Sustainability

Sustainability

Vicinity’s vision of delivering the leading retail property and lifestyle experience in Australia requires us to find the right balance and create the best outcomes for the social, environmental and economic aspects of our business. We know that our shopping centres are the centrepiece of communities across Australia and are therefore an important contributor to establishing smart, sustainable cities with high-quality living experiences that are well positioned to drive our future economy. Our purpose - Enriching Community Experience – recognises this contribution, and requires us to secure the long term future of our business by delivering value for our customers, investors, people and the communities in which we operate.

Our Strategy

Shared value drivers

Vicinity’s sustainability strategy connects our business drivers – which focus on investment, development and intensive asset management – with three shared value drivers.

Together they consider value creation more broadly across our organisation, facilitating social progress and minimising our environmental impacts to deliver better business outcomes.

A summary of our shared value drivers and strategic enablers follows. For a more detailed report refer to our 2016 Sustainability Report.

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Community significance

 

Our shopping centres are the focal points of their communities. Being hubs for economic activity, social interactions, entertainment and services that define community lifestyles and experiences, we understand the significant roles our centres play locally.

 

Our goal is to enhance community connection with our centres and make a meaningful difference through our operations.

 

We have a targeted community investment program which aims to understand and alleviate social issues within our centres and their local communities, with a primary focus on disengaged and unemployed youth. Through our extensive portfolio, we believe Vicinity is well-positioned to positively impact this issue, which is prevalent across the communities in which we operate, and influence many communities across Australia through our day-to-day business activities.

 

Vicinity has partnered with the Beacon Foundation to help deliver our community investment program at a corporate and centre level. See ‘Our memberships and collaborations’ below to find out more about Beacon.

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Low carbon

 

The business community and governments globally are making long-term commitments to address climate change. As a leading property company in Australia, we want and need to play our part in facilitating the transition to a low carbon economy.

 

Vicinity’s focus is on identifying the best mix of onsite renewable energy generation and energy efficiency technology to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, as well as the use of smart technology to automate our operations and create superior asset performance.

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Climate resilience

 

Climate change presents both direct and indirect risks for Vicinity now and increasingly over the longer term. Extreme weather events like heatwaves, bushfires and flooding increase the physical vulnerability of our centres and their communities, and can impact on operational costs, asset values and customer visitation.

 

We also know that our centres act as community hubs during times of extreme weather. Providing safe places for our communities and ensuring we remain open for trade are important drivers for Vicinity’s focus on climate resilience.

 

We understand the risks to our assets and their communities, and we focus our response to climate change through asset developments and refurbishments, as well as capital allocation and transaction decisions.

Strategic enablers

Having a highly engaged workforce, effective strategic sustainability partnerships, strong digital capability and achieving operational excellence are crucial enablers for achieving our shared value drivers and delivering on our purpose of enriching community experiences.

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People

 

Vicinity’s success is contingent upon a highly engaged workforce, where people bring their whole selves to work and are well-supported, both professionally and personally, to reach their full potential.

 

Our new People and Culture Strategy is focused on building a diverse, highly engaged and capable workforce. We have established policies and programs that create a diverse and inclusive culture, allow more flexible work arrangements and offer better learning and career development opportunities for our people. For more information on our People and Culture programs click here.

 

We also believe that direct involvement in our sustainability programs, such as workplace giving and volunteering, increases employee engagement and makes our people feel good about working at Vicinity.

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Capital and partnerships

 

At Vicinity, we believe that working together with our retailers, suppliers and capital partners will help us realise sustainability outcomes beyond those achievable on our own.

 

We work closely with our significant suppliers to continuously incorporate better environmental and labour practices into our procurement contracts. We also consider sustainability risks and opportunities as part of critical supplier key selection criteria, and provide our Sustainability Code of Practice to all suppliers to ensure they are clear on our values and expectations. For more information on how we do business with suppliers click here.

 

We help our retailers adopt more sustainable behaviours by providing them with relevant information and tools to make more informed decisions. Vicinity’s retail design guidelines inform our tenants about minimum sustainability requirements and best practices in their shop fit outs and refurbishments, and our retailer recycling education video educates retailers about better recycling and waste management practices.

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Digital

 

Vicinity’s Digital Strategy focuses on creating a seamlessly integrated physical and digital retail platform, and we have connected all of our corporate offices and retail assets to a single high-speed digital network with Wifi capabilities throughout.

 

By consolidating our centre, customer and sustainability data in our central data platform, we gain real-time insights into the operation of our assets, transforming the way we manage, lease and develop our centres and enabling us to make better informed decisions and drive operational efficiencies.

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Operational excellence

 

For Vicinity, operational excellence means having the right governance protocols in place, being transparent in our performance and developing best practice systems and processes that promote sustainable thinking throughout our day-to-day business activities.

 

We identify, monitor and manage our material sustainability risks and opportunities, and transparently report on our approach and performance to investors and other external stakeholders. For more information see ‘Governance and performance’ below.

 

Managing our environmental impact

Vicinity’s environmental improvement program focuses on driving year-on-year improvements in resource efficiency throughout our portfolio. The program identifies annual energy, water and waste reduction targets for each centre, as well as specific initiatives to reduce our impact.

 

To guide us towards industry best practice, we benchmark our performance using the Green Star Performance Rating tool and the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS).

 

Vicinity has the largest portfolio of property assets to complete a Green Star Performance Portfolio rating to date in Australia, covering our entire retail portfolio (at June 2015).

 

For more information about our environmental initiatives and performance, see our 2016 Sustainability Report.

Governance and Performance

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