Case study: Bendigo Bank's approach to sustainability

This case study describes Bendigo Bank's social sustainability approach - the Community Engagement Model (CEM) - that has enabled the bank to rapidly expand its business while addressing local community needs. This teaching material features the case study and teaching resources to accompany the case.

The case has been published in (2011) Cases in Corporate Sustainability and Change: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Editors: Suzanne Benn, Dexter Dunphy & Bruce Perrott) and reproduced with permission of the publishers, Tilde University Press


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  • The case: Bendigo Bank (PDF, 122.0 KB) Download

Intended Audience and Usage

Today humankind faces two major crises. The first is the global financial crisis which began in 2008. The second is ecological and has been slowly building since the industrial revolution. The ecological crisis is now gaining momentum as we witness the meltdown of the world’s glaciers and a range of related issues such as widespread weather volatility, desertification and food shortages. 

The two crises are intimately related. In the words of leading ecologist Tim Flannery: ‘We have become the ‘future eaters’, living beyond the earth’s ability to replace the resources we consume’. 

As a consequence, there is a need for up-to-date, relevant course materials—and particularly case studies—addressing the challenges ahead. Cases in Corporate Sustainability and Change: A Multidisciplinary Approach includes Australian and New Zealand as well as international cases. 

Corporate sustainability is increasingly central to strategy in modern businesses. Learning about sustainability lends itself to the use of case studies because: (1) case studies demonstrate that sustainability is not some fantasy but a business imperative; (2) sustainability issues do not come in neat packages but cut across the traditional academic disciplines; and (3) case studies allow the relevance of theories to be tested. 

As the title of the book in which this case is pubished indicates, the primary emphasis is on corporate sustainability but an emphasis has also been placed on corporate change. Sustainability will not be achieved through technological fixes alone; corporate culture needs to change also. 


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