2. Summary of Bank of Queensland
2.1. About the Company
2.2. Mission and Core Values
2.3. Sustainability Approach and its Importance to Business
2.4. Impact of Sustainability on the Operations of Business
2.5. Results and Initiatives: Reports
2.6. Aspects of Corporate Sustainability
2.7. Global Reporting Initiative and Industry Specific Guidelines
2.8. Benchmark to Assess Progress towards Sustainability Goals
2.9. Awards and Achievements
2.10. Compliance Costs and Associated Liabilities
2.11. Sustainability Control System
2.12. ISO 14000 Series in Environmental Control Systems
3. Recommendations for Improvement
Sustainability can be defined as the process of setting rational corporate aims and working towards them precisely. It is about outlining corporate decisions in respect of long term goals and by considering numerous aspects along with financial aspects. The goals of sustainability for businesses entail preventing pollution, minimize emissions, usage of sustainable resources, stimulate sustainable behavior, encourage green products, and more. Sustainable organizations are those that are proposing and acting for social and environmental concerns.
Moreover, there has been an increased role of management accountant in the preparation of sustainability reports and seizing of the information that is non-financial. The role of management accountant drives as a coworker with a company in apprehending, recognizing, and determining environmental data based on the accounting concepts like costs and liabilities of the environmental management (Srinammuang, Petcharat & Petcharat, 2018). This report discusses the sustainability practices of the Bank of Queensland by describing its approach. Moreover, it discusses the impact of sustainability practices on its business operations. Furthermore, it describes the achievements of the organization concerning sustainability practices.
BOQ (Bank of Queensland) is one of the prominent banks of Australia that is having more than 252 branches within Australia. It was founded in the year 1863 and established in the year 1874. It’s headquartered is in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It comes under the banking, financial services industry and offers products in respect of consumer banking, mortgage loans, commercial banking, credit cards, and finance & insurance.
The mission of the company is to become the most loved bank of Australia by building long term relationships with customers by constantly supporting them with its reliable banking products. Moreover, the mission of BOQ is to focus on the niche segments where it focuses on clients who value more cherished banking associations. Furthermore, the values of the BOQ are integrity, impact, collaboration, and passion. The Company believes that the value of integrity is the most essential as it certifies that the company and its people are treating each other with respect and certifies that it always does the right thing (BOQ, 2020 a).
According to the Bank of Queensland, sustainably conducting business is a continuous process because it keeps on changing with any advancement in technology, consumer behaviors, and community attitudes. Its approach to sustainability is founded on how it brings the business strategy to contribute to the interests of all stakeholders of the bank. Moreover, it identifies the significance of taking part in expanding the global effort to certify self-respect, harmony, and wealth for people, and the globe, both for the present and future. The sustainability focus areas of the banks are customers; people; economic & financial; environment; technology; and risk, compliance, governance, & operations.
The Bank of Queensland manages the sustainability issues in these areas. It is highly focused to offer the right products to the key segments of customers. Moreover, it helps them in financial hardship to satisfy their customers. The bank is determined to bring cultural diversity in its work environment to foster creativity. It works towards environmental issues like climate change, environmental risk of customers, and more. The most essential focus areas of sustainability for the business are adapting to change, workplace culture, customer experience, and conduct & trust (BOQ, 2020 b).
The impact of the sustainability focus of Bank of Queensland on its operations can be seen in its Non-financial performance measures statement. With its constant efforts, the bank has been successful in retaining the worthy customers, attracting the novel employees, and shareholders. Moreover, it has improved the perception of the community for its products and services. It has increased its bottom-line like profitability.
The initiatives and the results of the sustainability practices of the company are stated in the sustainability report and the annual report of the Bank of Queensland. Today, most of the companies disclose their sustainability report either separately or within the annual report itself. Sustainability reporting is essential for businesses to determine their influence on society and the environment. Moreover, it is the best strategy to determine where a company positioned as compared with the rivalries, to assess the efficiency of its management, and to know the perception of stakeholders towards it (Herremans, Nazari & Mahmoudian, 2016). Therefore, the Bank of Queensland has presented its sustainability achievement in society so that transparency could be maintained and the confidence of stakeholders could be enhanced.
Bank of Queensland has been doing its constant efforts for the welfare of the society and the environment. Certain broad aspects of corporate sustainability practices of the company are as follows:
Sustainable lending: The Company shows responsible behavior towards maintaining a lending portfolio that embraced sustainable resources or assets. In this respect, it manages the risk by considering the environmental, economic, and social accountability of its clients. The main strategies for doing so are:
Recycling: BOQ tries to use recycled products most of the time required. It believes that business and environment can be benefited by integrating good waste management. Besides, it entails the paper for huge amount printing like an annual report, where it is produced on paper from well-organized forests and reused foundations.
Supply chain management: Bank is accountable not only for its operations but also responsible to offer its suppliers with higher standards.
