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Sustainability

Myer is committed to conducting business in an ethical and environmentally responsible manner. We respect and support human rights, and continue to drive sustainable initiatives to improve our environmental performance and reduce our impacts where we operate

ENERGY AND WATER

PACKAGING, RECYCLING AND WASTE

ETHICAL SOURCING

ANIMAL WELFARE

Energy and water

Myer is determined to lower our energy and water usage, and reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions resulting from our business operations

We have lowered our energy usage and associated greenhouse gas emissions within stores and operations by more than 9%. We continue to drive and invest in initiatives and programs that optimise and improve energy efficiency, decrease carbon emissions and reduce water usage in our business operations.

We are committed to understanding and reducing our carbon emission impacts and are exploring sustainable and renewable energy options.

Our new Support Office in Docklands has been rated as a 5 star green design and 5 star NABERS energy office rating. The new National Distribution Centre in Victoria will have energy efficient fittings and will be solar powered with LED lighting throughout the building. Additionally, water saving taps and fixtures will be installed in the kitchen and amenities as well as water harvesting and recycling.

As we construct and upgrade our stores, we continue to explore sustainable construction standards such as LED lights installation and operation improvements.

Packaging, recycling and waste

Myer is committed to implementing initiatives to reduce packaging, minimise waste from landfill, promote recycling and support circular economy schemes

Our top priority is to explore opportunities to reduce our overall impacts of our business operations and supply chain. We are focussed on increasing our recycling diversion rate of 63.6% to minimise landfill.

Myer’s plastic bag initiative, which focuses on phasing out single use plastic shopping bags, has successfully decreased plastic bag consumption in stores, with the total number of units ordered down 4.96 million on FY20.

We strive to continuously improve our packaging standards, and have implemented initiatives such as paper reduction project in stores, substituted 70% of soft home packaging to natural fibres and phasing out plastic shopping bags. We have also transitioned to recycled swings tags and apparel care labels and offered alternative reusable shopping bags.

Our recycling and salvage program through TIC, third party reverse logistics company, continues to minimise and repurpose waste by approximately 60% from pallets, security tags, damaged and unsold stock, cardboard, paper, hangers and certain flexible plastics.

We continue to explore and prioritise sustainable alternatives for online packaging, and strive to convert our Private Brand product packaging to reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

We are a proud signatory of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). Our Action Plan is aligned to the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPGs). To view our 2021 APCO Annual Report and Action Plan, click hereOpens in new window .

Product use and disposal is also a key focus for Myer’s sustainability strategy. This includes the labelling of our product packaging, encouraging the re-use and providing product disposal information to consumers to provide actionable strategies for reducing impact.

Myer is collaborating with our long standing partner, The Salvation Army. Selected stores will provide consumers a fashion donation bin to recycle, repurpose or reuse their unwanted clothing and footwear.

We are further exploring partnerships and integrating other circular economy programs within our business to drive and promote recycling and reuse in beauty packaging and homewares.

Ethical sourcing

Myer is committed to offering customers products that are sourced and produced ethically and responsibly. We have a well-established sourcing program to ensure workers’ rights, and we continuously improve our social practices within our operations and supply chain.

Our Ethical Sourcing Program standardises our approach to ethical business conduct and responsible sourcing, and embraces internationally recognised labour standards such as the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI). Our sourcing program details our commitment to continuously enhance due diligence systems to assess risks and compliance, improve traceability of our private brand merchandise and build capability across our operations and supply chain.

We believe and support equal opportunity and basic rights to fair and safe working environments for all. We ensure that our suppliers meet our minimum sourcing requirements at the time of joining and on an ongoing basis and provide ongoing ethical sourcing training to our teams to build capability and understanding of our requirements including modern slavery risks. Responsible purchasing and behaviour practices is included in training, which includes processes for selecting suppliers and understanding how their decisions can potentially influence supply chain conditions, and actions they can take to ensure a positive working practice and relationship with suppliers and their workers. On-site training is provided to suppliers and factories as part of team visits and ongoing discussions.

Ethical Sourcing Policy

Our Ethical Sourcing PolicyOpens in new window outlines our minimum requirements to do business with Myer, and embraces the principles of the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) and internationally accepted labour standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Myer expects its suppliers share and demonstrate the same commitment to ethical sourcing practices, and that they have management systems in place to achieve and maintain compliance within their supply chain and operations. These requirements detailed in our Supplier Code of ConductOpens in new window and include recognising the rights of workers, whether in our own or suppliers network, be treated with respect and dignity, be provided a safe work environment free from discrimination, abuse, harassment, are protected against slavery or slavery like practices such as forced labour or child labour, be compensated fairly and allowed the freedom of association and right to collective bargain. The Code of Conduct applies to all manufacturers, their approved subcontractors and suppliers within the factories supply chain and operations. Factories are required to display the Code of Conduct where workers can view. These minimum requirements are also incorporated and referenced in supplier contracts.

