IMPACT Awards 2023

Impact initiative of the year - Oceania: Australian Unity

Developed in conjunction with Australian bank in Westpac, mutual organisation Australian Unity launched a $50 million sustainability-linked loan (SLL) connected to well-being, incentivising the firm to increase its community and social value -aligned to performance against agreed key performance indicators (KPIs).

It is the first time Westpac has linked a sustainability-linked loan with Australian Unity's Community and Social Value (CSV) framework. The CSV uses business data, analytics, and research to determine the social value, via dollar amount, created as a result of the business's lending activities. The CSV is targeting three areas of impact, labelled as lifelong wellness, economic empowerment and strong communities.

  • Lifelong wellness; includes access to quality healthcare, including early intervention and preventative programs, emphasis on in-home healthcare, and Australian Unity's Healthcare Property Trust, which has 84 healthcare-related properties.
  • Economic empowerment; includes bonds and investment vehicles, such as its education savings fund or retirement bonds. It also seeks to increase economic inclusion and customer financial wellbeing for things like healthcare and employment training.
  • Strong Communities; includes Australian Unity's Specialist Disability Accommodation fund designed to increase independence and accessibility for those with disability as well as aged care and retirement living.

Malin Eek, assistant group treasurer, Adam Vise, group treasurer and general manager of strategy & impact, Siobhan Henderson, strategy & impact manager at Australian Unity

The CSV focuses on a set of clearly defined community and social outcomes which, Australian Unity claims, has enabled a holistic view of a business's social impact, as well as how each product and service contribute more broadly.

It was developed with specialist social impact consultancy Social Ventures Australia.

Australian Unity believes it demonstrates that it's possible for companies, regardless of the size or complexity of their portfolio, to generate and quantify direct societal impact value in a robust, sustainable and strategic way.

"Our CSV framework was developed to measure the value of our social impact in an accountable and transparent way that is securing the support of our stakeholders and investors," said Adam Vise, group treasurer and general manager of strategy and impact at Australian Unity.

For the 2023 financial year, Australian Unity increased its funds with a social impact to $1.76 billion, up from $1.63 billion the previous year.