! THIS IS AN ARCHIVED REPORT  Please click here to view the current report

Sustainability at Wesfarmers

Wesfarmers has been creating value for its stakeholders for more than a century. Long-term value creation is only possible if we play a positive role in the communities we serve. At Wesfarmers, sustainability is about understanding and managing our impact on the community and the environment to ensure that we will still be creating value in the future.

We aim to operate our businesses in accordance with our 10 community and environmental impact principles relating to five areas of people, sourcing, community, environment and governance. Each year, we review which issues are important to our stakeholders through our materiality process to ensure that we are addressing these issues and to tell our story in this report.

Sustainability issues are managed at a divisional level and overseen by the Wesfarmers Board through regular reporting.  Internal targets are set by divisions in relation to some sustainability matters and our annual risk process identifies and addresses sustainability risks.  Priority issues this year include ethical sourcing and climate change resilience. 

This year, Wesfarmers signed the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) to reinforce our commitment to its principles. Wesfarmers was also included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which showcases leaders in sustainability and can be used by investors as a tool to understand how companies approach sustainability issues.

While this online report covers all aspects of our business for the financial year ended 30 June 2015, an overview of how we performed against our ten community and environmental impact principles is available for download here.

Our sustainability reporting

This is the 18th year we have published an annual sustainability report and the second year that we have published the report primarily online. Last year’s report can be viewed here.

This year's report covers all businesses fully-owned or operationally managed by Wesfarmers. A full list of entities included in Wesfarmers’ consolidated financial statements can be found in our 2015 Annual Report. The content of the sustainability report has been guided by our materiality process. The report generally covers all our operations. If particular divisions are excluded or disclosure extends to our supply chain, this is indicated specifically. The report covers the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 and will be published annually.

This report has been prepared 'in accordance' with the Global Reporting Initiative's Core option. To check where we have reported material GRI aspects, see our GRI Content Index. The relevant GRI aspects are noted at the end of each page throughout the report.

Ernst & Young (EY) independently assures the contents of this report, at the request of the Audit Committee, a sub-committee of the Wesfarmers Board.  London Benchmarking Group (LBG) is the global standard for measuring and benchmarking corporate community investment. Coles, Target, Wesfarmers Resources, Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers (WesCEF) and Wesfarmers corporate office are members of LBG and LBG has assured their direct community contributions.  The remaining divisions' direct contributions and all divisions' indirect contributions are assured by EY.

If you want to find out more about a specific Wesfarmers business, please navigate to it using the Our divisions tab at the top of this page or refer to its own website.

All references to 'Indigenous' people are intended to include Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples   

GRI Reference: G4-15, G4-17, G4-18, G4-20, G4-23, G4-28, G4-29, G4-30, G4-32, G4-33


Our performance

This year we have made the following progress against our sustainability principles:

We have improved the accuracy of our incident capture systems and reduced our total recordable injury frequency rate by 7.5 per cent.

We have worked to promote diversity in our workplaces, with 61 per cent more employees identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander this year, and an additional 500 Indigenous employees hired at Coles alone.

We have improved the transparency of our supply chain, with our retail divisions continuing the rollout of the publication of their supplier details.

Our direct contributions to the community have increased by more than 12 per cent this year, with total community contributions (direct and indirect) exceeding $100 million for the first time.

We have implemented shadow carbon pricing in our capital expenditure allocation process and decreased the emissions intensity of our business by 37 per cent over the last five years.


More detail on our historical and divisional performance against metrics can be viewed here, or you can download the data into a spreadsheet.


While we are proud of our sustainability achievements, we acknowledge that we can always do better.

Having reduced our emissions intensity by 37 per cent over the last five years through technology changes at WesCEF and energy efficiency initiatives across the Group, it is becoming harder to find cost-efficient ways to continue reducing emissions at a similar rate. We will continue our focus in this area, to ensure that our businesses remain cost competitive and implement current technology to reduce environmental impact.

Ethical sourcing remains a challenging area, especially supply chain transparency and how to play a part in addressing global issues such as living wage. Strengthening our relationships with suppliers ensures that we can contribute positively in this area.

Ongoing reduction in waste disposed and water use is hard to maintain as our businesses continue to grow. We will continue to seek opportunities to do this.  

Annual Review 2015



Our 2015 Annual Review contains a summary of our financial and sustainability performance and can be downloaded here.

This site constitutes our full sustainability report for the financial year ended 30 June 2015.

GRI Reference: G4-15, G4-17, G4-18, G4-20, G4-23, G4-28, G4-29, G4-30, G4-32, G4-33. G4-34