As addressing environmental and societal issues continues to grow in importance both locally and internationally – with consumer behaviour becoming more intrinsically linked to ethical considerations – a need for a more measurable and criteria-led business framework has emerged. Environmental, social and governance or ESG is that framework.
Government Working Group
During 2021 and 2022, WATC coordinated a working group of 24 government agencies to consolidate information on the State’s current and planned ESG-related polices and initiatives in progress. This work will help inform existing and prospective investors of the State's ESG profile, now and into the future, to aid their investment decisions in an increasingly ESG-conscious environment.
Continued Coordination and Development
Investor Interest in Sustainable Investment
Our investors recognise the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in assessing risks and value as part of their investment considerations. They are very much focussed on the State’s ESG credentials and commitment to the Paris agreement objective to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
At WATC, we are currently working with our clients and investors to implement a sustainability bond framework to finance client initiatives that meet internationally recognised ESG standards. The framework will complement the Western Australian Government’s ongoing efforts to improve ESG outcomes for the State and progress global objectives and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Subject to final approvals and funding requirements, we will be in a position to issue the State’s first green or sustainable bond during 2023.
As a Western Australian State Government Agency managing the State’s financial assets and liabilities, we have a strong internal and external governance framework. Our external governance framework is embedded in legislation, including Ministerial and Parliamentary oversight, and outlines our key functions and activities we can legally perform. Internally we have a Board-approved risk management and compliance framework that, together with our corporate governance and organisational systems and processes ensures good governance.
Our Commitment to Inclusivity
Our staff Code of Conduct requires that all people working at WATC act professionally, courteously and honestly, treating others with respect as reflected in our corporate values. As an extension of our Code of Conduct, we are formalising a diversity and inclusion plan that builds on our current positive practices and will guide our progress to be a more inclusive organisation. As part of this plan, we started our journey to better understand our role in reconciliation.
National Reconciliation Week
During May and June 2022 we celebrated National Reconciliation Week, an event that encourages people to learn more about First Nations’ cultures and our shared history of Australia. In recognition of the event, we provided information and resources to improve our people’s awareness and understanding, along with details of how they could get involved.
Banner image top - Wildflowers at Kings Park and Botanical Garden with Perth city in background. Image courtesy of Tourism Western Australia.