Sustainability Report 2016
Officeworks is Australia’s leading retailer and supplier of office products and solutions for home, business and education.
Officeworks seeks to be a one-stop shop for those looking to start, run and grow a business, as well as for students and households. We have more than 7,000 team members servicing our customers that include businesses of all sizes, students and teachers, as well as personal shoppers across 159 stores, online platforms and customer service centre. Our revenue this year was $1,851 million.
Officeworks’ Positive Difference plan encompasses three pillars – environment, responsible sourcing and people:
- Environmental impact of products
- Environmental impact of operations
- Products from sustainable materials
- Ethical sourcing
- Learning and development
Environmental impact of products
Officeworks understands that our environmental responsibilities extend beyond the time a product leaves our stores and we continue to support the circular economy through our recycling programs. We have increased the collection of printer cartridges for recycling by 58,000 to 947,349 cartridges. Over the past year we also collected 390,651 kilograms of computers and accessories through the 'BringITback' program and the equivalent of 41,364 mobile phones and batteries for recycling.
Understanding that not everything is cost effective to recycle, Officeworks was the first Australian retailer to have partnered with Terracycle to range a product called the 'Zero Waste Box'. We have a range of zero waste boxes that enables our customers to recycle used products such as coffee pods, pens and markers, or office supplies product that were otherwise destined for landfill.
Environmental impact of operations
Officeworks has continued to improve energy efficiency through the rollout of LED lighting to an additional 40 stores, bringing the total number of stores now with LED lighting to 70. Approximately 4,000 of the old light fittings have been recycled as part of the LED rollout. Energy monitoring systems have been installed in 27 stores.
As a part of our continuous improvement programs, we have upgraded the printers in the print and copy centres in each store. Since the upgrades, the energy consumed per 1,000 prints has reduced by 16 per cent.
Officeworks has increased the percentage of waste recycled to 71 per cent. Major initiatives included a waste optimisation program aimed at reducing waste bin size and an ongoing awareness program to educate team members on what is recyclable.
The East Bentleigh (Victoria) support office refurbishment included the replacement of 557 fluorescent lights with low power LED lighting and the installation of recycling stations that cater for bottles and cans as well as specialised recyclable items such as batteries, pens and coffee capsules.
Products from sustainable materials
Officeworks has maintained a focus on the sustainable sourcing of paper-based products. All Officeworks suppliers are required to complete a forest survey detailing the source of any paper or wood products. As at June 2016, the survey had been completed for products representing more than 99 per cent of sales, confirming that the source of wood products is from sustainable forests.
This year, we have significantly grown paper products derived from 100 per cent recycled content or having Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.
The preference for 100 per cent recycled content ensures we minimise the use of wood products sourced from unsustainable forest practices.
Choosing FSC-certification ensures the environmental needs in forest management are balanced to ensure sustainable growth for future generations.
Officeworks continued to work with all suppliers to ensure they comply with our Ethical Sourcing Policy, increasing our supply chain transparency and improving the working conditions in factories where our products are sourced from.
We added 500 supplier factories to the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX), taking our total number of registered factories to more than 1,000.
We continued to educate our merchandise team, our suppliers and our agents to ensure they fully understand our Ethical Sourcing Policy and the role they play to deliver continuous improvements to the working conditions of people in our global supply chains.
Learning and development
Every team member has an important role to play in delivering the Officeworks vision and purpose. To achieve this, we focus on hiring the best people and invest in purpose-driven learning and development.
Our core leadership and development programs are regularly reviewed for impact and alignment with the company strategy. We will continue to look for ways to engage team members and provide them with the learning solutions they need to deliver great service.
For our main learning programs, we have introduced ‘bookends’. Bookends are activities conducted before and after the learning program to provide team members with the insights to get the most out of their learning experience.
We have updated our orientation program and developed learning pathways to ensure our team have the right knowledge and skills to perform their roles.
The Officeworks Leadership program is currently under review to deliver more practical learning and purpose-driven leadership.
The safety culture at Officeworks is promoted through initiatives and campaigns to direct and influence the behaviour of team members. Since 2011 the all injury frequency rate (AIFR) has reduced year on year. This year, the AIFR was 15.9, which is a 17.2 per cent reduction on the prior year’s 19.2 AIFR.
Safety leadership is embedded into the business through training and awareness programs which instil knowledge and personal accountability. In the last 12 months, the safety focus included proactive safety and hazard identification, and near miss reporting. This removes the risk from the workplace and prevents incidents and injuries from occurring. A hazard reporting app has been developed and rolled out across the business to simplify hazard reporting.
In the development of furniture products, we have improved the assessment process for the safe handling of these often heavy and bulky items. This has resulted in improved and consistent labelling standards.
Other safety initiatives implemented by Officeworks during the last 12 months include audible alarms on roller doors to prevent forklift collisions, manual handling identification campaigns, review of equipment such as ladders, roll cages and reach trucks and targeted approaches to activities where incidents and injuries have been recorded, such as print and copy and stock receipt areas.
Officeworks is committed to the recruitment, promotion and development, retention and team engagement initiatives that are aimed at supporting a broader diversity agenda and best practice leadership. While diversity covers a broad range of focus areas, the Officeworks diversity strategy focuses on women in leadership and Indigenous engagement. Key initiatives undertaken during the last 12 months include:
- the introduction of a 'hiring for leadership' process which includes gender diverse hiring panels to mitigate the risk of bias in the recruitment or promotion process
- produced a video and 'diversity@Officeworks' campaign to start conversations about gender imbalance in management positions
- identified communities with high Indigenous populations to target future employment opportunities
- active celebration and support of Indigenous engagement programs such as National Reconciliation Week and the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation’s ‘Wall of Hands’ campaign
- ongoing engagement with Supply Nation and members of its Indigenous Business Direct network.
Officeworks contributed $1.18 million to our local community. This included more than $380,000 raised through sausage sizzles held at our stores, as well as more than $150,000 of cash and in-kind donations donated from our stores to local community groups. During the year, we also raised $165,000 from the sales of our craft bag to support Planet Ark programs that encourage positive environmental actions.
Building on our sausage sizzle fundraisers, children's workshops and our support of local community groups, we have introduced balloon art, face painting and 'Ollie Bear' visits to many of our stores. The balloon art and face painting occurs in stores every weekend and has resulted in more than 7,000 children's faces being painted and more than 14,000 pieces of balloon art created.
Through our national partnerships with the Smith Family and the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF), Officeworks contributed more than $325,000 in direct and in-kind product donations. The two major programs were the annual ‘Back to School' appeal raising more than $100,000 for the Smith Family and the ‘Wall of Hands’ campaign raising more than $83,000 for ALNF.
Throughout the year, support office team members volunteered for a range of activities including the Smith Family's toy and book appeal during the lead up to Christmas, Clean Up Australia Day, the Springs Parks Primary School breakfast club and National Tree Day.
In 2016-17, Officeworks will focus on making a positive difference in the following areas:
Reduce our impact on the environment
- Investment in resources to reduce our energy consumption
- Increase the volume of waste recycled in our stores and assist our customers to recycle more
- Increase the volume of paper sourced from FSC and recycled sources
Make a difference where we live and work
- Stronger local community contribution
- Ensuring our suppliers of products and services are compliant with our Ethical Sourcing Policy
Building a stronger team
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