We aim to foster and maintain enduring relationships based on trust, which is reflected in our operating philosophy, ‘Relationships creating success’.
We understand the significant and lasting socio-economic benefits our presence in the community can bring. We honour the responsibility that comes with that by implementing a range of strategies focusing on social responsibility, local and Indigenous employment, cultural heritage management and stakeholder engagement.
We understand the importance of supporting our communities when they need it most. Relationships are forged and trust is built during times of stress and Downer has stood by our communities through the extraordinary events of 2020.
These events will have long-lasting effects on our communities and Dower will continue to support them as they rebuild.
In our 2019 Sustainability Report, Downer committed to continue reviewing our sponsorships and partnerships. We set the following community targets and objectives for FY20:
- Growing our partnership with Bama Services
- Working with Waanyi Enterprises to build on our partnership and develop and deliver new programs and initiatives to benefit the Waanyi people.
Australian bushfire crisis
When a number of communities in which we operate were devastated by the Australian bushfire crisis during the summer of 2019-20, Downer and our people provided support in many ways.
Some of our people volunteered to help in varying capacities, including as firefighters and Army Reservists.
We worked closely with State and Local Governments to provide important response, recovery and rebuilding services including road maintenance, tree removal, hazard identification and repairs, traffic management, emergency traffic control and the maintenance of power generators.
We assisted with the evacuation of residents and holidaymakers from the Victorian beachside town of Mallacoota. With roads in and out of the popular tourist spot blocked, the largest civilian maritime evacuation in Australia’s history was required. Members of our Utilities team worked closely with the Australia Defence Force to provide power to Mallacoota Airport, which enabled the ADF to conduct night flights once the initial smoke cleared.
In South Australia, Spotless’ Laundries business collected, washed and returned over 300 kilograms of linen each day for the Adelaide Koala Rescue (AKR) service to aid the recovery of burnt and injured koalas. AKR is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit charity that operates a free 24/7 koala rescue service. They were inundated by injured koalas during the bushfire crisis. Up to 100 koalas of all ages needed to have their bedding changed every three to four hours, resulting in a very large volume of soiled linen.
Downer also donated $500,000 to the Business Council of Australia’s Community Rebuilding Initiative.
The Community Rebuilding Initiative has been established to build a permanent capability to mobilise and coordinate the business community’s response in times of tragedy and to act as an interface with Federal and State authorities and established recovery agencies. It has worked closely with the National Bushfire Recovery Agency to provide a range of services, reconstruction support and financial relief.
A first for New Zealand Rugby Union
In July 2019, Downer signed an agreement with New Zealand Rugby for the 2019/2020 seasons, becoming the first organisation to partner with the Māori All Blacks as well as the Black Ferns and Black Ferns Sevens women’s teams. The partnership is founded on a core set of values held by both organisations including: the celebration of diversity; inclusion of all cultures, people and gender; investment in high performance; and investment in the mental and physical wellbeing of our people.
The partnership kicked off on 20 July 2019, with Downer supporting the Māori All Blacks in their 26-17 win over Fiji at Rotorua International Stadium.
The sponsorship is a cornerstone of our diversity and inclusion initiatives in New Zealand, with players from each of the three teams helping us launch our Own Different diversity campaign by recording messages about how their difference contributes to a high performance team.
Battling the bushfires
Corporate Social Responsibility
Wall of Hands
Proud supporter of the Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation’s (ALNF) annual fundraising initiative since 2013. The ALNF works with Indigenous communities and is dedicated to raising language, literacy and numeracy standards in Australia. Additionally, in 2020, Downer employees supported ALNF’s Story Time campaign to build an online video library of people reading story books for young children to enjoy during COVID-19.
Supporting the Australian Special Air Service Association to provide mentoring, education, coaching and employment opportunities to veterans through their transition from military to civilian life.
Genesis Youth Trust
Downer has supported the Genesis Youth Trust for many years, helping to reduce the levels of youth-offending in the wider Auckland region by working with at-risk youth to transform their lives and engage in local communities.
Role Models and Leaders Australia and Clontarf Foundation
Spotless supports programs to develop and empower young Aboriginal men and women through sport, leadership, education and employment.
Alannah and Madeline Foundation
Spotless has purchased eSmart Digital licences for schools in States where we have a Public Private Partnership.