Wesfarmers and CSL Top Corporate Philanthropy
Australia’s most generous corporate donors have been named in the inaugural GivingLarge report, with Wesfarmers
and CSL receiving top billing.
The report by Melbourne-based research group Strive Philanthropy provides analysis of community investments made by Australia’s largest ASX-listed companies. It found 39 companies had invested $867 million in the 2016-17 financial year. The report revealed Perth-based conglomerate Wesfarmers and global biotechnology company CSL were leading the way, with contributions comprising cash donations, volunteering time and gifts in kind.
Over the past three years, Wesfarmers donated 2.14 per cent of its pre-tax profit while CSL donated 1.97 per
cent respectively. That put them well ahead of other companies, with Woolworths being next best with a contribution of 1.3 per cent of pre-tax profit.
When corporate donations were ranked by per cent of underlying earnings (Ebitda), these positions were reversed.
CSL topped the list at 1.73 per cent of Ebitda and Wesfarmers followed at 1.39 per cent, with the report noting
an average corporate contribution of 0.57 per cent of earnings.
Wesfarmers, the conglomerate behind Coles, Bunnings, Kmart and Target, donated $73 million to community
groups in the 2016-17 financial year, according to its annual sustainability report. Wesfarmers primarily contributed in the areas of medical research, Indigenous programs, education initiatives and arts programs.
CSL donated $52 million, with the money going to biomedical research, medical education and support groups,
Perth-based mining and metals company South32 also featured in the top ten donors relative to underlying
earnings, ranking number five, while Woodside Petroleum ranked number eight.
When corporate donors were ranked by total monetary contributions, Rio Tinto was number one followed by
BHP Billiton, Wesfarmers and CSL.
Further findings from the report show that the top nine companies contributed 74 per cent of the $867 million.
Strive Philanthropy founder Jarrod Miles said he hoped the yearly report would stimulate an environment of healthy
“From the boardroom to the battler, from the suits to the streets – there is a clear and growing need and responsibility for the companies around us to give back to the communities they operate in,” he said.
“Distinct from other corporate social rankings, the GivingLarge Report examines publicly available reports to ensure a
robust sample not restricted by the need for a membership or survey completion.
“This approach creates a best practice environment that looks to not only increase corporate contributions, but also the public disclosure of those contributions. “Australia’s interest in corporate generosity is certainly on the rise, and if we are smart about it, our growing interest in this area may just help to drive up total giving to those who need it.