Sustainability at Heritage

As one of Australia's largest customer-owned banks, acting responsibly and ethically has been inherent in our operations since we were founded in 1875. At our core, we exist to serve the interests of our members, and their communities, not to maximise profit for shareholders.

We understand that the longevity of our society depends on the sustainability of our environment, our communities and our business practices. That’s why our sustainability approach focusses on serving our members and the communities they live in through a wide range of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) commitments.

Environment

Environmental Sustainability 

We’re committed to supporting activities that contribute to greater environmental sustainability. Where possible, we will avoid contributing to unacceptable environmental impacts caused by our activities as well as the activities of our customers, suppliers and business partners.

Encouraging change

To encourage member investment in environmentally beneficial activities, we’re working to develop and implement a “green” loan product by 2024. We’re continuing our partnership with Woolworths Organic Growth Fund to promote greater use of organic farming practises in Australia through interest free business loans.

Reduce food waste

We sponsor Australia's leading food rescue organisation OzHarvest. With our support OzHarvest will deliver an additional 200,000 meals to vulnerable Australians and keep 66,666kg of food waste out of landfill.

Reduce our contribution to global warming

We will achieve certification under Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Organisations by 2024, providing us with the tools that help us identify and offset our carbon usage. 

Reduce use of natural resources

We are working to reduce the use of natural resources in our business operations wherever possible. We’re looking at solutions to source renewable energy for all Heritage sites, reducing paper consumption and postage emissions by shifting to digital first documentation and installing energy efficient lighting in all our locations by 2024.

Social

Social Sustainability

We’re acting now to create the framework we need, to reduce inequality and exclusion for vulnerable members of our communities.

Ongoing community support

We’re committed to making a minimum of $2.5 million in contributions each year to organisations and initiatives that contribute to the good of the communities in which we operate.

In 2021, Heritage invested $6.7 million in community activities.

Money

Improve financial literacy

As part of our commitment to improving the financial literacy of vulnerable Australians, we've developed dedicated online resources for migrant communities and over 65s.

We’ve also launched a Migrant Liaison Banking Service in the Toowoomba region, to help new migrants feel more at ease when dealing with banks.

Reduce inequality

We provide 24/7 access to our Speak Your Language interpreter service and have an ongoing relationship with the National Relay Service for hearing impaired people.

Our Diversity and Inclusion strategy, Vulnerable Customers Policy and Reflect Level Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) will form the standards for our approach to reducing inequality for vulnerable members of our communities.

Money

Member value

Through our lending and deposit products with fairer fees and charges, we will offer our members additional financial benefit of at least $40 million in 2021/22 compared to equivalent products offered by the major banks, as measured by Canstar.

In 2021, we exceeded this target with a total member value calculation of $58.9 million.#

Governance

Sustainability through Governance

Through adopting high standards of corporate governance and ethical behaviour, we will act with the interest of our members driving our decisions.

Customer satisfaction

We care about providing service that puts People first. That’s why we’re dedicated to maintaining an average score on our overall Customer Satisfaction ratings of more than 90%. 

Behaviour & culture

Our staff undertake regular competency and compliance training and are offered continued professional development, particularly in areas of credit and financial services. We maintain a Code of Conduct that sets out the acceptable standards of behaviour from our staff, and this code is promoted throughout our business. 

We also assess, mitigate and monitor any potential modern slavery risks in line with our Modern Slavery Statement.

Member Charter

Our Member Charter comprises of 9 promises, which outline our commitment to members of Heritage.

It includes a commitment to uphold the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice and our Complaint Management Promise.

Learn more

Our key ESG commitments
Our latest Member Report provides an update on all of our key ESG commitments in detail. 
UN Sustainable Development Goals
We’ve aligned our sustainability actions with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.