AM808001 Managing for Sustainability
Assessment 2: Report
This is the second of two assessments for this course. For this assessment you will research a client organisation to critically analyse existing sustainability related issues, opportunities, and problems. The organisation’s key stakeholders must be included in this investigation. Based on the findings, you will develop recommendations, including effective strategies and methodologies for how to improve the organisation’s sustainability management.
Conditions of Assessment
This is an individual assessment, that you will complete in your learner-managed time, however, your teacher will provide opportunities during class time for clarification, guidance, collaborative working opportunities, and group discussion. All work must be completely your own and all literature used must be referenced appropriately using APA 6th edition. In order to pass this course you must achieve a cumulative grade of at least 50%, across assessment one and two.
Learning Outcome(s) Assessed
The report deals with the discussion about Banking organisation based on New Zealand formed in the year 1861 and the largest bank in New Zealand. Westpac is the brand name of the bank that has started trending with sustainable environmental practices in the business for growth and development. The report has critically analysed about sustainable practices involved in the bank itself recently added for customer attraction and creating brand image as well. Apart from this, it has also provided some sustainable strategies like material assessment, use of ECG metrics, communication commitments and Governance for better implementation of sustainable operations. Further, it has included wide number of methodologies and its applications and benefits that are gained by the customers of other banks as well. In this regard, the report has recommended such methodologies that could be used by Westpac bank in its New Zealand branch for creating brand value.
The concept of sustainability means "Green Financing" for the banking sector, especially. In other words, managing sustainable financial services in a banking sector deals with multiple aspects concerning to the policies of the banks, transparency and communication, environmental asset funds as well as the role of multilateral banks and NGOs. The assignment will include critical analysis of sustainable practices of Westpac based in New Zealand. Other than New Zealand, the Westpac Bank operates in Australia, China, India, Hong Kong and Singapore in different segments. In other words, New Zealand’s branch is one of the customer-facing divisions under this group. Apart from this, the other divisions consisted of Consumer Bank, Business Bank, BT financial group and Westpac Institutional Bank (Responsible business » Westpac New Zealand, 2019).
The assignment is going to provide effective, sustainable management strategies as well as methodologies for short-term and long-term as well as medium-term objectives that can be used, as an action plan and policy directions for business growth and development in future. In other words, in creating effective, sustainable management strategies and methodologies, it will highlight deeply on the possible ways of finding benefit in terms of gaining financial value, strategic position and the brand reputation in the market.
Critical analysis of sustainable practices
The sustainable actions are the service process employing quality maintenance that valued within the physical environment. In relation to sustainability and responsiveness towards the community, Westpac NZ takes unified vision, inspirational leadership and unwavering commitment. The company wishes to be the globe’s biggest service enterprise, supporting communities, people and customers grow as well as prosper (Responsible business » Westpac New Zealand, 2019). Sustainability has been the central aim of the Westpac culture, and it makes a wider method, enhancing solution that delivery towards prosperous New Zealand. Provided the resulting influence and intermediary role on other sector, banks have been pivotal in accomplishing SDGs or sustainable development goals for which they address social as well as ecological challenges in several ways. Harrington (2019) explained that banks broadly play an essential part in accomplishing sustainable enhancement goal. The bank institute delivery such by providing access to an individual with disabilities, green credit-funds, energy-efficient operation, encourage staffs to utilize public transport and select suppliers abiding by social as well as environmental principles. These practices incorporated by the selected organization enhance its environmental and social performance that, in return, influence positive reputation as well as the better financial performance of the bank. Sustainable practice has foster behavioural and affective responses to potential customers. As a capital supplier, a bank like Westpac is ideally to be placed to help private industry adapt to the latest economic reality connected to social or environmental sustainability like altering communities, climate change and improving resource scarcity. Busch, Bauer & Orlitzky (2016) argued that for delivering sustainable practices within the financial sector, the organization has a responsibility to support towards national sustainable enhancement agenda. On the contrary, for the bank to significantly collaborate latest practices within E&S risk administration, green or inclusive lending, they need allowing regulatory context which confirm a standard playing ground and offer correct economic incentives. In context to such aspects, developing banking regulators like Westpac within the emerging marketplace as initiated to team-up with the partnered agency to forge the enhancement of obligatory guidance encouraging local banks as well to implement sustainable banking actions. This likely to involve effective administration of E&S threats within project company support and finance for a business to be greener, socially inclusive and climate-friendly. Till date, almost 22 nations have initiated national guidelines, policies, roadmaps and principles concentrated on sustainable banking (Sustainable Banking Network, 2019). In addition, sustainable banking network or SBN offer institutes a room for exchanging experience, expand knowledge and collectively foster sustainable finance agenda. The SBN is a distinctive voluntary society of financial industry authoritarian agencies and banking alliance from developing markets dedicated to improving sustainable finance in-line with good global practices (Sustainable Banking Network, 2019). The members of SBN need to be devoted to shifting their financial industry towards sustainability, with the twin objective of increasing capital flow and ESG risk administration.
