We make a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate.
We have an impact on our communities in a variety of ways: meeting the basic needs of the community such as food, clothing and tools; providing employment for nearly one in every 59 working Australians; paying taxes to governments; and providing support to not-for-profit organisations. With 98 per cent of our revenue earned in Australia and 80 per cent of our shares on issue held in Australia, we have a significant positive impact on the Australian economy, as well as contributing to other economies.
Economic contribution to the community
This year, in addition to the $43,045 million paid to suppliers, we paid more than $7,830 million in wages and salaries to our 205,000 employees, as well as $1,578 million in taxes, levies and royalties, and $2,246 million in dividends to our 500,000 shareholders.
Below is a summary of how we distribute the wealth we create. Further detail on our financial performance for the year can be found in our 2015 annual report.
Distribution of wealth created 1
Wesfarmers has always believed that a strong business environment is underpinned by a cohesive and inclusive community environment. Accordingly, Wesfarmers has had a long-term commitment to investing in community initiatives linked to long-term social and economic outcomes.
Our community partnerships program reflects the divisional autonomy of the Group. The Wesfarmers Board has approved a number of long-term partnerships focused on four areas: medical research and health; Indigenous programs, particularly targeting education and employment outcomes; community and education initiatives; and the Wesfarmers Arts program (addressed below). In addition, our divisions create value for the community in ways that best fit with their core business and geographic spread, from the well-recognised Bunnings community barbecues to other fundraising support for a wide range of activities such as women and children in crisis, education programs and environmental projects.
Collectively across the Wesfarmers Group we directly contributed $50 million to community organisations this year, which equates to 1.5 per cent of profit before income tax.
As well as our direct contributions, the Group facilitated donations from customers and employees, totalling $52.7 million this year, which went to a wide range of community initiatives.
Wesfarmers is a member of the London Benchmarking Group (LBG) and we use its methodology to measure and report our community contributions. LBG’s verification statement can be found here. Community contributions made by our Home Improvement and Office Supplies, Industrial and Safety and Kmart businesses are assured by Ernst & Young, whose assurance statement can be found here.
Further detail on our community contributions can be found in our databank.
Major initiatives this year
This year, in recognition of the importance of the Anzac centenary, Wesfarmers was a significant supporter of the Australian War Memorial’s touring exhibition ‘The Lost Diggers of Vignacourt’, which assisted in bringing the exhibition to Western Australia. Wesfarmers also renewed its support for Mission Australia’s Drug and Alcohol Youth Respite Service, based in Western Australia. In addition, we have significant partnerships with the Telethon Kids Institute; Surf Life Saving WA; Curtin Business School; and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
As a Group, our collective efforts with some of our Aboriginal community partners are beginning to gain traction. Wesfarmers committed to increase funding for one of its long-term partners, Clontarf Foundation, which run programs aimed at engaging and retaining Indigenous students at school. Clontarf is also supported at a local level by a number of our businesses, including WesCEF, Bunnings and Officeworks.
Wesfarmers also supports the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) through a national sponsorship. Target also supports AIME by helping with the manufacture and distribution of AIME’s 'National Hoodie Day‘ hoodies.
The Wesfarmers Arts program provides major ongoing support to a number of premier Australian arts companies. The company’s sponsorship of the arts focuses on increasing community access to premier quality arts from Australia and the world in the belief that a vibrant cultural sector makes a positive contribution to the lives of all Australians.
A highlight in our Centenary year was the BOAB100 creative partnership with Waringarri Aboriginal Arts in which 15 Kimberley artists were commissioned to produce Wesfarmers’ official centenary gifts. Inspired by the iconic boab tree and the traditional art form of boab nut engraving unique to the Kimberley, BOAB100 is a collection of 15 superbly engraved boab nuts cast in white aluminium, produced in as a limited edition of 100 sets. Complete sets of all fifteen sculptures were gifted during the year to the National Gallery of Australia, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, the National Library of Australia and Western Australian Parliament where they are now on public display.
A number of our arts partners participated in events to mark our centenary during the year, including Bell Shakespeare Company, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Opera and Western Australian Ballet, which we supported during the year to establish two Wesfarmers Young Artist positions.
The year also saw the exhibition LUMINOUS WORLD: contemporary art from the Wesfarmers Collection travel to the Samstag Museum of Art in Adelaide, the National Library of Australia in Canberra, the Academy Gallery in Launceston and the Ian Potter Museum of Art in Melbourne.
LUMNIOUS WORLD: contemporary art from the Wesfarmers Collection at the Samstag Museum of Art in Adelaide
GRI Reference: G4 DMA (Economic Performance), G4-EC1