Since the launch of our Corporate Responsibility Strategy 2020 earlier this year, we have been focused on a number of initiatives that work towards the targets set under the pillars of People, Planet and Prosperity. FY17 included a number of key achievements within this space and highlights our commitment to create better experiences for our customers, team and communities.
Supporting Indigenous Australians
During the year the Woolworths Group has continued its commitment to its Indigenous Employment program “Resourcing the Future” in partnership with Diversity Dimensions. We are pleased with the achievements we have made since launching the program and we are focussed on continuing to grow this number ahead of our Woolworths Group 2020 targets.
Since launching our Indigenous employment program "Resourcing the Future" in December 2015, we have held over 150 1 programs in 328 1 stores and placed 952 1 Indigenous Australian jobseekers into permanent part-time employment with huge success in regional Australia. As a direct result of the success of the program over the last 12 months, we have seen a significant increase in the number of direct applications through our mainstream recruitment process.
Diversity Dimensions General Manager, Mimi Kind, said; “Woolworths has embraced this program with a level of commitment that inspires us – that commitment can be seen at all levels of the organisation, from the board and senior leaders right through to store managers and team members. This is why we are seeing such great results in this program, with a retention rate of over 80% of Indigenous employees that we place.”
- Figures stated relate to the period 11 December 2015 to 7 July 2017.
Working towards Zero Food Waste
Woolworths Group partners with food rescue organisations, such as OzHarvest, Foodbank and others, to help reduce the amount of edible surplus food going to waste. Food that might once have been wasted, is now feeding Australians in need. The Odd Bunch range of fruits and vegetables was designed to cut waste for Aussie farmers and make healthy food cheaper – you can get lemons, carrots, pears, apples and more deliciously odd‑shaped foods every day.
In a recent visit to Australia in May 2017, world‑renowned chef and Woolworths ambassador, Jamie Oliver, hosted a media event at the Food Innovation Centre at the Woolworths Group Support Office to help raise awareness of reducing food waste in Australia. “Food waste is a huge drain on our natural resources, and millions of tonnes of perfectly edible food ends up as landfill every year. Stats suggest that Australian households throw out one in every five bags of their food shopping, which is worth an estimated $1,036 per household each year. That’s massive! ” Jamie Oliver
Country of origin labelling
When the Federal Government's country of origin labelling initiative came into effect in July 2016, Woolworths was the first Australian supermarket to introduce the new labels on their own brand products in October of the same year.
At Woolworths, we know our customers love to buy Australian products. The new labelling system makes it easier for our customers to better locate Australian made products and understand what percentage of the ingredients are locally sourced. Earlier this year, Woolworths stores hosted over 350 in-store country of origin labelling display booths. We invited our customers to learn about the new labelling scheme at the booths and also sample Woolworths own brand products.
Senator Arthur Sinodinos AO, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, said; “The in-store demonstrations are an extension of the advertising activity and an excellent opportunity for Australian consumers to hear more about the labels. We appreciate Woolworths’ support for this initiative.”