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Top ASX50 giving companies invests $867m in community

A new report has revealed the top giving companies in the 2016/17 financial year

Australia’s most generous companies invested a staggering $867 million in community causes during the 2017/17 financial year, according to a new report.

The inaugural GivingLarge Report analysis from Strive Philanthropy has revealed the top companies by providing a comprehensive study of community investments made by Australia’s top 50 publicly listed businesses.

Strive Philanthropy Founder, Jarrod Miles, said the yearly report would stimulate an environment of healthy philanthropic competition.

“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,” Miles 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 discourse.”

The report analyses percentage contributions of company profits or earnings to rank organisations, noting the importance of comparing companies by how they report their income. Wesfarmers topped the list with the conglomerate behind Bunnings, Coles, Kmart and Target donating $72 million or 2.1 per cent of its pre-tax profit.

Most of Wesfarmers investments was directed at Indigenous programs, art programs, medical research and education initiatives.

Biotechnology giant, CSL, was top when looking at the percentage of its earnings with $52 million in donations, equating to 1.7 per cent of earnings. The average corporate contribution is 0.57% of earnings. Most of CSL donations were directed to biomedical research, medical education and support groups and emergency relief.

“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,” Miles said.

The top nine companies contributed 74 per cent of the $867 million. The materials, finance and consumer sectors made up the most of corporate giving with 76 per cent of the total donation. The materials sector contributed the largest total figure at $359 million, representing 42 per cent of the total sum donated by ASX50 companies.

CEO of Philanthropy Australia, Sarah Davies, said: “The companies included in this report should be acknowledged, congratulated and encouraged to continue their giving and reporting. Everyone benefits.

“We know how influential responsible, community and social investments and partnership is on positive employee attraction and retention, social license to operate and on broader customer, market and supplier engagement.”

The report collates the donation statistics of the ASX50 companies by sector and reviews key community investment parameters using global standards. It does not take into account political, employee or commercial sponsorship donations.

Top 10 corporate donors by per cent of pre-tax profit

  1. Wesfarmers (2.14%)
  2. CSL (1.97%)
  3. Woolworths (1.30%)
  4. IAG (0.89%)
  5. Stockland (0.81%)
  6. GPT Group (0.78%)
  7. Macquarie (0.61%)
  8. QBE Insurance (0.55%)
  9. Suncorp (0.55%)
  10. AMP (0.48%)

Top 10 corporate donors by earnings

  1. CSL (1.73%)
  2. Wesfarmers (1.39%)
  3. Oil Search (1.26%)
  4. Rio Tinto (1.12%)
  5. South32 (0.92%)
  6. BHP Billiton (0.89%)
  7. Woolworths (0.74%)
  8. Woodside (0.59%)
  9. Origin (0.38%)
  10. Orica (0.24%)

Top 10 corporate donors by $

  1. Rio Tinto
  2. BHP Billiton
  3. Wesfarmers
  4. CSL
  5. CBA
  6. Westpac
  7. Woolworths
  8. NAB
  9. Woodside
  10. ANZ

Sector leaders by % contribution

  1. Finance – IAG
  2. Materials – RIO TINTO
  3. Telecoms (n=1) – TELSTRA
  4. Industrial – BRAMBLES
  5. Consumer – WESFARMERS
  6. Health Care – CSL
  7. Info Tech (n=1) – COMPUTERSHARE
  8. Real Estate – STOCKLAND
  9. Energy – OIL SEARCH
  10. Utilities (n=2) – AGL

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