Westpac banks on indigenous supplier engagement

16 November 2011

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16 November 2011 | Angeline Albert  

Australian bank Westpac Group has stepped up its efforts to integrate indigenous providers into its supply chain.

In its 2011 Annual Review and Sustainability Report published this week, the group said its purchasers had started working with indigenous Australian-owned businesses including those providing catering, teleconferencing and printing services.

The Australian Indigenous Minority SupplierCouncil (AIMSC) is focused on growing diversity within organisations’ supply chains. AIMSC’s goal is to introduce ethnic minority-owned businesses as suppliers to the country’s private and public sector organisations. The banking group signed an agreement with AIMSC to involve indigenous businesses in its supply chain a year ago. Its commitment to supplier diversity in its supply chain reflects a countrywide trend among Australian organisations.  

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) released its annual survey of members’ indigenous engagement initiatives this month. The survey, Vision and Values: Working Together toClose the Gap, revealed 53 per cent of business leaders seek to do business with indigenous suppliers, the majority through their membership of the AIMSC.

Two-thirds of companies with indigenous initiatives in place said they look to engage indigenous suppliers. Of these, 34 companies said they empower procurement teams to do this as a result of their membership of AIMSC. The report contains data from an online survey conducted for the BCA by KPMG in June and July.

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