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Westpac Asks the Question: “Who Cares?” with Release of 2003 Social Impact Report

Published 07-24-03

Submitted by Westpac Group

SYDNEY - Westpac Banking Corporation today released its 2003 Social Impact Report, titled: ‘Who Cares?… about Corporate Responsibility.’ The report draws on perspectives of individual employees, customers and other stakeholders to give a view from the street and help ground the current debate around governance, corporate responsibility and sustainability.

The report is available on the internet at www.westpac.com.au under the ‘Westpac Info’ tab.

The report sets out detailed progress made during the year integrating corporate responsibility into Westpac’s day to day business - all with the aim of further strengthening the bank’s long term sustainability.

Westpac remains the only Australian bank to release a triple bottom line report conforming to Global Reporting Initiative guidelines. The report covers more than 90 social, environmental and economic performance indicators, and for the first time includes performance trends and targets.

Releasing the report, Westpac Chief Executive David Morgan said “the most pleasing aspects of this year’s report are the progress made integrating corporate responsibility into the way we do business, together with our performance within leading global sustainability ratings as external recognition of our progress.”

These include Westpac’s current number one ranking amongst all banks globally considered for inclusion within the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. The Sustainability Index comprises around 300 sustainability leaders selected from some 2,500 companies included in the Dow Jones Global Index through an exhaustive sustainability performance assessment.

Dr. Morgan said that with the responsibility program both enhancing Westpac’s financial sustainability, and delivering concrete social and environmental benefits, “there is no letting up. Building on our progress we are driving the sustainability agenda through every aspect of our business, both in terms of who we are and what we do. We intend to keep Westpac at the forefront of global governance and responsibility practice.

“In large part, the progress made in improving our transparency and reporting is the result of valuable feedback from our stakeholders. In continuing to engage with our stakeholders we intend to ensure they have a clear voice in our progress.”

Westpac’s report was subject to independent audit and verification by Richard Boele, Australian Institute of Corporate Citizenship (social performance;) Sue Trahair, Senior Environmental Auditor, GHD (environment;) and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (financial performance.)

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Australia’s first bank and Australia’s first company.

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