Brambles contributes positively to the communities in which we operate by supporting food security and food waste initiatives, education, environmental restoration programs, and by encouraging our people to participate in local community initiatives.
By 2020 Brambles aims to contribute 0.7% of pre-tax profits to our Better Communities programs. This includes charitable contributions, employee volunteering value and in-kind donations of equipment and services.
By 2020 Brambles aims for 1 volunteering day per employee year per: Brambles allows 3 days volunteering leave to all permanent employees each year and our aspiration is to increase volunteering participation beyond 1 day.
Brambles has a global reach and we recognise that the key challenges faced by the communities in which we work can be addressed through coordinated efforts and supply chain partnerships. Our community programs allow us to address social and environmental issues beyond the conventional value chain and reinforce our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs).
The 17 SDGs provide a roadmap to sustainable development to 2030. Zero Hunger (2), Quality Education (4) and Life on the Land (15) are key outcomes of the SDGs, and are aligned with Brambles’ community investment strategy.
Our community programs also contribute to increased employee engagement as volunteering helps to meet our target of world-class employee engagement.
Brambles contributes to our communities in three ways:
- Volunteering: We actively encourage our employees to use their annual 3-day volunteering allocation to participate in activities that support our charities and their communities.
- In-kind contributions: We partner with local and global organisations by providing equipment such as pallets, Reusable Plastic Crates (RPCs) and containers as well as the expertise of our people. Provision of equipment helps our charity partners achieve their aims with reduced financial overheads. We also provide skilled and un-skilled volunteer labour to help our charities with requirements ranging from logistics planning and network collaboration to packing food hampers for those in need.
- Direct financial contributions: We support local and global organisations financially through direct cash donations.
Brambles has three focus areas in our Better Communities programs that reflect both our business objectives and employees’ wishes. These address the important issues such as;
- Food security, food loss and waste
- Education and,
- Environmental sustainability
Food Security and Food Waste
Brambles capitalises on our access to the supply chain to address the issues of food security and food loss and food waste. We provide equipment such as pallets and RPCs, skilled and unskilled labour as well as direct financial support to help our charity partners deliver surplus food to those in need.
Brambles recognises a significant amount of food is wasted globally in food supply chains. Problems associated with multiple handling, spoilage and damage during transportation to manufacturers, markets and consumers result in significant amounts of food waste. Brambles reduces food waste and loss through our innovative pooled products and logistics services. A good example is our Reusable Plastic Crates (RPCs). RPCs by design protect fresh produce in transit and reduce or eliminate the amount of handling from the farm paddock to retailer, manufacturer or charity. This ensures more food arrives in good condition and less food is wasted. See our Food Waste offering for more information.
Brambles has community partnerships with the Global Foodbanking Network. By working with Foodbank we provide assistance to community groups and charities working with those less fortunate, and help to reduce food waste by providing meals each day. Foodbanks around the world recognise that economic circumstances or unexpected expenses are the main reasons food relief is sought. Foodbanks aim to remove the anxiety about where the next meal is coming from for individuals and families and help them to focus on changing their economic circumstances.
Customer and Supplier Partnerships
The CHEP and IFCO businesses collaborate with customers and retailers on food waste through the Global Foodbanking Network. CHEP and IFCO provide logistics expertise and support through in-kind pallets, RPCs and containers. Many of our employee volunteering projects are conducted in collaboration with customers. Food manufacturers, for instance, provide surplus food products to Foodbanks, where volunteer employees pick and pack food to ensure its efficient distribution to those in need.
Brambles works with Enactus, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. Enactus provides a platform for teams of outstanding university students to create community development projects that put people’s ingenuity and talents at the centre of improving their livelihoods. In Australia for example, the partnership with Enactus has university students focussing on addressing the social issues of reducing food loss and waste at multiple stages in the food supply chain.
Brambles relies on a sustainable supply of timber for pallets (see Brambles Zero Deforestation goals). In recognition of this vital link to natural resources, Brambles supports reforestation projects through local community organisations. The objective of reforestation projects is to improve forest habitats and reduce land degradation, which in turn creates direct benefits for biodiversity as well as sequestering carbon emissions. We also support reforestation projects through our Carbon Neutral product offerings.
- In FY15 employee volunteer hour value was US$290,000, up from US$130,000 in FY14. (Employee volunteering hours increased by 10% from FY14.)
- Corporate donations and sponsorships in FY15 were US$680,000, up from US$640,000 in FY14.
- In FY15 in-kind contributions were US$1.45 million, up from US$1.39 million in FY14.
- Employee engagement was at 72% in FY15, up from 70% in FY14.