Fiji Time: 1:34 AM on Wednesday 20 September

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Leading international bank scoops top rank

Filipe Naigulevu
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A LEADING international bank has been ranked the world's most sustainable bank for the 10th time in the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Westpac Group has retained its position as the most sustainable bank globally in the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) Review published recently September 7, 2017.

A statement from the bank yesterday said this marked the fourth year in a row and 10th time that Westpac has achieved the global banking sector leadership position.

The bank said it also marked the 16th year in a row that Westpac has been recognised as a global banking leader.

Westpac Group chief executive officer Brian Hartzer said Westpac's continued recognition as a global leader in sustainability is testament to the strong culture around these issues at Westpac.

"In the last twelve months we've renewed and extended many of these commitments — with our updated Climate Change Action Plan and Reconciliation Action Plan, and our world-first Financial Inclusion Action Plan each setting ambitious targets in areas where we feel we can have a meaningful impact," she said in the statement.

"Receiving external validation for the strength of our sustainability practices shows that we are on the right path."

This year, Westpac achieved a DJSI score of 94 per cent and was rated by S&P Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM in corporate citizenship, business risks and opportunities, environmental and social reporting, climate strategy, anti-crime policy, materiality and labour practices.

The DJSI RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment is the most widely accepted global evaluation of how companies manage and perform across social, economic and environmental dimensions and has become the reference point in sustainability investing.

Westpac Fiji general manager Brett Hooker said this was a phenomenal achievement and highlighted the contribution of what the bank did in the Pacific.

"We don't just contribute because of the way we have embedded our three sustainability strategy pillars — Banking the Unbanked, Making Women Count and Empowering through Education — right across our business, but also because of the way we operate and strive to do the right thing every day," he said.

"Our efforts to strengthen people and communities play a big part, including our sponsorship and community support programs, the policies which protect and empower our customers and staff, and the role Westpac plays in Fiji and PNG as a corporate leader on issues like wellbeing and gender."

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