Message from our CEO, Peter Allen
Sustainability is not just about the environment: it is about seeing our business through the eyes of our staff, retailers, customers and community. Our ability to grow and make a difference for the future requires a sustainable business model.
In 2016 we continued to focus on ensuring the long-term future of our business is sustainable in every sense of the word. Our purpose - to create extraordinary places, connecting and enriching communities - gives meaning and direction to every activity undertaken at Scentre Group.
Sustainability is a priority that underpins our purpose and the aim of our sustainable business practice is to operate safely and efficiently, conserve energy, produce less waste, engage meaningfully with our stakeholders and utilise technology and design to create extraordinary shopping centres. We are continuing to drive sustainability efforts across four pillars: Community, People, Environment and Economic Performance.
In 2016 we brought our purpose to life in delivering several extraordinary redevelopments including major projects at Westfield North Lakes, Casey Central and Warringah Mall. At Westfield Marion in Adelaide we opened a fresh food market and started work on a new lifestyle and entertainment precinct in Perth at Westfield Whitford City. Each of these projects has considered the needs of the local area and aims to enhance amenity for communities.
Our business continues to generate excellent financial returns for security-holders.
We are dedicated to achieving our 2018 vision of being the place for talent to thrive. We have improved workplace flexibility and made mental health and wellness a priority. Our Diversity and Inclusion agenda focussed on improving the participation of women in our industry and our LGBTI Action Plan was released to ensure all employees feel safe to be themselves at work. Importantly, we also launched our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan during NAIDOC week, articulating our commitment to end the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in one generation through employment. Our first employee engagement survey scored an impressive 85% for favourable engagement.
We are steadily managing and minimising our environmental impacts. At Westfield Warringah Mall – located in a floodplain – the $310 million project included major civil works to manage the flow of stormwater, significantly reducing the centre’s future environmental risks. We have invested in Australia’s largest car park canopy solar installation at Westfield Marion and have implemented other environmental initiatives aimed at reducing our long-term energy usage and carbon footprint. In 2017 we will focus on understanding and managing the supply chain impacts of our construction projects.
To help bring our purpose to life, we undertook one of Australia’s largest surveys gathering feedback from some 29,000 community members and will continue to seek new and meaningful ways to connect and enrich our communities in the future.
As we continue on our long-term journey to make our business sustainable, our strong and united team remains focussed on pushing the limits in everything we do, and the Board of Directors and I look forward to delivering long-term, sustainable growth that leaves a positive legacy and genuine value for all our stakeholders.
Chief Executive Officer