Our Community & Environment
Sustainability is strongly linked to our business strategy. We are dedicated to achieving profitable and sustainable growth in a manner consistent with our Group Values and we are committed to social and environmental initiatives which are designed to benefit our team, customers, trade partners and the communities in which we operate.
With one of our Group Values defined as ‘Care’, we strive to lead by example and invest our time, financial support and resources in a variety of initiatives. Examples of this philosophy in practice include:
- Environmental initiatives - We have a commitment to paper usage reduction, power usage reduction, catalogue paper reduction/recycling, and customer oil & battery recycling. We are a proud signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant, an agreement between government, industry and community groups to find and fund solutions to address packaging sustainability issues. We are committed to designing more sustainable packaging, increasing our recycling rates and reducing packaging litter.
- Social education and philanthropic initiatives - We demonstrate support for the communities in which we operate through partnerships with charity organisations, responsiveness in times of community crisis such as fires, floods, earthquakes and active participation in improving community wellbeing. Our decisions about how we can best support communities are based on our capacity to strengthen a community and the alignment to our core purpose and values. We also support our community through employment, taxes and education programs.
- Ethical working and employment practices - We are strongly committed to adhering to and respecting human rights standards, both locally and internationally. We have a commitment to equal employment opportunities and to a bullying-, harassment- and discrimination-free work environment, open door communication and the gathering of team member feedback, fair trading practices, team member development and involvement in negotiations over pay and conditions, product quality standards, workplace health and safety and ethical sourcing.
We believe that care towards the environment is a shared responsibility and our focus is to work with our trade partners, customers and team members to reduce the impacts of our products and activities.
As a retailer, our main environmental impacts are related to packaging, energy and raw materials consumption and waste production. In 2011 we developed an Environmental Management System (EMS) to better manage our environmental impacts and drive environmental initiatives. Our EMS Committee has representatives of all departments across the Group and meets in a quarterly basis to discuss ways to improve our environmental practices and monitor our progress against our goals.
We continue to promote waste minimisation to our team members using various internal communications channels, including intranet, email, store bulletins and team meetings. Our goal is to continuously increase our recycling rates across the Group by raising team member awareness, identifying new waste streams for recycling, performing informal waste reviews at selected sites and liaising with our waste provider to identify opportunities for improvement.
Packaging optimisation program
This program started in 2010 and involves reducing air space and changing packing methods to reduce the amount of packaging material. Since that time, we have reduced a significant amount of packaging that could potentially become waste. The Group also saved on shipping costs by optimising carton sizes on tertiary packaging.
Australian Packaging Covenant
We are committed to establishing a ‘framework for the effective life cycle management of consumer packaging’ through an educational approach internally with our team, our trade partners and our customers. Since becoming a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant in July 2008, Super Retail Group has embraced the principles of product stewardship to ensure the environmental impact on new or existing packaging is continuously monitored and minimised via a collaborative approach with our trade partners, and education of our team members and customers. We are committed to developing processes that embody the principles of product stewardship with an aim to continually improve our environmental impact with respect to packaging and waste management via:
- Development of internal policies and procedures, such as the Sustainable Procurement Policy, to govern product packaging and operations in accordance with the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines
- Promotion of existing recycling activities to customers and team members to improve knowledge and awareness of recycling options
- Use of recycle logo in our packaging and catalogues to encourage waste recycling
- Regular articles on waste and environmental topics in our internal media to increase our team members' awareness; and
- Engaging with our waste provider in a regular basis to improve our waste management practices.
Customer automotive battery recycling
In accordance with our Environmental Policy, we continue to explore options to offer our customers the ability to return selected products directly to our retail stores which are then collected and distributed to recycling facilities. Supercheap Auto accepts used car batteries in all retail stores which are collected and returned to a recycling facility where the lead and plastic is reused in manufacturing new products. We continue to explore recycling opportunities as an added service and convenience to our customers in support of the environment.
Paper reduction and recycling
We are committed to using recycled paper for catalogue printing and reducing advertising waste through greater targeted delivery. Our use of customer targeting software and greater emphasis on email marketing has enabled us to reduce catalogue distribution quantities with little or no loss in effectiveness.
