About our business

Bunnings is the leading retailer of home and outdoor living products in Australia and New Zealand and a major supplier of building materials.

Operating from a network of large warehouse stores, smaller format stores, trade centres and frame and truss manufacturing sites, we cater for do-it-yourself (DIY) customers as well as builders and contractors.

Revenue during the year reached $5.8 billion. At year-end there were 175 warehouse stores and 56 smaller format stores operating across Australia and New Zealand. There were also 22 trade centres in operation in Australia. At 30 June 2009 we employed over 28,000 people.

For more information on Bunnings view their 2009 Community Report Card (PDF).

2009 Priorities/Outcomes

2009 Priorities Outcomes
Achieve carbon neutrality by 2015 or earlier. Partially achieved
Achieved a four per cent reduction in total carbon footprint and a 9.7 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per hundred thousand dollars of revenue mainly through multiple energy and waste efficiency actions.
Continue strengthening water saving initiatives. Achieved
Australian-based stores achieved a 22.5 per cent reduction in total kilolitres of water used through rainwater collection and innovative nursery irrigation approaches.
Increase work with suppliers to reduce supply chain resource waste and develop products with stronger sustainability traits. Achieved
  • 99 per cent of timber products purchased from low-risk sources.
  • Stepped up product-level packaging improvements and waste reductions in our supply chain. Expanded product ranges for customers.
Continue providing customers with access to information about environmentally-friendly products and projects that can support sustainable living. Achieved
Increased customer access to information via our website, in-store information, catalogues and DIY workshops.
Maintain our contributions to improve the social wellbeing of the communities in which we operate. Achieved
Contributed and helped raise over $15.5 million in direct donations, in-kind support, and team member labour toward community projects.
Exceed our ‘all injuries’ 15 per cent reduction target through refreshed training, increased safety awareness levels, strengthened reporting and management systems all focused on high risk areas. Partially achieved
Serious incidents reduced by 23.3 per cent and All Injuries Frequency Rate (AIFR) reduced by 6.6 per cent.

Performance

Year in review

During the year we focused attention on pursuing our carbon neutral goal, accelerating our efforts to reduce energy usage and waste to landfill. Through the installation of energy efficient lighting systems in a total of 43 stores, 112 stores with low-mode light switching devices for night fill operations and the introduction of 59 hybrid vehicles to our fleet, we have continued to reduce our carbon intensity.

We increased our recycling rate for all materials from 25 per cent to 50 per cent in Australian stores.

We have continued our partnership with Murdoch University to identify and trial new energy efficiency opportunities, with a commitment to have solar power and wind powered micro-generation underway by September 2009.

We reduced our total water use from 844 megalitres (ML) to 717ML through:

  • installing rainwater tanks at most warehouse stores across sub-tropical mainland Australia; and,
  • introducing capillary mats and hand-watering in our nurseries.

People

Fostering a culture that empowers our managers to ‘lead and drive’ safety whilst also ensuring that our team members are motivated to ‘look after themselves and their fellow team mates’ is key reason why our safety performance has improved over the past 12 months.

During the year our injury frequency rates were:

  • All Injury Frequency Rate (AIFR) reduced from 45.2 to 42.2 (6.6 per cent);
  • Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) increased from 13.8 to 14.6 (5.8 per cent).

We also measure the total number of incidents reported (including near miss incidents) and those that were deemed serious. We achieved the following results:

  • the number of incidents reported reduced from 6,157 to 6,022 (2.2 per cent);
  • the number of serious incidents reported reduced from 150 to 115 (23.3 per cent).

Targeted safety campaigns and risk control initiatives focusing on manual handling and forklift activity have been the two key reasons why we have been able to achieve a reduction in these measures.

In excess of 800 managers completed the Bunnings Safety Leadership Training Program whilst a further 12,000 team members attended a three hour in-store safety training session.

Our total training hours for the year increased 31 per cent, up from 457,929 last year to 597,982, which equates to approximately 35 training hours per full-time equivalent (FTE) employee. We also expanded team member access to our online learning system and increased the number of courses available in safety, core team development skills, product skills and technical skills.

We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities and the diversity of our teams is important to us. Our workforce is comprised of 46.5 per cent women and 53.5 per cent men.

Environment

Our websites www.bunnings.com.au and www.bunnings.co.nz contain comprehensive resources for water and energy saving information. These are an effective tool to engage customers in reducing environmental impact through sustainable living and product choices.

