Sustainability Governance 2015
Brambles is built on principles that are inherently sustainable. Brambles strives to be a leader in the circular economy. We operate on the principles of recover, reuse, reduce and recycle. Brambles is committed to working towards Zero Harm.
We focus our sustainability activities in three areas: Better Business, Better Planet, Better Community. Our ‘better business’ model is sustainable. We provide efficient, safe and sustainable solutions in our customers’ supply chains. We work towards a ‘better planet’ by minimising our impact to the environment through continuous improvement. We provide positive contributions to ‘better communities’ in which we operate.
In order to keep our strategy relevant and maximise the value of our sustainability activities to investors, customers, employees, suppliers and the community, we regularly assess our performance against defined targets and through annual reporting of progress. We engage regularly in external benchmarking of our policy and performance, through independent investor, customer and NGO surveys, as well as seeking external assurance each year on key areas of focus.
Because of its unique position, Brambles has an excellent opportunity to deliver benefits in the supply chain. We collaborate with both customers and suppliers to build better supply chains through collaborative efforts.
Sourcing our materials is of key concern to both our business and the wider community. Our reliance on a sustainable timber supply base means that the issues of deforestation and climate change are important to us. We manage these by applying best practice in environmentally responsible sourcing and operational management. We also work to reduce the carbon impact of our suppliers.
We recognise that water is a precious resource, as well as being crucial to the operation of our business. We take our responsibility to use water wisely seriously.
We have an excellent opportunity to deliver environmental benefits in our customers’ supply chains.
We help customers address their climate change concerns by helping to reduce their carbon footprint through the use of our pooling solutions. We apply our supply chain logistics expertise to help reduce food loss and waste in our customers’ supply chains.
We welcome feedback on our strategy and progress towards achieving our sustainability goals. The primary contact point for feedback is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brambles defines sustainability as the strategies and activities the Group has adopted in relation to its employees, the environment, ethics and the community.
The Brambles Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has operational responsibility for sustainability issues.
The ELT helps to formulate sustainability policies and is responsible for implementing these across the organisation.
Brambles Sustainability Working Group, formed in 2015, is responsible for assisting the CEO and Executive Leadership Team (ELT) with sustainability strategies, targets and activities, consistent with the Group’s Shared Values. Sustainability is part of the ELT agenda on a regular basis.
The Sustainability Working Group is comprised of members of the sustainability team globally, as well as key representatives from different functions within the business, such as strategy, HR, Procurement, operations and logistics.
Brambles Sustainability Working Group is responsible for considering key performance indicators to benchmark its progress towards achieving its sustainability goals, including both internal and external monitoring and reporting.
Brambles’ Sustainability Committee was formerly responsible for some of these areas, before it was replaced by the Working Group in 2015. The Committee was no longer necessary, following the deeper integration of sustainability into the remit of the ELT.
The Board is also regularly updated on sustainability issues, either by the CEO or members of the Sustainability Working Group.
Brambles’ Code of Conduct provides an ethical and legal framework for all employees in the conduct of Brambles business. It includes policies on Corporate Supplier Responsibility, Environment, Health and Safety, Diversity, Supplier, Anti-Bribery and Corruption, and so on. Brambles implements its Code of Conduct through a variety of training and induction programs. All new employees receive and sign-off a copy of the Code of Conduct. In addition, business units provide regular training.
As part of Brambles' internal compliance, designated country General Managers are required to sign off on compliance with the Code of Conduct in bi-annual management declarations, as well as detail representations received from local communities, governments or legitimate special interest groups that raise any significant, or potentially significant, community relations issues.
Brambles’ Headquarters and each of its business units have a risk and control committee (RCC). Each RCC conducts an in-depth review on a regular basis of the risk profile of the relevant business unit, or of Headquarters. From 1 July 2014, the RCCs assess the environmental, economic and social sustainability risks within their respective areas of responsibility. In addition, the Global Director, Sustainability assists the Vice President, Risk in assessing environmental, economic and social sustainability risks. The ELT, through the CEO, prepares a risk report for the Board twice yearly. Further information on Brambles risk management is outlined each year in its Corporate Governance Statement.
Brambles uses the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 guidelines as a framework for the reporting of our sustainability activities. We also seek external assurance each year on key areas of focus.
Brambles encourages independent external evaluation of our sustainability performance through participation in initiatives such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, CDP, CDP Forests, CDP Supply Chain and FTSE4Good. Scores or rankings are provided publicly where applicable.
Brambles actively seeks feedback from key stakeholders. Key stakeholders are identified as those groups significantly impacted by the policies and practices of Brambles businesses. Feedback from key stakeholders is reported annually in our sustainability reporting.
We have identified five key stakeholder groups.
Group Presidents of businesses
Currently members of the ELT, which is regularly engaged with the Sustainability Working Group
Brambles seeks to hear the Voice of the Customer through strategic leadership forums, face-to-face customer interviews, global market insights, the Net Promoter program (see below) and customer care centres.
Customer insight teams
Net Promoter Score (NPS) program (annual) – Sustainability involvement before survey questionnaires completed and following collection of results
Brambles global NPS program provides an opportunity to listen to customer feedback on our performance, understand their challenges and frustrations and agree and implement initiatives to improve our customers’ experiences and foster greater loyalty.