In terms of packaging, all paper and cardboard used to package our products imported from China are made of 100% recycled paper.
Power usage reduction
We are committed to reducing power usage and monitoring our performance by exploring and implementing a number of initiatives across the Group, including:
- Implementation of organisational culture initiatives - educating team members on how to reduce power usage
- Team member engagement – seeking feedback from team members on how to further improve energy efficiency
- Structural initiatives – changing building specifications, such as lighting upgrades and heat reflective roof paint
- Installation of energy saving devices and control equipment, such as ‘smart’ thermostats and light sensors; and
- Procedural initiatives – optimising the hours of operation of equipment, e.g. air conditioning, lighting and illuminated signage through timers and PE cells.
To ensure transparency and better management of climate change in our business operations, in 2015 Super Retail Group reported to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CPD) via their climate change questionnaire for the first time. The report discloses our greenhouse gas emissions and climate change data and includes our carbon emissions in Australia and New Zealand (where possible).
By disclosing through the CDP, we aim to improve the management of our carbon footprint, manage the risks and opportunities from climate change and identify areas for emissions and cost reductions.
Ethical product sourcing
We continue to develop compliance frameworks governing our sourcing of product from overseas, including our Ethical Sourcing and Imported Goods Policies for all our trade partners. This policy addresses environmental and socioeconomic criteria including labour relations, packaging and environmental requirements. In addition, Super Retail Group has invested in developing our own quality assessment team in China to support the specialist independent auditors periodically engaged to ensure that requirements are understood and that compliance is maintained by trade partners.
Our compliance and quality assurance programs include the use of accredited auditors to inspect and test to certify that products meet Australian legal requirements, to ensure that good quality, safe and innovative new products are provided to customers and are good value-for-money.
Trade Partner Engagement
Our International Operations Packaging team in China works closely with our trade partners to ensure product packaging is in accordance to our environmental specifications.
As part of the sourcing process, the team liaises with factories on a regular basis and performs packaging assessments for all new products. Our Packaging team in Brisbane proactively reviews existing packaging that comes through our distribution centre and makes recommendations to suppliers and the team to ensure that existing packaging is optimised.
We proudly provide our support to the following community organisations and initiatives:
Super Retail Group is a proud community partner of Red Cross. Whether it’s being responsive in times of crisis or promoting community wellbeing, our team supports the work of Red Cross through active participation and fundraising efforts.
CARMA is a nation-wide road safety campaign, championed by Supercheap Auto V8 Supercar legend Russell Ingall and leading road safety advocate Russell White. The campaign aims to reduce the number of fatalities on Australian roads by educating drivers about safe behavioural road practices. A not-for-profit campaign, CARMA is designed to teach drivers to have greater awareness of the road environment and how to behave responsibly when behind the wheel.
CARMA is supported by Supercheap Auto and DriverSafety.com.au.
@Heart (formerly Heart Children New Zealand)
In 2009, we began our partnership with @Heart to help support children with heart conditions and their families within New Zealand.
Each week, 1 in every 100 children born in New Zealand is born with a heart defect and heart disease is the leading cause of death in young children. @Heart provides emotional support, practical support, specialised equipment, education, information, advocacy, friendship and fun. Every year during the months of May and November New Zealand accept donations for @Heart during the months of May and November.
Queensland Male Champions of Change
Our CEO is a member of the Queensland Male Champions of Change (QMCC) which is a group of influential and diverse business leaders who have come together to recognise the importance of and commitment to gender diversity and to building an inclusive culture in their organisations. The QMCC have been working together since 2013 putting forward tangible and pragmatic ideas for change, sharing their experiences, and championing diversity activities within their organisations and more broadly across the sectors in which they operate. As part of his involvement with QMCC, our CEO chairs the Flexibility Working Group of the QMCC which focuses on designing strategies and initiatives to create, promote and embed flexibility in our workplace.
Super Retail Group is a Partner of Queensland Leaders which is a Brisbane-based company mentoring programme. Partners/sponsors of Queensland Leaders are involved in mentoring founders and CEOs of aspiring Queensland companies.