Our goal is to contribute the equivalent to at least 1% of our pre-tax profits (on a three-year rolling average) every year to the communities in which we operate.
Being part of the community fabric has mutual benefits. It helps to strengthen our relationships with local customers, employees and suppliers so we understand each other better and build trust. We build on these relationships to encourage people to support a range of charitable organisations and community programs and to drive real change in the areas of nutrition and health, employment and food waste reduction.
Our community contribution 2015/16
Woolworths has a long history of helping communities to recover from droughts, floods, cyclones, bushfires and other natural disasters.
Since 2010, we have partnered with The Salvation Army to do this work, contributing more than $29 million in cash donations from the business, in-kind materials and staff and customer donations. In 2015/16, we contributed a total of $1.1 million.
TAKING A STAND: BUILDING OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SALVOS
Woolworths has supported The Salvation Army (The Salvos) since 1954. Over the past five years we have averaged more than $2 million a year in contributions, with a further $3 million a year donated by our customers.
This year, Woolworths and The Salvos decided to formalise our partnership by establishing an advisory board and an ongoing formal partnership called STAND (Support Through Australian Natural Disasters). STAND will fund natural disaster response, recovery and resilience works in the community.
It will operate at two levels: year-round contributions and support to The Salvos, and a higher level of engagement if disaster strikes, in the form of collecting customer donations, providing the opportunity for staff to volunteer and deploying on the ground resources to support Salvos Emergency Services.
STAND will deliver shared value through adherence to clear metrics. We will reinforce our commitment through staff engagement and initiatives such as volunteering at times of disaster and seconding senior staff to act as strategic advisors to The Salvos’ operations.
Our customers are increasingly concerned about their health and wellness and are seeking nourishing food and drinks. There has been a strong growth in demand for health food and organic products and the trend is arguably becoming mainstream with over half of shoppers (52 per cent) buying health food products weekly (i.e. sugar free, additive free, gluten free, dairy free, organic, raw, salt free or vegan). 1
Our customers and communities are ethically diverse and come from a wide range of backgrounds. We are determined to answer the needs of customers by delivering variety, value, good pricing, and by helping them to make healthy food choices. Our target for 2020 is ‘We will inspire our customers to consume all of our products in a healthy, sustainable way.’
Woolworths will develop the Affordable Healthy Eating Index based on our customers' shopping habits and will support our customers to make healthier food choices through providing inspiration, knowledge and making it easier and more affordable to eat good food. We will continue to invest in developing products that improve the nutritional balance of our Own Brand portfolio.
We are committed to providing clear and transparent labelling, not using additives our customers have asked us to remove, and improving the nutritional profile of products to make healthier choices easier.
We will inspire healthy, sustainable consumption of all of our products, including the responsible consumption of alcohol. In addition, we aspire to continuously build on the existing commitment in our Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group business to be Australia's most responsible operator of hotels.
With our presence across cities, regions and remote areas, we are a part of the fabric of society. We use our resources and skills to partner with the communities that we are part of to improve the health and well-being of our customers, creating employment opportunities for young Australians and New Zealanders, and supporting communities facing natural disasters with emergency relief and post-disaster recovery. Some of our initiatives include Free Fruit for Kids, Earn and Learn, S.T.A.N.D., White Ribbon and programs with our food rescue partners such as OzHarvest and Foodbank. Our target is to ‘Invest the equivalent of 1 percent of a three-year rolling average of total Group Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) in community partnerships and programs’.
In addition to Woolworths’ direct contribution to community partnerships, we help customers contribute directly to charitable organisations. Many Australian and New Zealand communities have a Woolworths business in their town centre, and this provides us with the opportunity to engage with our customers, team members and suppliers to raise awareness of and contribute vital funding to community programs.
We will manage our community investments under a best practice social accounting framework, such as the London Benchmarking Group (LBG) methodology, to ensure that we meet the targets we set. The 2020 target is ‘We will publicly report social impact to quantify the positive changes we are creating with a focus on health, economic development and emergency relief.’
Reporting social impacts shows how our community partners are improving and transforming lives, including those of our team members and customers. This will allow us to highlight the impacts of ‘Good Acts’, raising the awareness of our community partners’ work.
We receive many requests from worthy causes. However, unfortunately, we are unable to support them all. In order to appropriately channel our support our community investment does not provide funding for the following:
If you feel your request meets our criteria please contact us here.
1 The Shopper's Pick: Understanding Australia's new village green; July 2016.
6 Excludes leveraged funds.
7 Before significant items.