We pursue sustainability within our operations by striving to make them socially responsible and environmentally aware and economically viable.
It's 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.
Bunnings recognises that business has an important part to play in reducing carbon emissions and addressing climate change.
We're committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2025 to help achieve our target of net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.
Work to reduce our carbon emissions began some time ago, with a strong focus on energy efficiency and transitioning to renewable energy. Energy efficient, LED lighting has been a standard inclusion in all new store builds since 2015 and we’re updating our existing store network, with over 150 sites of our sites now using LED lighting.
Since 2014 we’ve been installing solar PV systems across our store network and we now have over 70 solar PV systems across Australia, covering over 28,000 square metres of roof space and generating up to 30% of a store’s energy needs.
In the coming years we will continue to reduce our reliance on traditional energy and transition to renewable sources.
We know that we have a long way to go and we’re committed to finding solutions that benefit our business, our customers and the environment.
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 airconditioning, 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).
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.
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.
As a leading retailer of home improvement and outdoor living products, Bunnings global supply chains are complex. Bunnings recognises our role in upholding human rights and supporting sustainable forestry practices through our responsible and ethical sourcing programs. Bunnings is committed to ensuring that our products are sourced ethically and responsibly by working with suppliers and service providers to continuously improve social and environmental practices within our supply chain and business. Our expectation is that all suppliers who provide products or services to Bunnings adhere to the minimum standards established by the Code of Conduct (PDF, 233KB). The Code of Conduct outlines our commitment to upholding the human rights of the workers in our supply chain, you can read more about our Ethical Sourcing program including our Modern Slavery Statement.
We have had 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've made significant progress in this area, with more than 99% of our whole timber product now sourced from low-risk plantation or other legally verified forest operations.
In 2018, through an update to the Bunnings Responsible Timber Policy (PDF, 208KB), we set the goal to only source timber products from third-party certified natural forests by December 2020. In order to achieve this ambition, we increased supply chain transparency even further and worked with our suppliers along the certification journey. COVID-19 has had a material impact on some of our suppliers and their ability to achieve the December 2020 goal set out under the policy. COVID-19 has caused delays through business and government shutdowns, and closures of international and domestic borders. These impacts are adversely affecting the ability of third parties to access forests and workplaces to complete the independent certification process. Due to these unforeseen and exceptional circumstances, Bunnings has re-evaluated its timeline for a small number of suppliers to achieve the original December 2020 commitment.
In order to honour the intention of our policy and support suppliers who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19, we've released an Addendum to our policy which grants a 12 month extension to existing suppliers who source products from natural timber forests with demonstrated progress towards achieving certification. However, Bunnings is aware that the continued disruption caused by COVID-19 may require additional flexibility and will continue to review its policy position regularly as new information becomes available.
Read our Bunnings Responsible Timber Policy and Addendum (PDF, 208KB), and you can read more about our initiatives.
The Wesfarmers sustainability website and the Wesfarmers Annual Report (PDF, 13.3MB) also provide an overview of our health, safety, and environmental performance, as well as our community contributions during the 2020 financial year.