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The need for socially responsible business
Sustainability is more than just a philosophy, it is good business practice. Being a responsible bank has become Westpac's key brand attribute. It underpins Westpac's core business strategy and is the central driver of long-term shareholder value.
CEO David Morgan stresses the point: "Fundamentally the health of Westpac's business, today and tomorrow, is linked to the strength of the economy," he says. "We have to take responsibility for the way we do business. From the carbon we use that's pumped into the atmosphere, to the types of loans and credit we approve. Ultimately, we're here to do business and deliver returns for our shareholders. But if we can do so responsibly, with thought for the legacy and resources we're leaving behind, then Westpac can continue to say we're Australia's first bank and company in another 190 years time."
Social responsibility is not mere rhetoric aimed at increasing market share. It requires a genuine attempt to meet society's expectations. It is demonstrated by daily practice, not vague ideas. It involves a fit between a company's line of business, the way it operates, and the external environment. Westpac's stakeholders - its employees, customers, shareholders and the local community - rightly have come to expect it.