Cleaning up on reputation
|By Leon Gettler
On the day Westpac posted a $2.54 billion record profit, it was rated Australasia's most socially responsible company by reputation rating service Reputex.
Westpac was the only one of Australia's top 100 and New Zealand's top 20 companies to receive the top AAA, or outstanding, Reputex rating on the grounds of corporate governance, environmental impact, social impact and workplace practices.
Australia's companies eco-rated that scored a high AA rating were Australia Post, BHP Billiton, Energex, Hewlett-Packard Australia, IBM Australia, Insurance Australia Group, National Australia Bank, Queensland Rail and Visy Industries.
Just over half the Australian companies (51) came in with a score that ranked them satisfactory or better, but 42 came in with low scores of B or C.
The survey's findings suggested that when it came to scoring a high ranking, environmental issues were probably the most difficult to deal with. On the other hand, dealing with corporate governance seemed to be relatively easy, or at least more straightforward.
In the area of environmental impact, just 21 companies scored A or above while 79 were ranked low or inadequate.
By way of contrast, 79 companies rated satisfactory or better on corporate governance.