ANZ - 2021 Annual Report

What matters most Through our annual materiality assessment, we engage with internal and external stakeholders to inform our identification of ESG risks and opportunities. We seek to identify those issues with the most potential to impact our ability to operate successfully and create value for our shareholders and other stakeholders. We use the assessment to inform our strategy, public ESG targets and external reporting. This year we obtained stakeholder views on a broad range of ESG issues. Overall, climate change emerged as the highest priority issue – with stakeholders noting both the social and environmental impacts and the influence ANZ can have by deploying capital to finance the transition to a net zero carbon economy. Stakeholders highlighted the risks associated with our current exposure to high emitting sectors, but also emphasised the opportunities associated with the strong growth in sustainable finance. Fairness and ethical conduct continued to be seen as critical to everything we do and key to our social license to operate. Financial wellbeing was viewed as ‘core business’ and our efforts in this area can improve customer experience and positively impact the broader community. Finally, innovation and technology were seen as essential to supporting customer experience in today’s digital world. Climate change: managing the business risks and opportunities associated with climate change. Includes the role we play in supporting our customers to transition to a low carbon economy. Fairness and ethical conduct: a strong corporate culture, known for ethics, values, fairness and transparency. Simple and understandable products and communications (i.e. product disclosure, including bank fees and charges) and appropriate hardship/collections policies. Financial wellbeing: promoting and enabling access to safe and affordable products and services, particularly for lower-income and vulnerable consumers. Work with cross-sector partners to help customers, employees and the broader community meet current financial commitments and needs, and improve their financial resilience. Customer experience: delivering value and improved customer experience through appropriate financial products and services for all customers, small business and personal. Innovation and technology: keeping pace with digital innovation to ensure we are offering our customers reliable and convenient products and services in a rapidly changing market. Insights from the assessment were presented to our executive Ethics and Responsible Business Committee and Board Ethics, Environment, Social and Governance Committee and helped to inform the development of our public ESG targets. Our material ESG issues are ‘mapped’ to the bank’s Key Material Risks on pages 54–55. The full list of our material ESG issues, as well as the key steps in the materiality assessment process, are discussed in our 2021 ESG Supplement available at Detailed information on other ways in which we have engaged with stakeholders is also included in the 2021 ESG Supplement. $ INCREASING IMPORTANCE OF ESG IN BUSINESS STRATEGY The bank’s response to COVID-19 was well regarded by external stakeholders participating in the assessment, with several commenting there is a continuing role for banks to support customers who find themselves in longer-term financial difficulty. COVID-19 was seen as accelerating the importance of ESG – with a heightened expectation that banks incorporate ESG considerations in their business strategy. “Every decision made now should be integrating these ESG risks and taking advantage of ESG-related opportunities.” External stakeholder 9 ANZ 2021 Annual Report