We have identified and implemented material reductions in packaging on direct imported product ranges after concluding assessment work in March 2009.

Total water consumption was estimated to be 717 megalitres, with Australian-based stores’ consumption down 22.5 per cent on last year. This was achieved through the:

  • rainwater harvesting systems described above which now form part of the standard design brief for our new stores;
  • full implementation of hand watering in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland stores, and the introduction of capillary mats (which draw water from the base of plant trays).

Our recycling rate doubled for the second consecutive year in our Australian-based stores, increasing from 25 per cent to 50 per cent. We estimate that over 8,400 tonnes of cardboard and paper and over 750 tonnes of plastics were recycled during the year and we disposed 19,898 tonnes of waste to landfill. We promote recycling in our stores through:

  • separate systems to recover plastic, cardboard and timber;
  • training our team on recycling practices;
  • co-mingled recycling bins for food and beverage containers;
  • detailed store reporting of waste and recycling volumes circulated on a monthly basis.
Education and awareness

We continued to support increased household take-up of water and energy saving behaviours through in-store programmes including:

  • helping our customers understand practical sustainability actions through in-store activities and DIY workshops;
  • increased water and energy saving information for customers with free online videos on sustainability for the home and garden;
  • working with Victorian and Queensland water authorities to promote Target 155 and Target 200 water saving campaigns to householders;
  • team members across New Zealand joining forces to participatein a Big Green Clean in support of Keep New Zealand Beautiful;
  • partnering with Yarra Valley Water to provide 10,000 water saving showerheads for customers through a product exchange programme;
  • switching off lights in stores across Australia in support of the World Wildlife Fund-led Earth Hour movement;
  • partnering with the Keep Australia Beautiful Western Australia’s ‘Adopt a Spot’ pilot programme which involves team member-led clean-ups of local community areas.

Our focus on working with schools included:

  • conducting sustainability programmes for local primary schools in all stores across Australia;
  • supporting Australian Firestarter Youth Environment Conferences as the Environmental Project Day Partner, providing materials and hands-on workshops including native bird box building, tree planting and plant propagation;
  • commencing support of Schools Tree Day in South Australia which will be supported across Australia in 2009.
Product stewardship

The Western Australia plastic plant pot recycling trial reported last year has concluded with a lower than expected recovery of 20 tonnes. Regardless of this we are continuing with the service for our customers in Western Australia metropolitan stores and looking at ways to test the service in other States to encourage better recycling behaviour over time.

Our Timber and Wood Products Purchasing Policy was introduced in 2003 with the goal of ensuring that all timber and wood products supplied to us originate from legal and sustainable forest operations.

We have worked closely with our suppliers in order to do this and from January 2009 we introduced a condition of supply that requires independent verification of legal origin for all products made completely from tropical hardwoods. Approximately 99 per cent of our timber products are now sourced from lower risk plantations or other verified legal or certified sustainable forest operations.

Our timber products ranges are featured in the Greenpeace Good Wood guide in both Australia and New Zealand. The guide is an online tool designed to help consumers find timber products originating from ethical and ecologically sustainable sources.

In June 2009 we became a lead retail signatory to the Greenpeace campaign calling for stronger Australian legislation on sustainable timber procurement.

We continued to work closely with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a member of the Global Forest and Trade Network.

We have a comprehensive accreditation programme for product we directly import, where major overseas factories are audited to a set code of conduct. Part of this process requires factories to be visited and inspected by an independent auditor, our agents or our buyers.

Carbon and energy

We aim to become carbon neutral by 2015 or earlier and have action plans in place to ensure that we achieve this goal.

We focus on reducing our energy use and waste to landfill through initiatives such as energy efficient lighting systems, night-switching devices, hybrid vehicles, recycling and packaging improvements.

Our greenhouse gas emissions are largely due to electricity use (around 95 per cent) and were estimated to be 179,046 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), net of renewable energy credits and offsets purchased. This represents a 9.4 per cent reduction in our carbon footprint compared to last year, despite continued growth in our store network.

The actual carbon intensity of our operations continued to reduce a further six per cent on last year down to 3.1 tonnes of CO2e per one hundred thousand dollars of revenue through:

  • energy efficient e-tronic lighting;
  • trialling LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting in outdoor nurseries, under canopy lighting and car parks;
  • installing night-switching devices to reduce lighting during night fill work;
  • increasing recycling to divert waste from landfill.

