Chemical safety

Some of the key initiatives undertaken during the year are detailed below.


Bunnings sells chemicals such as flammable liquids, spray paints and pool chemicals in retail sized packages.

The mishandling, storage, sale or disposal of dangerous goods and hazardous substances potentially exposes Bunnings’ team members and customers to harm.  

Bunnings holds required registrations and licences for the retail storage and handling of chemicals classified as dangerous goods. These requirements are in place at all relevant sites to store and handle these products, according to Australian and New Zealand regulations. Chemical safety and hazardous waste controls are embedded in Bunnings’ safety framework, which effectively manages the risks and monitors legislative requirements. These controls are reviewed and updated as required.

Bunnings continues to develop and enhance comprehensive storage and handling standards and risk assessments, including safety and emergency management procedures to manage the risks associated with hazardous chemicals. Bunnings works collaboratively with emergency service agencies to provide secure 24-hour access to site plans, storage manifests and emergency response guides to assist first responders in the event of a fire or serious incident.

During the year, Bunnings maintained its commitment to continuous improvement, with further initiatives to support store design and safe handling of liquified petroleum gas cylinders and other dangerous goods (DG). Bunnings also implemented processes and controls to support the online sale and transport of selected DG, including smaller packages of certain pool chemicals and the safe handling and packaging for transport of small lithium batteries supported by a third party emergency contact centre.

To ensure the safe collection and transport of dangerous goods, Bunnings worked with waste services provider Veolia during the year to introduce a new hazardous waste collection process for all Australian stores.

Kmart Group

Minimising and restricting chemicals used in production, such as dyes, colourants and solvents, is important to ensure product safety and to reduce risk to water systems which may be impacted by the release of hazardous substances. Managing this risk is particularly critical in the production of apparel and textile products given the high use of water in the washing and dyeing process.

Kmart Group businesses, Kmart and Target, are members of Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), a coalition of fashion retailers and brands, value chain affiliates and associates working to ensure safe and responsible management of chemicals in the global textile, leather, apparel and footwear value chain.

As part of this alliance, Kmart Group is working to implement the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL) with all wet processing facilities used in the production of Kmart Group own brand clothing, towel and bedding products. The ZDHC MRSL provides retailers and suppliers with a harmonised approach to managing chemicals during the processing of raw materials. The ZDHC MRSL achieves this by providing a clear list of priority chemicals and specifying the maximum concentration limit of each substance.

During the year, Kmart Group continued to expand the phased implementation of the roadmap to meet ZDHC compliance requirements, by widening the scope to include wet processing facilities beyond those used by strategic suppliers. Kmart Group has now registered approximately 72 per cent of all wet processing facilities such as mills and laundries onto the ZDHC Gateway platform, with approximately 91 per cent of these reporting wastewater test results and 51 per cent reporting their chemical inventory compliance to the ZDHC MRSL. 15 per cent of Kmart Group total wet processing facilities are in full compliance with the ZDHC wastewater guidelines and 15 per cent are in full compliance with the MRSL.

Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers

Handling, managing and storing hazardous chemicals and the challenging waste streams associated with these operations are daily tasks for WesCEF. Accordingly, the business is acutely aware of the health, safety, environmental and regulatory consequences if an incident occurs. WesCEF is committed to maintaining its licences to operate and responsibly reduce, reuse and recycle waste where possible, to continue operating sustainably.

A resource has been engaged to develop a wastewater treatment strategy for CSBP Albany, which will address the risk associated with elevated phosphorous levels in wastewater from the site, due to changing environmental factors, with a temporary solution due to be commissioned in August 2022.

Ongoing detailed monitoring, reporting and testing to meet safety and environmental regulations were undertaken in the 2022 financial year; and licence and legislation awareness training continued to be made available to relevant team members.

The internal audit program is currently being updated to increase its focus on management system functionality and effectiveness, which will contribute to continuous improvement in WesCEF’s compliance to its regulatory obligations.

WesCEF has extensive plant operation, inspection, and maintenance programs. The Process Safety team reviews and manages the business’s safety case reports proactively, as part of the Major Hazard Facility requirements, proactively. An updated review of major plant hazards and operations will be completed in FY2023.


GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2, GRI 103-3, GRI 416-1, GRI 417-1, GRI 413-2