Customer experience: To ensure the expectations of customers like easy to use banking services, technological innovations, and more, the bank has been constantly fulfilling these expectations and building competitive advantage in the industry.
Adapting to change: Bank is doing constant efforts in developing strategies to make change resilient organizations. It is continuously responding to essential technological and regulatory developments that are impacting its business. It had worked towards innovation, automation, robotics, open banking, digital banking, partnerships, cybersecurity, and more.
The sustainability report of BOQ does not mention the Global Reporting Imitativebut it has mentioned certain guidelines that are industry-specific. It used the regulatory guidance for the lending purpose given by ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission). In addition to this, it has mentioned its efforts in lending for the animal’s welfare. For this, it has mentioned the guidelines of OIE (World organization for Animal health) that sets a global standard and offers an operative outline for animal welfare management. Moreover, it has used the guidelines of corporations to act as amended by the treasury laws. , ASX corporate governance recommendations and principles and ABA (Australian banking associations) guidelines, all are contributing to improving the security for the whistleblower.
The benchmarks for sustainability can be defined as the way of systematical evaluating the sustainability performance of the voluntary standards, certifications, companies, or other entities that aim to integrate sustainability measures or create positive impacts. The sustainability development goals are the benchmarks for assessing the Australian organizations in respect of sustainability performance (Allen et al, 2020).
The bank of Queensland has not achieved awards for sustainability practices. However, it has achieved the award in terms of brilliance in providing the banking services to Queensland for over an era, and it is frequently growing country-wide. The achievement of the company is measured based on metrics such as its customers, people, communities, and environments.
The measures above do not entail associated costs and liabilities. However, it showcased its performance in terms of energy usage, fuel consumption, employee retention, and voluntary turnover, investments in the communities, customer complaints, their number, and more
The sustainability control system refers to the grouping of management accounting tools put together to fulfill the sustainability performance consequences by persuading the practices of persons within the firm. The organizations are having the well-designed sustainability control systems that aid the company to stipulate and transfer the sustainability aims, regulate the performance through controls and reactions (Battaglia et al, 2016). Moreover, it leads to motivating the employees to work towards sustainability projects. The bank of Queensland has a sustainability control system along with the traditional management control system. It has more policies and guidelines for risk management.
ISO 14000 series is required in the companies for maintaining the voluntary management standard for the environment. It is developed so that companies may include environmental characteristics into processes and product standards (Jayashree et al, 2016). The aspects covered in the ISO 14000 series are terms & definition; Environmental auditing & related investigations; environmental management systems; life cycle assessments, and more. The Bank of Queensland has not obtained any certification accreditation for its initiatives for sustainability.
The recommendations for improvement can be as follows:
From the above report on the sustainability practices and focus of Bank of Queensland, it can be concluded that the bank is well versed in focusing on the sustainability practices by concentrating on the key aspects like community, customers, and culture of the company, environment, and its people. Moreover, it can be concluded that the initiatives and the results of the sustainability practices of the company are stated in the sustainability report and the annual report of the Bank of Queensland. Further, the company has certain metrics, based on which its sustainability performance is measured. The metrics are customers, people, communities, and environments. Furthermore, it can be inferred that the Bank of Queensland has not obtained any certification accreditation for its initiatives for sustainability. The bank of Queensland has not achieved awards for sustainability practices. Further, there are not any associated costs and liabilities in the performance report of them sustainably.
Allen, C., Reid, M., Thwaites, J., Glover, R., & Kestin, T. (2020). Assessing national progress and priorities for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): experience from Australia. Sustainability Science, 15(2), 521-538.
Battaglia, M., Passetti, E., Bianchi, L., & Frey, M. (2016). Managing for integration: a longitudinal analysis of management control for sustainability. Journal of Cleaner Production, 136, 213-225. BOQ (2020 a). About us. Retrieved from https://www.boq.com.au/About-us/company-overview
BOQ. (2020 b). Sustainability report 2019. Retrieved from https://www.boq.com.au/content/dam/boq/files/shareholder-centre/financial-results/2019/sustainability-report-2019.pdf
BOQ. (2020 c). Approach to sustainable lending. Retrieved from https://www.boq.com.au/Shareholder-centre/sustainability/approach-to-sustainable-lending
Herremans, I. M., Nazari, J. A., & Mahmoudian, F. (2016). Stakeholder relationships, engagement, and sustainability reporting. Journal of Business Ethics, 138(3), 417-435.
Jayashree, S., Malarvizhi, C. A., Kasim, A., & Mayel, S. (2016). Impact of external factors on the implementation of ISO 14000 EMS towards corporate sustainability. International Information Institute (Tokyo). Information, 19(7A), 2631.
Srinammuang, P., Petcharat, N., & Petcharat, N. (2018). Management accountants? role in moving towards the sustainability reporting system of Thai-listed companies. In Proceedings of International Academic Conferences (No. 7208951). International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
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