Scentre Group maintains the sustainability principles that formed the foundation of the former Westfield Group’s sustainable practices, and following its establishment the Group remains committed to aligning those principles to its culture and operations.
In recent years rainwater has been harvested on roofs of our centres. New storage tanks holding up to 300,000 litres have been installed at four centres: the harvested water is used in amenities and significantly reduces our reliance on the potable water supply network, as well as reducing stormwater flow in and around our malls.
Estimated on current water pricing* the likely payback period for these systems is between 15-20 years.
The principles revolve around meaningful engagement with our stakeholders, minimising environmental impact through effective planning and monitoring, and ensuring safety in our operations for staff, shoppers and retailers.
Our operations have always focused on making our business sustainable: operating safely and more efficiently, using resources wisely, producing less waste and ensuring we stay connected to our communities and other key stakeholders. Underpinning this is of course building shopping centres for the long-term, using the best technology and design techniques.
Scentre Group will report to a range of external indices in 2015 using data and information that was previously noted in the Westfield Group’s past sustainability reporting. That data, as it relates to the portfolio of Westfield shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand, will continue to provide a baseline from which Scentre Group’s sustainability operations can be measured and improved upon.
The environmental performance indicators of the assets in 2014 have experienced minor movements in line with the portfolio itself. Total energy consumed decreased by 1.5% from 2013. Carbon emissions have shifted downwards with a decrease in total emissions by 4% from 2013. Recycled waste increased by 3% over the same period, and was partly related to the increased waste generated by the construction projects at Westfield Garden City and Miranda. A 1% improvement in water intensity (water use per lettable area) was achieved through water reduction initiatives including water audits and increased rain water harvesting.
A more significant change in the business relates to its human resources following the establishment of Scentre Group as an Australia-New Zealand business only. The transition was smooth thanks to effective staff engagement throughout the process with the objective of retaining staff largely achieved.
The Group also maintained engagement with other key stakeholders throughout the course of the year - including shoppers, retailers and investors – in relation to normal operations and the restructure of the business.
During 2014 Scentre Group upheld its safety record and through the continual improvement of processes will aim to maintain the Scentre Group environment as a safe place to work and shop.
Our organisation underwent a major transition during 2014 with the establishment of Scentre Group. While that transition had significant implications for human resources in terms of mitigating any risks surrounding the employee base, it also represented a valuable opportunity for our business to establish its new identity.
A senior leadership forum was conducted to define clear operating principles that would anchor people’s performance and contribution within the new organisation. The outcome was the identification of our DNA, providing a set of guidelines that could govern the daily actions of all our employees. The DNA has been incorporated into the core people practices of our organisation and provides clear direction to employees on what is expected of them as part of Scentre Group.
Leading up to the transition to Scentre Group a steering committee was established to oversee the implications for human resources, with particular regard to visible and costly turnover of key staff as well as the potential loss in engagement, traditionally a high-performing metric in the Australian and New Zealand operations of the former Westfield Group. The Group implemented an intensive change management plan with consistent communication to all employees in multiple forums.
The outcome was a smooth transition for staff with the initiatives implemented enabling employees to shift their engagement confidently to the new organisation.
Since its establishment in 2014, Scentre Group directly employs 2,740 people in Australia and New Zealand across its shopping centres, offices and construction sites. The majority of those employees are based in Australia (2,499) and 241 are based in New Zealand. The Group’s workforce is relatively evenly split across gender with 1,389 males and 1,351 females employed at Scentre Group.
Diversity and inclusion continues to be a key lever for staff engagement, with the Group expanding its initial focus on gender diversity to a broader diversity and inclusion agenda encompassing age, disability, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and preference and cultural background.Organisational practices and policies have been reviewed to ensure they offer equal opportunity and access to career development for all employees.
The Group has also devised a set of principles to guide the achievement of diversity and inclusion outcomes for the year ahead:
- to develop a workforce which directly reflects the communities in which it operates;
- to recognise that diversity in the workplace is a key contributor to the success of our business; and
- to foster an “inclusive” culture that supports employees at all stages of their career development and encourages employees to succeed to the best of their ability.
Under the new organisation there is also a renewed commitment to improve the representation of females at senior management and executive levels of the organisation.
The importance of diversity to our organisation is highlighted by CEO Peter Allen’s participation in the Property Council of Australia’s Male Champions of Change initiative, the goal of which is to drive gender equality in the traditionally male-dominated property industry.
More information about Scentre Group’s human resources, employee engagement and diversity and inclusion can be found in this year’s sustainability report at www.scentregroup.com/about/sustainability.