Modern slavery

Modern slavery describes situations where coercion, threats or deception is used to exploit and undermine people’s freedom. It refers to a range of exploitative practices such as human trafficking, slavery and slavery like practices such as servitude, forced labour, forced marriage, the sale and exploitation of children, restricted movement, and debt bondage.

We reject all forms of modern slavery or exploitation where a person cannot refuse or leave work due to threats, coercion, abuse of power, violence or deception. As one of Australia’s largest retailer groups, we have a longstanding history of fostering ongoing relationships with suppliers to ensure that we work together to address the challenges associated with safeguarding human rights. We are committed to supporting the rights and wellbeing of workers throughout our operations and supply chain, and promoting awareness of modern slavery risks.

In upholding our Ethical Sourcing Policy, all suppliers, regardless of status as a merchandise or goods and service supplier, must have processes to assess its operations and supply chain to identify and prevent potential human rights risks and impacts, and develop corrective actions to eliminate or mitigate such risks within the supply chain (both locally and globally).

We believe that the issue of human rights is a collaborative task and welcomes opportunities to build, maintain and strengthen processes and systems for respecting human rights. Examples of collaboration efforts includes the need to be transparent, share information and ensure open communication and allowing us to receive feedback and access to worker grievance mechanisms.

If a concern regarding slavery, forced or child labour, servitude, debt bondage, deceptive recruitment or any other forms of human rights abuse is identified in our operations or supply chain, we have documented processes in place to enact immediate remediation and response. In all instances the interest of the victim and any other affected parties is paramount and tailored to the specific needs of the victim, with the immediate action to remove the individual from the situation and provide necessary support. We will work with local authorities and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that necessary action is taken against the perpetrators.

To read our current Modern Slavery Statement, click hereOpens in new window

Factory audits

We require factories supplying our Private Brand goods to be audited by a third party social compliance agency, prior to onboarding and on an ongoing basis. Suppliers located in extreme risk countries, as rated against Myer’s country risk profiling, require an audit every 12 months, and those of lower risk every two years.

We recognise the operational and financial impacts of audits, and therefore offer mutual recognition of audits. We also understand that there may be times where suppliers may not fully meet our expectations and, in such instances, we are committed to working with the supplier to address and support continuous improvement. Alternative sources of supply will only be sought where there is a zero tolerance issue raised or if it is evident a supplier is unwilling or unable to adequately remediate concerns. Suppliers with high risk issues have co-operated with remediation actions.

We are committed to promoting and protecting the rights and dignity of all workers, regardless of gender which includes reducing the risk of harassment and abuse. A gender impact assessment particularly focussing on women is considered and applied to all our code of conduct requirements beyond the specific clause that deals with discrimination. Our assessment of factories ensures that the working conditions and arrangements for all workers take into account the different needs of women and men workers, and looks at how their rights can be protected. Specifically we review the percentage of women in management roles to encourage factories to promote women empowerment and rights. We also ensure that there are transparent payroll systems and workers are paid fairly, adequate for the work performed, timely and in accordance with all entitlements required by local and national laws.

We continue to assess the impact of our buying practices, and where required redesign buying practices, create long-term and sustainable relationships with suppliers and work collaborative with industry peers to create leverage and allow for collective action and engagement of social dialogue.

Many factories have established worker voice programs and worker committees or local unions to support the rights of workers. These mechanisms provide workers the ability to raise issues in local language and with anonymity. While in most instances, workers raise issues within existing factory channels, we have setup an additional QR grievance platform, in addition to our Whistleblower Program, for workers to raise issues directly with us. The QR mechanism allows workers to scan a QR code on their smartphone, this process is familiar to workers and allows them to report the issue when convenient to the worker, ie quick scan for contact at a later time.

We engage 284 tier one private brand textile and manufacturing suppliers in over 400 factories across 14 sourcing countries, including China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Italy. Where issues are identified, we will always attempt to work through with the supplier to remediate and develop corrective action plans to achieve compliance. In the instance of where serious matters such as child or forced labour, we have documented remediation processes in place with priority given to the victims welfare. We reserve the right to review the business relationship in cases where a factory does not demonstrate that it is dealing ethically and responsibly.

We understand and recognise the need to go beyond audits, and regularly engage with factories and factory management through site visits and ongoing open communication. We also work with industry peers and brands that manufacture in the same factory to inform and strengthen our understanding of the social context of the factory.

Transparency

Our Ethical Trading program prioritises transparency in an effort to advance human rights, ensure workers are respected and their rights are protected, and reducing modern slavery risks. Transparency means knowing where our private brand products are made and making this information publicly available.

