This means we will:|
Definition of materiality
We define materiality as the issues of greatest importance to our stakeholders, that are most likely, or able, to impact our business performance.
Our commitment to our stakeholders and materiality drives our approach to Corporate Responsibility (CR).
Our CR framework is designed to help us be a more successful business by promoting our values and behaviours throughout ANZ and by responding to the interests and needs of the societies and markets in which we operate.
|Responsible practices||We continue to improve our governance structures; management of social, environmental and reputation risks and opportunities; and support our customers facing hardship.|
|Creating education and employment opportunities||We make a significant and sustainable difference to the lives of disadvantaged and under-represented individuals through providing education and employment opportunities.|
|Building financial capability||Our programs help to build financial capability in our communities across our region, particularly for those on low incomes, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.|
|Bridging urban and rural divides||We are playing a role in helping to bridge urban and rural divides through extending banking access and supporting financial inclusion.|
|Supporting urban sustainability||We reduce the environmental footprint of our business activities and encourage and support our customers to reduce theirs.|
The framework was developed following extensive consultation with stakeholders across our regions. Stakeholder engagement is embedded into ANZ practices, operations and processes. Read more about key issues that were identified through engagement in 2012, our primary methods of engagement and our response to these issues in our Stakeholder Engagement Table (PDF 696kB).
Determining material issues
The overall process of determining material issues is best described in three phases:
We analyse a wide range of sources which provides us with information about issues and impacts, perceived and actual.
Part of this analysis is tracking the development of certain issues over time.
We determine the level of significance for each issue, using a consistent approach.
We assess the materiality of issues, considering how they may impact our business, their significance to key stakeholders, and the extent to which they may have notable social, environmental and economic consequences.
We review progress against these issues through the discipline of our quarterly Corporate Responsibility and Diversity (CRD) committee meetings, chaired by our CEO.
At these meetings we discuss the most material risks and opportunities for advancing the Group's agenda and priorities.
The outcomes are embedded in internal processes.
We revise our assessment of material issues as they arise and through a structured annual process. This includes reviewing and setting our CR targets and priorities. These are determined by our CRD Committee, and reviewed and approved by our Board Governance Committee.
Further information on materiality
We continually review our material issues and impacts. Our current focus is evolving to consider how we can add appropriate weight to the following areas:
Our most significant social and environmental impacts are indirect, generated by the companies and projects that we finance. We manage these through the Responsible Practices lens of our CR framework. This includes governance processes, our code of conduct, policies, social and environmental risk guidelines, screening tools and training and development.
We demand stringent adherence to our values and policies in our lending to promote positive outcomes for the communities and environment where our clients operate.
This is fundamental to our risk management approaches. Beyond our belief that we should “do what is right”, in an ever-more connected world, our clients’ risks pose material risks to us. We need to ensure that clients are effectively managing their impacts and obtaining the support of their local stakeholders.
Education & Employment
As an employer of over 48,000 people, social impacts, through the health, wellbeing and opportunities we provide to our people are particularly important to us.
We set store by our commitment to drive gender balance, increase the number of women in management, and provide employment opportunities to disadvantaged and under-represented people.
Increasing the proportion of women at all levels of management is material to our business. Whilst this is an issue of equality, it’s also about accessing markets, productivity and economic opportunity.
In addition to fulfilling our responsibilities as a large employer, the success of our super regional strategy depends on us having an engaged, diverse and inclusive workforce, with employees who deeply understand and connect with colleagues, customers and communities, wherever we operate.
Financial Inclusion and Capability
“Helping people progress” is our brand promise. We are committed to making a significant contribution to the economic development and wellbeing of the communities we serve. The principal way we do this is through our financial products and services.
We also have a commitment to promote Financial Inclusion and Capability among under-served and disadvantaged groups. This is the focus of our community investment activities. It aligns with our purpose as a bank and also makes good business sense. Financially literate consumers tend to hold more financial products and choose products appropriate for their needs and circumstances.
As an industry, banking has relatively limited direct environmental impacts. However, we believe that we must manage our own impacts and understand best practice, if we are to credibly influence others. We also realise business benefits by reducing costs associated with energy and broader resource use, travel and waste.
Reporting on our material impacts
Twice a year we formally report on the issues most material to our business and of greatest interest to our stakeholders.
We publish our interim and full CR reports to complement our financial reporting. Our full corporate reporting is increasingly integrated, including a fully integrated shareholder review, which reflects our view of our most material issues.
Our annual full CR report is assured by an independent external party using the Accountability Assurance Standard AA1000AS. This assurance evaluates the extent of adherence to the AA1000AS principles of inclusivity, materiality and responsiveness. Read our AA1000 2012 Assurance Statement.