Global key account managers
Regular engagement with sustainability team and Global Sustainability Director (ongoing)
Feedback provided on an ongoing basis and communicated to relevant internal teams.
Customer-driven external evaluations (eg Sedex, CDP supply chain survey)
Brambles and its businesses respond regularly to customer requests for information through the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex), CDP supply chain questionnaire, and other platforms
Responses to these requests are managed either by operational teams (local) or by the sustainability team (global)
Senior Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs
Group Vice President, Capital Markets
Senior Director, Investor Relations is a member of the Sustainability Working Group; Annual sustainability briefing for investors and analysts following release of Sustainability Review; Annual Report and Annual General Meeting; regular disclosure to the market on financial and operational results (calendar available on the website)
Brambles Annual Report and Annual General Meeting to communicate its financial situation, performance, strategies and activities to shareholders. General Meetings allow shareholders to engage directly with the Board. The Group Vice President, Capital Markets and Group Company Secretary deal with shareholder enquiries at other times.
Brambles holds briefings with investors and analysts to provide information and seek feedback. A record of any briefings is maintained and copies of presentation materials are available on the website. New or updated information and materials provided at these meetings are also released to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
Investor-driven external evaluations, eg DJSI and CDP
Brambles responds each year to several investor-driven information requests and publishes results on its website
Responses are managed by the sustainability team, with the assistance of relevant internal functions where required.
Employees (including contractors)
Group Senior Vice President – Human Resources
Group General Counsel (human rights)
Group Senior Vice President – Human Resources is a member of the Sustainability Working Group; Regular employee announcements and newsletters; Walter intranet and Yammer social media platform (which includes a Sustainability Group)
Brambles Employee Survey (BES) is confidential and conducted annually. It is offered to employees in both web and paper-based formats. The results of that survey are communicated to employees. Data is used to track progress from previous surveys, measure Brambles against internal and external best practice and identify key actions for improvement.
Brambles Sustainability team is engaged in the process of finalising the content of the questionnaire and analysing responses for sustainability issues.
Group Presidents of businesses
Vice President – Operations
Vice President – Global Procurement (assisted by Procurement Lead with responsibility for sustainability)
The Group Presidents of the businesses, the Vice President – Operations and the Vice President – Global Procurement, assisted by the Procurement lead with responsibility for sustainability, are members of ELT and work closely with the Sustainability Working Group
Responsibility for managing relationships with suppliers resides with the Group Presidents of each Brambles segment. A global Procurement function (within Operations) is responsible for supplier standards and monitoring performance.
Brambles recognises that its business units need to collaborate closely with their third-party operators and suppliers to meet customers’ growing interest in understanding their environmental impact and in turn to demonstrate the benefits of using Brambles’ products and services.
Community and government, including regulatory bodies
Global Director of Sustainability
Group Senior Vice President – Human Resources
Group Vice President Taxation
Group General Counsel
Global Director of Sustainability and Group Senior Vice President – Human Resources are both members of the Sustainability Working Group
Brambles holds regular meetings with relevant regulatory bodies, government and non-government organisations (NGOs) and employee representative bodies and also conducts customer, employee and supplier surveys and consultation forums, local community forums and focus groups. Brambles’ representatives hold positions with various NGOs relevant to its sustainability strategy globally.
Brambles regularly updates its material sustainability issues process, to identify sustainability topics deemed material by its businesses and stakeholders.
Brambles conducted its first formal analysis of sustainability topics in FY11, using a third party provider with AccountAbility Principles Standards AA1000 five-part test as a guide. Brambles subsequently identifies sustainability issues through stakeholder engagement processes internally. This includes a review of stakeholder feedback through both formal and informal processes, either directly from stakeholder responses and comments, or as summarised and analysed by the responsible function for that stakeholder group. Ranking is also conducted as a part of this process.
Brambles risk management processes considered the Australian Stock Exchange Corporate Governance Council’s Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations.
From 1 July 2015, in line with these recommendations, Brambles’ Risk and Control Committees assess the economic, social and environmental sustainability risks within their respective areas of responsibility. (For further information, please see the 2015 Corporate Governance Statement, Principle 7. Recognise and Manage Risk, available online.) This process has contributed to the identification of material sustainability topics for the 2015 Sustainability Review.
Brambles review of material sustainability issues is conducted with consideration of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 guidelines, in order to identify material aspects that reflect Brambles’ economic, environmental and social impacts.
Stakeholders are engaged throughout the Year through a number of other ongoing business processes, including programs such as the Brambles Employee Survey and Net Promoter Score, which are under the direct control of senior management and reported in the Review where applicable. While internal stakeholders are engaged as proxies to represent external associations in some cases, this is limited and may not result in a complete and unbiased contribution.
The top sustainability issues of concern to each stakeholder group are identified and ranked. These are approved by senior management responsible for the stakeholder group. The environmental, economic and social sustainability risks assessed by our internal risk management processes are also included in our analysis. The material sustainability issues were identified as being those sustainability issues applicable to multiple stakeholder groups and/or with a material impact on our businesses.
Following the identification and prioritisation of material sustainability issues, the results are approved by the Sustainability Working Group and the Board, before being reported publicly.