We forge long term relationships with suppliers to ensure stakeholder value is maximised on a sustainable basis. In doing so, we are best placed to understand how various environmental, social and governance risks might impact a supplier’s business operations and how we can work together to address potential issues.
During the onset of COVID-19, we engaged our critical suppliers to seek reassurance regarding their preparedness for the pandemic, and any foreseen disruption to their business operations.
Approach to procurement
Wherever possible, we seek to make further contributions to local economies by sourcing products and services from nearby businesses. As an example, we spent more than $14 million last financial year on goods and services procured in the Bendigo region (where the Bank is headquartered). Support for local businesses stimulates local economies and generates employment opportunities.
COVID-19 has prompted Australians to consider where they source their goods and services, with many opting to buy local to ensure Australian industries remain as strong as possible. We have also taken this approach and have procured a significant number of hand sanitising stations from an Australian supplier, which will become a long-term fixture in each of its corporate offices and throughout the branch network.
We have recently finalised our Slavery and Human Trafficking policy. This internal policy outlines the our principles and practices which are designed to reduce the risk that slavery or human trafficking are present within our supply chain or operations.
Our policy has been formulated to comply with the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018, which requires that we publish an Annual Modern Slavery Statement approved by a director of the Board. This statement will be published by 31 March 2021.