In the fulfilment of the sustainable business, Westpac's sustainability strategy 2020 focus on addressing the crucial issue that has the capability to impact business profitability. The potential stakeholders of the company involving peers, people and partners want the firm to be more vocal and bolder to the key concern encountered by New Zealand. In order to tackle such, the business has initiated share-value method by incorporating sustainability fully practised within the corporate operation. In growing financial wellbeing for New Zealanders, Westpack initiated to empower every kiwi to accomplish financial objective whatever their life phase by supporting them have better financial decision-making all day (Westpac, 2019b). In delivering the role of investment and commercial banks within sustainable enhancement, the company require examining current trends in banking, sustainable development, events and innovative banking actions that have shaped the responsibility of banking institute. Rauter, Jonker & Baumgartner (2017) argued that for integrating sustainability within the bank's main business involving social and environmental consideration into mission policy, strategies and product design is essential aspects. For instance, incorporating environmental criteria into investment or lending strategy and enhancing the latest product that facilitated environmental business with easy access to capital. The sustainability practices also integrating an aspect of responsible business, Westpac has been aiming to do the right thing for their suppliers, people, customers, environment and communities. The corporate goal incorporates reducing carbon footprint and help New Zealand or NZ taking action on climate change. The company also aims to encourage inclusive society and workplace under aspects of sustainability practice (Westpac, 2019b). With rising globalization and increasing technological breakthrough, the maintenance of sustainability practices in terms of consumer privacy and data protection has been the main concern for banking institute. The company takes pride in confirming that it is doing best for its community, environment and people, however preventing carbon footprint has been challenging. In order to aid the decrease of exterior carbon emission, the bank needs to finance pollution, decreasing projects and green technology. Biswas (2016) contradicted that banking has never been polluting sector, the current level of banking operation has raised the carbon footprint because of massive utilization of energy, absence of green building, huge paper waste and others. One challenge in leading green banking under sustainable practices related to huge operational costs. The green bank needs an experienced, talented employee to offer adequate services to consumers. Sometimes, credit threat also arises because of lending customer that has been impacted by alteration in environmental rule, the expense of pollution and latest need on emission levels (Goel, 2016). It is huge because of the probability of consumers default as an outcome of uncalculated costs for capital venture within production facilities, third-party claims and decrease of market share. Therefore, Westpac encouraging green banking is effective to achieve a better approach towards effective, sustainable practices. There is an urgent requirement to follow and create awareness about green banking in the current business environment of innovative technologies, so make planet human-friendly. The 'Go Green' is corporate-wide initiative moving banks, their consumers and processes (Aasa, Adepoju & Aladejebi, 2016). The aim is to offer cost-efficient automated network and build consciousness as well as awareness of the environment, society or nation. The green aspect related to banking would add to a better way for individuals to receive more awareness about global warming. The sustainable banking if practised would open up new avenues and market for service or product differentiation.
