Our reputation

Wesfarmers touches the lives of millions of people: as employees, customers, suppliers or members of the communities in which we operate. 

Our reputation

By understanding and addressing the needs of these groups, we protect our reputation, ensuring we will be able to create value in the years to come. 

Our reputation is based on our core values of integrity, openness, accountability and boldness. In order to protect this precious asset, we consult with our stakeholders regularly, and take their views into account in our business decisions. 

Our Code of Conduct (available on our website) requires all our businesses to take a transparent and honest approach when working with stakeholders.

Stakeholder engagement

Wesfarmers engaged Net Balance to conduct a stakeholder engagement survey in relation to our sustainability reporting.

The survey collated responses from a range of stakeholders, including shareholders, media and community partners. The survey found that Wesfarmers enjoys positive stakeholder relationships and its sustainability report serves stakeholders well. The issues listed in the table below were identified by a number of stakeholders as key sustainability issues for Wesfarmers, and are addressed in the corresponding sections of this website.

At a Group level, Wesfarmers considers the interests of a wide cross-section of stakeholders, determined by the actual or potential impact of our business on their interests. The 'Stakeholders engagement at Wesfarmers' table below summarises how we listen to, and what we have heard from, our stakeholders during the year.

How we address stakeholder-identified issues

Issue identified Relevant page Further information
Supplier relationships, especially Coles Responsible sourcing www.coles.com.au/helping-australia-grow
Greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pricing Our environment www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au
Energy and energy efficiency Reducing energy use http://energyefficiencyopportunities.gov.au/results-and-participants/participating-companies/
Ethical sourcing Responsible sourcing www.wesfarmers.com.au/community-a-sustainability/sustainability/sustainability-reporting.html
Coal mining Resources www.wesresources.com.au/sustainability
(The Resources division contributes to this fund)
Safety Our people www.wesfarmers.com.au/community-a-sustainability/sustainability/sustainability-reporting.html (previous Sustainability Reports)
Environmental impact and responsibility Our environment www.energyefficiencyopportunities.gov.au/results-and-participants/participatingcompanies/
Community programs and partnerships Our community www.wesfarmers.com.au/community-a-sustainability/community-partnerships.html
Western Sahara phosphate sourcing Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers www.csbp.com.au/Corporate/News-and-Media/Successful-commissioning-of-new-technology-opens-u.aspx

 Stakeholder engagement at Wesfarmers

Our stakeholders How we listen What they have told us Our response
Customers Feedback via letters, emails, personal and telephone contact and our website. Customers expressed their approval or concern about a wide range of actions and activities of our divisions. Where appropriate, Wesfarmers responds directly to customers or advises the relevant division of customer feedback.
Employees Discussions with individual employees, unions, divisional employee surveys, whistleblower process, website, emails. Individual concerns were raised about specific employment issues.
Where restructuring is necessary, redeployment should be a priority.
Individual concerns addressed and investigated.
We agree that redeployment is a priority and also comply with union consultation requirements in relation to business restructures.
Whistleblower process reported to Audit Committee annually.
Shareholders Independent assessments of investor perception, annual general meetings, investor road shows and other meetings with institutional investors, investor and operational briefings, results announcements. To continue focusing on:
  • a consistent strategic framework;
  • a well managed balance sheet;
  • effective use of capital; and
  • focus on portfolio management and capital allocation.
Our objective remains to deliver a satisfactory return to shareholders, supported by a consistent strategic framework. We continue to maintain a strong focus on access to, and diversity of debt and equity to enable the Group to invest opportunistically. We continue to use conservative hurdle rates for project evaluation. We employ a structured corporate planning and portfolio management process which is assessed regularly.
Suppliers Meetings with individual suppliers and key industry groups, engagement with regulators, ethical sourcing audit and review systems. Suppliers and supplier representatives, including farmer representative bodies and trade unions, expressed their approval or concern about particular actions and activities of our divisions. Where appropriate, Wesfarmers responds directly to suppliers or advises the relevant division of supplier feedback. We are committed to long-term outcomes that are beneficial to shareholders and suppliers.
Government Meetings with State and Commonwealth government representatives and regulators. To continue strong business growth, maintain ethical standards, pursue positive relationships with suppliers, keep an open dialogue with government and provide advice and feedback when appropriate. Wesfarmers has engaged positively and constructively with governments and representatives around Australia, provided advice and responded on numerous issues and provided input into policy debates and development, both directly and through industry bodies.
Non-government organisations (NGOs) Joint projects, initiatives and meetings. NGOs engage with us on a range of issues, including human and labour rights, environment and public policy. We continue to build relationships with accredited and reputable NGOs, such as Oxfam Australia, World Wide Fund Australia and the Grattan Institute, to identify further opportunities to work together.
Media Media requests and feedback to our corporate affairs unit, media conferences coinciding with major events, individual meetings with relevant media. Media commentary and inquiries indicate we are expected to uphold high standards of transparency, integrity, corporate governance and financial and operational performance. The media also expect us to contribute to discussion and debate relating to the economy, business confidence and public policy in Australia. We respond to all media inquiries, guided by what is in the best interests of our shareholders. That response may, at times, include declining to comment. Our Managing Director and Finance Director respond to media questions at the time of half-year and full-year financial results. The Managing Director also makes himself available regularly for other media interviews on request.
Community Feedback via letters, email and our website, requests for sponsorship or other support and through our community partnerships. Direct feedback to us from the community indicates they expect us to uphold high standards of integrity, transparency, corporate governance and performance. We received numerous requests for sponsorship and donations. We attempt to respond individually to all inquiries, concerns and feedback. We cannot always provide satisfactory answers to some feedback, but we endeavour to explain our position. We have a number of partnerships with community organisations and we respond to all requests for sponsorship and donations, guided by our sponsorship policies and priorities.


Our people