Welcome to our Sustainability Report for 2023. As we continue the journey towards our vision of creating a sustainable future, I am proud to share the significant achievements made by Metcash over the past year.
The culmination of our expanded Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda, together with the advancements made in our disclosures, saw Metcash achieve its highest ever result under the Dow Jones Sustainability Index’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment (international Food and Staples
Retailing). Its assessment placed Metcash in the 87th percentile of the index, which is a substantial increase from the 69th percentile in the prior year.
Pleasingly, we also received a B-rating by the Carbon Disclosure Project, a marked increase from previous years. This recognised our improved actions towards understanding and addressing our climate-related risks and Scope 3 emissions.
Climate change remains a pressing concern and our consistent efforts to mitigate its impacts are evident in our focus on energy efficiency and aligning fully to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). We also remain committed to adopting the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) standards when they become applicable for Metcash, which we anticipate is the 2025 financial year.
Part of our advancements in disclosure includes this year’s Sustainability Report being referenced to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and related index, in line with the commitment we made last year.
We remain committed to our 2040 net-zero emissions reduction target for Scope 1 and 2, and this year reduced emissions in line with the trend required to reach our target. We commissioned a 782kwp solar system at our main distribution centre at Huntingwood (NSW) and will transition all our operational control sites to renewable energy by 2025. We have committed these same sites to a waste-to-landfill avoidance target of 80% by 2028, addressing what our stakeholders have indicated is their second-most material issue.
I believe that independent retailers are a national treasure and should be supported to continue to add materially to the Australian economy and society. Championing Successful Independents is our purpose, and our strategy. Their unwavering support for local communities and the vital role they play was evidenced in a recently commissioned economic report on IGA.
It found that IGA supports ~34,000 local organisations with $194m of financial, time and in-kind support. Since 2010 more than 25,000 donations have been made to local grassroots organisations and national charity partners totalling more than $37m.
Another significant milestone this year was the establishment of a sustainable finance facility of $525m, linking finance costs with our sustainability credentials.
Our fight against modern slavery continues to be a priority. We are committed to ensuring that our supply chains are ethical, and we are continuing to work closely with our partners to address any concerns in this area.
The safety, wellbeing and growth of our people remain at the forefront. Our initiatives in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and our efforts to foster a safe working environment are reflective of this commitment. Pleasingly, we received our fifth consecutive citation as an employer of choice by the Gender Equality Agency Employer of Choice for Gender and we have achieved our 40/40/20 target at the Board and Group Leadership levels. We also saw a 34% improvement in our key safety measure of Total Recordable Frequency Rate.
Going forward, our determination to play a pivotal role in creating a sustainable future for all remains unwavering. I am optimistic about the path ahead and deeply grateful for the collective effort of our people, partners and stakeholders. Thank you for being a part of this journey and I trust you find this year’s report informative.