Sustainability is important to us because it's the right thing to do and our customers and team members expect it. We make no claim to be perfect and we understand that our operations have an impact on the communities we live in and more widely. As such, as we continue to grow our business, and employ more team members, we’re also committed to reducing our impact and improving the overall efficiency of our operations.
Over the past decade we’ve focused on a number of areas including energy, water, waste, product stewardship and responsible sourcing. These areas continue to be a key focus for Bunnings today.
Over 80 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the electricity we use to power our stores across Australia and New Zealand. We are making a significant effort to reduce our energy use through lighting technology and source more renewable energy through solar photovoltaic (PV).
As at June 2019, 31 Bunnings stores had solar PV systems, with a further 40 scheduled for completion in the 2020 financial year. LED energy-efficient lighting remains a standard for new stores and they are being gradually retrofitted across the existing network.
At 30 June 2019, 91 stores had LED lighting with a further 31 expected to follow in the 2020 financial year.
We’ve continued to work on reducing water usage across our business operations, with a long-term goal of becoming more self-sufficient.
The primary uses of water in our business are the irrigation of our nurseries, evaporative air-conditioning, and kitchen and toilet facilities. We have a commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle water and we have rainwater harvesting systems in almost all of our warehouse stores across mainland Australia (excluding the tropics).
Waste and Packaging
Reducing operational and packaging waste is a priority for our business.
In 2008 Bunnings was the first retailer in Australia and New Zealand to remove plastic shopping bags for customer use. Since then we have consistently encouraged customers to bring their own shopping bags or to reuse the cardboard boxes at the front of store.
Bunnings is a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and we are committed to the goal of fully sustainable packaging by 2025.
Our 2019 APCO Annual Report and Action Plan can be viewed here.
Assisting customers with product recycling and take-back options has been a focus over the past decade.
Since 2009 selected Bunnings stores in Melbourne have accepted batteries from customers for recycling. At the end of the 2019 financial year over 26,000 kilograms of batteries had been brought in for recycling. Battery drop off points are currently located at our Northland, Maribyrnong, Hawthorn, Epping, Croydon, Mentone, Fountain Gate, Scoresby, South Oakleigh, Sunbury, Mernda, Collingwood and Eltham Warehouses.
Bunnings stores across Adelaide have supported the e-waste Unplug ‘N’ Drop Program since 2017. Unplug ‘N’ Drop is run by Minda, a social enterprise which employs and supports people with a disability. Over 770,000 kilograms of e-waste was brought back by customers at the end of the 2019 financial year, helping to create more than 50 jobs in the local community.
Bunnings also continues to support paint stewardship by collaborating with Paintback, an initiative designed to divert unwanted paint and paint packaging from ending up in landfill and waterways. During the 2019 financial year customers dropped off over 200,000 kilograms of waste paint through various Paintback events held at Bunnings stores across Australia.
Bunnings has a robust responsible sourcing and modern slavery framework which is underpinned by trading terms, sourcing policies, supplier codes of conduct, training and education.
As a retailer, we source products from thousands of different suppliers, from all parts of the globe. The countries and communities from which we source our products are very important to us and we’re committed to ensuring the products we sell come from legal and sustainable operations, with good working conditions and fair treatment of people.
We continue to strengthen our sourcing practices with more suppliers becoming members of the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX) which aims to improve transparency in our supply chains in key areas of sensitivity. In February 2017 we began participating in the EDRA/GHIN DIY Platform, an initiative allowing retailers to come together to promote better labour and environmental conditions in the global home improvement supply chain.
Our Ethical Sourcing Code of Conduct is available here.
We have a zero-tolerance approach to illegally logged timber since 2001. Our goal is to ensure all timber and wood products supplied to Bunnings originate from legal and well managed forest operations and we have made excellent progress in this area, with more than 99 per cent of our whole timber product now sourced from low-risk plantation or other legally verified forest operations. Over 81 per cent of our total timber products are sourced from independently certified forest sources or sourced with demonstrated progress towards achieving independent certification, including 32 per cent that are Forest Stewardship Council® certified.
In August 2018, we revised our Responsible Timber Sourcing Policy to require all native forest timber products to be independently certified to FSC® or other equivalent standard by the end of 2020.
Our Responsible Timber Sourcing Policy is available here, and you can read more about our initiatives here.
We have produced an annual Community Report Card since 2004 which provides information on our ongoing community support and sustainability initiatives. The 2019 Community Report Card highlights our actions and achievements during the 2019 financial year.
The Wesfarmers sustainability website and the Wesfarmers Annual Report also provide an overview of our health, safety, and environmental performance, as well as our community contributions during the 2019 financial year.