It has been decades since the economic catastrophe in the year 2008, and even though the financial service industry makes certain progress, it still working hard to gain stakeholder trust back. Weber & Feltmate (2016) discussed that sustainability effort provides a huge opportunity for banks to depict their commitment to function responsibly and make a positive influence. Banks, in specific, play an essential role within the economy, as it offers huge capital flow and capability to impact other customers and companies across the industry through their services or products. In order to lead the business is responsible towards society, people and environment, banking organization like Westpac, can implement following sustainable management strategies-
Materiality assessment: It is performed to prioritize organization responsibility problem; however, it may be leveraged to play a crucial part in interior sustainability and engagement strategy development. The materiality procedure might be an effective mechanism to educate and engage senior leaders as well as receive valuable input from exterior stakeholders. While every SDGs might be inspirational for corporate concentrating on those that incorporate best business tactics and current business responsibility priorities likely to be more influential for the sector.
ESG metrics: Bank may effectively communicate and establish persistent ESG metrics and targets supported to their recognized material problems. While the bank offers in-depth ESG information in varying reports and utilizing GRI level, the crucial strategic metric, as well as interlinked target often aligned with business performance outcome so distant, has been sustainable financing performance. The bank shifting towards publishing incorporated annual report involving ESG data would note to entail more streamlined reporting.
Communication commitments: Increasingly, the bank is communicating huge long-term sustainable financing commitment that offers the opportunity to connect services or products to corporate responsibility. Callaghan & Hubbard (2016) argued that bank institution would increasingly require being transparent about their operational initiatives. The establishment of transparency about criteria and methodology for calculating or funding influence would help the bank add credibility to initiatives.
Governance: An adequate governance framework continue to play a crucial part in leading corporate responsibility, engaging staffs, business integration, executive engagement and ownership with social as well as environmental threat administration team remain crucial. Bielenberg et al., (2016) adds that cross-functional high authority committee and internal councils as human rights or sustainable products are essential in incorporating ESG across the business and participating subject matter experts. While it needs higher internal coordination, central sustainability groups at banks need to look at the positive result from the internal network and working groups of ESG champions focused in accomplishing ESG goals. One of the areas that require essential consideration relates an aspect of compensation linked to ESG performance.
The banking institute has made growth in effectively incorporating corporate responsibility; however, industry image consistent with suffering. There is a chance for the industry to highly engage its staffs, customers, investors and leadership on the effective part it may play within generating the new sustainable world. The consistent progress of sustainable practice may go a long means towards re-establishing trust.
Creation of effective, sustainable management methodologies
A sustainable approach to set up methodologies suitable for the banking sector, the key objectives need to be focussed on green financial products and services for customers. The strategic direction of incorporating sustainable operations in the banking industry means maintaining intermediary functions between customers and bankers (Roy, Salam Sarker & Parvez, 2015). In other words, it also tries to throw down light upon the sustainability concept for the regulatory body associated in the banking and financial authorities and the policy-makers. Some core methodologies that can be recommended for the benefit of the Westpac Bank in New Zealand:-
Green Banking Operations: Green banking operations comprises of borrowing and depositing of finances in banks directly through online medium. The strategic process of reducing the cost of banking activities and improving the quality of assets makes sustainable green banking (Zimmermann, 2019). It determines the fact that the process of online banking and financial services can be implemented for creating eco-friendly customer service management. For example, Green Banking activities like Green deposits such as commercial deposits, money market accounts and checking of accounts online can enhance sustainable banking operations in Westpac in New Zealand branch.
Eco-friendly Financial Products and Services: Eco-friendly financial products and services like e-commerce transactions through NET Banking, IMPS or internet banking activities are environment secured investment. The process of a sustainable way of operating green financial banking activities gives a borrower and a depositor to enjoy a secured way of online contract (Goel, 2016). Based on this process, it can be understood that banking and financial activities for example, if Westpac provides Green insurance scheme and Green loan offered in association with financial institutions and commercial banks, which are available in adequate amount, it can influence a number existing customers in the market seeking for such facility.
