The bank applies its Environmental, Social, and Governance Credit Risk Policy to its lending process, and adheres to the Equator Principles in its project finance activities. Westpac describes climate change as "not just an environmental problem; it’s also a fundamental economic and social issue posing various risks to business." Westpac has committed up to $6 billion for lending and investment in clean technology and environmental services by 2017 focused on renewable energy, green building, water efficiency, and waste management. Further demonstrating the bank’s recognition of the world’s ecological challenges, Westpac has committed to launching one product or service each year to help retail customers meet environmental challenges. To address its direct impact, Westpac is converting its vehicle fleet to hybrid technology vehicles, revamping its corporate buildings, and investing in energy-efficient cooling systems to reduce its energy use. The company has cut its carbon dioxide emissions almost in half since 1996, and it purchases renewable energy for a portion of its operations. The company believes that sustainable business practices deliver better outcomes and are good for its competitive and financial position.
While Westpac provides some unique metrics in its reporting, Portfolio 21 has asked the company to provide comprehensive reporting on its initiatives in one group-wide report.
To the best of our knowledge the above information is accurate and was obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Neither the information presented above nor any opinion expressed shall be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy the security. The views expressed are those of portfolio management as of 1/31/14 and may not reflect current opinions or subsequent events.