As part of our partnership with Murdoch University Research Institute, we are undertaking a micro generation demonstration project to gain better understanding of current technologies and their future potential to reduce electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions. Contracts are in place for the installation of:

  • a 30kW solar PV system to the roof of the Bunnings Warehouse Belconnen in the Australian Capital Territory, and;
  • 7.5kW wind turbine systems at our Warehouse stores in Rockingham and Port Kennedy in Western Australia.

It is expected that these demonstration systems will be commissioned by the end of October 2009.

We decided to discontinue our purchasing of carbon offsets and instead direct funding towards activities that reduce our direct energy consumption. The remaining balance of 6,222 tonnes of carbon offsets purchased from Landcare CarbonSmart have been allocated and will partially offset our 2008/09 emissions.

During the year we purchased 7,400 accredited renewable energy certificates. This represented approximately five per cent of our total Australian electricity needs and reduced our greenhouse emissions by 7,844 tonnes below the level that would otherwise have been the case.

Governance

We are not aware of any potential non-compliance during the year with environment, health and safety legislation or other requirements, except as set out below.

The Department of Primary Industries Victoria has instigated proceedings against us in relation to allegedly selling a State-prohibited weed known as Mexican feather grass in our Victorian stores in 2008. The matter is progressing and will be reported on next year.

A penalty of $140,000 was handed down as a result of the concluded WorkCover Authority New South Wales matter reported last year, relating to a 2006 gas cylinder incident where we pleaded guilty in June 2008.

We have acted on 13 notices to comply from relevant authorities covering safety-related issues including provision of safe working procedures, emergency egress, manual handling, housekeeping, and dangerous goods storage.

Community

Bunnings contributes to a diverse range of local, regional and national causes. All of Bunnings’ community involvement activities place a strong emphasis on local and active participation in the communities in which we operate. Throughout the year team members have dedicated both paid and unpaid hours to a number of community projects in their area. Their involvement has helped raise and contribute more than $15.5 million to local, regional and national charities and community organisations across Australia and New Zealand.

Our Australian and New Zealand teams supported well over 25,000 community activities through community group sausage sizzles, DIY projects, local fundraising, fun days and blood drives. Our support included direct cash, product donations and team member participation.

Bunnings has also supported a number of national organisations through local store-run activities including:

Australia
  • Prostate Cancer Foundation (Father’s Day 2008)
  • Salvation Army (Christmas 2008)
  • Australasian Fire Authorities Council Volunteer Firefighters (summer campaign 2009)
  • Meals on Wheels and the Country Women’s Association (Mother’s Day 2009)
  • Easter 2009 ‘Paint Your Community’ campaign
New Zealand
  • New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation (October 2008)
  • Heart Kid’s Week (May 2009)
  • St. John’s Annual BBQ Appeal (June 2009)

In response to the ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires Australian and New Zealand teams supported the Victorian Bushfire Appeal by holding sausage sizzles raising a total of $1.67 million. Bunnings also directly donated funds and product, held fundraising events in conjunction with suppliers and acted as collection point for cash donations to the Appeal. Fundraising for flood victims in various parts of Queensland and New South Wales was also conducted.

Stores have also continued to offer free adult DIY workshops, kids DIY clinics, ladies days and nights.

Bunnings endeavours to have an ongoing and active role within our local communities. We are proud to have assisted in over 25,000 community activities in 2008/09 which were as diverse as fund raising sausage sizzles to DIY projects.

Economic investment

During the year we opened 10 new warehouses, three smaller format stores and 10 trade centres.

Our total trading revenue for the year increased by 10.3 per cent to $5.8 billion.

Our total earnings before interest and tax increased by 11.9 per cent to $659 million.

For further details on our sustainability performance please go to our sustainability report at www.bunnings.com.au and www.bunnings.co.nz

2010 Priorities

2010 Priorities
  • Achieve carbon neutrality by 2015 or earlier.
  • Implement more water saving initiatives.
  • Increase work in-store and with suppliers to reduce supply chain resource waste, increase recycling rates and bring to market products with stronger sustainability traits.
  • Continue providing customers with access to information about environmentally-friendly products and projects that can support sustainable living.
  • Maintain our contributions to improve the social wellbeing of the communities in which we operate.
  • Exceed our All Injuries Frequency Rate 15 per cent reduction target through refreshed training, increased safety awareness levels, strengthened reporting and management systems all with a stronger focus on high risk areas.
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