With operations spanning the entire country, we are in a unique position to make a positive contribution to Australian communities, ensuring our customers, our people, the environment and our suppliers can share in our prosperity and success.
Social and Indigenous procurement
Our procurement choices can make a positive difference in our communities and the environment. By partnering with social enterprises and Indigenous businesses in our supply chain, we are using our procurement spend to create jobs and opportunities where it matters most. As a member of Supply Nation, we have been engaging with Indigenous businesses in our supply chain since 2010. In 2015, we formalised our commitment to social enterprise procurement when we became founding members of Social Traders Connect.
Our latest whitepaper, Unlocking the Value of Social Procurement and Supplier Diversity: Leading Practice Insights, was released in July 2018. The paper is the fourth in a series to advance the SDGs. It highlights how social procurement creates a competitive advantage and better workforce engagement for organisations, leading to increased economic, social and environmental value.
This year, we spent over $21.4 million with 45 social and Indigenous suppliers, up from $7.4 million in 2017/18 creating new employment opportunities for those organisations. By purposefully changing our approach to procurement, we switched to buying goods and services from a broader range of social 36 and Indigenous enterprises in 2018/19.
In our new Group Corporate Responsibility Plan, 2020-2022, we have expanded our target to include social enterprises and will continue to look for opportunities to create a more inclusive supply chain and reach our $60 million spend target by 2022.
In April this year, we entered into a partnership with a new specialist travel provider, Inspire Travel Management, to provide travel management services to our business. As an accredited Indigenous enterprise, backed by QBT (one of the largest travel management providers in Australia), Inspire’s mission is to create meaningful employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This year, we won four major awards at Supply Nation’s 2019 Supplier Diversity Awards. These awards recognise companies, government agencies and individuals who are helping create a prosperous, vibrant and sustainable Indigenous business sector.
Supporting our communities
This year we contributed more than $16.4 million to the community through our community investment program. Some of these contributions were in the form of direct cash investments to important community projects, such as support to drought affected communities in collaboration with Rural Aid, Australian Red Cross, the Foundation for Regional and Regional Renewal and Reach Out. Contributions were also made through time spent by our people volunteering and as value in-kind, such as support to community organisations through products and services like charity mail.
To support the community, we have forgone revenue of over $30 million – this is revenue from products and services that we would have received but chose to waive totally or partially for community benefit.
We assess our community investments in line with the London Benchmarking Group’s (LBG) internationally recognised approach and the data we report is verified by LBG each year. The LBG verification statement can be found on our website.
In the past year, we have taken a community based approach to building confidence and participation in the digital world, through collaborations with Australia Neighbourhood Centres & Houses Association as well as our participation in the Australia Digital Inclusion Alliance which seeks to drive cross section collaboration around digital inclusion. We also released the Digital Mentoring Handbook to help build capacity across the sector.
Our people are highly motivated by how we support the community. In our say2action employee engagement survey, 81 per cent of our people indicated that they were proud of how we support the community – up from 55 per cent in 2016.
We launched our Workforce Community Grants program this year, to support the dedication of our people to their local communities by offering funding of up to $500 to support a meaningful project.
The program supported 445 projects with $215,000 contributing to a range of sporting, environmental and health-related projects including building community skills, enhancing common spaces and supporting volunteers.
We are proud of the generous way our employees contribute to their communities, so we support this generosity by matching donations dollar-for-dollar up to $200 a year for all employees. This year, more than 2,600 employees donated more than $490,000 to charities of their choice. With Australia Post gift-matching, over $820,000 was donated to more than 400 charities.
We also supported the involvement of our people who chose to volunteer in the community, selling beanies for Fight MND, shaking tins for Legacy and making sandwiches for school children. Our people also mentored young people new to Australia with Foundation House, gave blood at Red Cross blood banks to save lives, contributed to before-school breakfast clubs and sold daffodils throughout our networks for the Cancer Council. We recognise the many individual fundraising efforts of our people throughout the year as they gave their time and energy to support local needs and community programs they feel passionate about.
In 2018 we established our Social Design team to identify, design and support the delivery of new products and services that help build more connected communities and place the Post Office at the heart of every community. One example in trial is the Neighborhood Welcome Service, which helps people moving to a new neighbourhood, or those already in the neighbourhood, tap into local networks and connects them with essential services and people. The service is being piloted in selected Post Offices in the City of Maribyrnong. Developing products and services such as the Neighbourhood Welcome Service helps fulfil our broader commitment to the community.