Emission-free financial mechanisms: Carbon-free mechanism is a similar kind of process that is involved in the Green banking operations like the way it is discussed above. Investments dealing with an online system that reduces time and saves energy for a customer tend to reduce the possibility of emission (Riti et al. 2017). This kind of investment works super fast with no dependency on others in case of senior citizens. For example, such type of financial mechanism like KIOSK machine or online methodology to deposit money is one such better opportunity. In the case of Westpac Bank, the Senior Managers can implement such an idea for making the customer stay smart and easily manipulate this concept in an innovation.
Green Mortgages and Loan Facilities: Use of Green Mortgages and Green loan provision is another opportunity to maintain sustainability in the banking system. In other words, Green mortgage gives more affordability to renovate and refinance a mortgage for a better existence in future (Stanton, Walden & Wallace, 2017). These are the types of gaining financial benefits from the banks based in New Zealand by the help of protecting environment pollution with the initiative like energy-efficient electric power for less consumption and emission-free. If Westpac incorporates such techniques and schemes, it can enhance its banking operations more rapidly for the customers.
Green Credit Card Services: Green Credit Card is another example of Green financial products in the Green banking system. The use of Green Credit Card for the purpose of minimising carbon emission in collaboration with the environment-conscious credit-card organisation makes it possible for a bank to provide sustainable green card holders (Giebelhausen et al., 2016). This kind of cards can be produced by Westpac Bank in its New Zealand branch with an additional benefit to the cardholders to enjoy incentive scales in shopping. At the same time, the Bank can maximise the number of banking customer base from unexpected areas.
Managing Environmental and Social Risk in business decisions: Maintaining the environment and social risk in banking operations, it is possible for a banking management team to stop using paper-based work manually and save nature by saving a ton of paper and reducing the number of working hours for the banking staffs. In other words, environmental and social security of a bank’s portfolio saves a bank from insurance claims and liability of compensation fee (Epstein, 2018). Such a business decision taken keeping in mind concerning about social environment, Westpac Bank can also strengthen its stakeholders by involving them in this kind of innovative environmental policy and increase market share and gain the maximum amount of profit as well.
Green Reward Checking Accounts: This is another attempt taken by a number of banks in New Zealand and Australia relevant to the Green Reward Checking accounts. The amount of rewards given by a banking organisation for the purpose of checking account rates online refers to Green Reward Checking Accounts (Oates & Dias, 2016). In other words, it is generally included in the schemes of banks in order to retain its customers for long-term aspects, as regular customers. For example, if Westpac uses such a policy for mainly the premium customers having a high amount of minimum balance in their account, it would satisfy the customers of the bank for opening an additional account for other purposes as well apart from saving accounts.
Mobile Banking Operations: The systematic method of sending funds and checking of funds through mobile phones in any place of the world is one such technique under Green banking activities (Shaikh & Karjaluoto, 2015). This kind of technique is less in numbers, as there are internets banking options for many customers. For example, if Westpac offers such facility of transferring funds and paying bills for mobile users with a registration process that saves energy consumption and reduces carbon emission, it would create a good impression for long-term benefit.
Tools and Technology Modifications: The use of advanced technology and equipment for making the sustainable flow of cash and online activity would enable financial services unique and different from the traditional approach (Sharma, Govindaluri & Al Balushi, 2015). In other words, it is only possible if banks are aware of such facts and trends as well as able to find potential investors for hiring such a large scale of technology in the organisation. For example, if Westpac applies similar techniques and methodologies in case of making high-speed green banking operations in its branches at other locations as well as in New Zealand, it would be easy to tackle variety of tasks at a time in less time and motivate the staffs to learn new tools and techniques as well as deliver valuable and credible banking and financial services in the market.
Therefore, based on the entire discussion and critical analysis of sustainable practices in banking services, it could be understood that in order to initiate sustainable practices in the system, Westpac uses certain tools and techniques. However, certain numbers of challenges are generally managed well if there is great support from a third-party financial institution or associated commercial banks in alliance with a certain number of law enforcement and licensing rules for working in collaboration. Hence, in the case of Westpac Bank in New Zealand, it seems to be handling multiple types of sustainable approaches. In addition, some better suitable strategies and methodologies are recommended further for gaining competitive advantage in the market as a well brand reputation for long-term aspects in future.