We have also partnered with a third party certification company to assist us in verifying the fibres used in our products to provide transparency on areas of focus.

Our Private Brand factory listing, can be found hereOpens in new window . The supplier list includes factory names, locations, types of goods produced, and numbers of workers, and covers our direct vendors. We update our supplier list every six months with the information received from our mapping and audit process.

Living wages

We support and are committed to working towards living wages, freedom of association and collective bargaining, which includes promoting worker opportunities to receive a fair wage. As part of our commitment, we continue to work on improving our purchasing practices and ethical sourcing standards to assist suppliers towards paying a living wage for factory workers and create long-term and sustainable relationships.

The Global Living Wage Coalition defines a Living Wage as “The remuneration received for a standard workweek by a worker in a particular place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events.”

Challenges
Currently there is no clear benchmark to measure or determine what constitutes a living wage in each region, city, province or country that we source or manufacture goods, however progress through ongoing and open dialogue and reviews has been made. We continuously review and assess methodologies to calculate a living wage to ensure consistency, sustainability and fair calculation of a living wage. In the absence of a single global methodology to calculate living wage, we reference the benchmarks set out by the Anker Methodology where available, and wageindicator.org as an additional resource.

Some of the challenges with establishing a living wage include restrictions on freedom of association and collective bargaining laws and mechanisms in some countries that fundamentally limit the ability of a worker to organise advocate and negotiate fair and sustainable wage increases. Other challenges include benchmark due to location, change in economic conditions and foreign exchange movements, taxation, commodity cost fluctuations, property cost movements, changes to government policies, and petrol and transportation cost variations. It should be noted that the paying of higher prices for finished goods does not necessarily result in higher wages for workers, as the vendor is responsible for passing on the benefit to the worker. We will explore options to address this through separation of labour costs in the overall purchase price of product. We anticipate that this review will be completed by December 2023.

Our Progress
We understand that our purchasing practices can have a direct impact on the wages earned by our suppliers' workers. As a result, we provide training to our buying teams so that they incorporate ethical sourcing and sustainability criteria’s into their business decisions. We commit to supporting our factories by providing training on the importance of paying fair living wages and what it means for their workers. Our audit program also assesses and asks factories to establish a living wage calculation.

We will monitor progress of our factories as part of our living wage tracker, which records factories that are paying a living wage, those that are paying above minimum wage and factories paying a minimum wage. The living wage tracker will be used to analyse any wage gaps of our factories, with analysis to be completed by September 2023. We will consult with factories where a living wage has been identified and share learnings with other factories to assist them in paying a living wage. Our research will also be used to improve our understanding and how we can help mitigate some of challenges associated with paying a living wage.

We will work with our direct factories, who we have the most leverage, to assist them in establishing actions and a roadmap to paying a living wage. This will primarily be achieved through

  • improving purchasing practices including ensuring fair terms of payment, reasonable critical path timelines etc
  • better planning and forecasting
  • providing a grievance or worker voice mechanism,
  • supporting factories to proactively adopt a freedom of association policy
  • promoting a gender equality policy and practices
  • respect the rights of workers to collectively bargain
  • encourage non-government organisations (NGOs) to assist in training and communicating workers on freedom of association and collective bargaining

We recognise that multi stakeholder initiatives are the best way to drive change and believe that sustainable improvements in wages can only be achieved collectively. As such we are committed to working collaboratively with industry peers to create leverage and allow for collective action and engagement of social dialogue. We also support and encourage governments to raise minimum wages to close any gaps between minimum wages and living wages, and to respect the freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Environment

We are conscious of our environmental impact and continue to work towards doing better by exploring and choosing more sustainable fabrics, fibres and using recycled materials where possible, and limiting waste created as part of our manufacturing and our operations. Our assessment of environmental impacts are embedded and considered into product design to ensure longevity, durability, lifecycle of products, minimisation of water and energy resources, reduction of material waste and wastewater discharge and chemical intensive processes. This includes reducing product packaging, as well as encouraging re-use and recycle, and providing appropriate disposal information.

We work with our factories to ensure, at minimum meet the requirements of local and national laws related to environmental standards, and have a process to assess, measure and manage environmental impacts (eg energy use, water use, waste, discharge of natural resources) and risks resulting from their operations and supply chain. We continue to work with factories to improve and ensure that factory environmental risk impact assessments and management plans are in place, and where required we work back with the factory to monitor progress.

Animal welfare

Myer is committed to protecting animal welfare and the humane treatment of animals

We are committed to a corporate culture of ethical social responsible behaviour and recognise the importance of protecting the welfare of animals within the supply chain. Together with suppliers, we aim to provide customers with quality products that are consistent with recognised animal welfare standards, and adhere to local and national laws.

We source from suppliers with good animal husbandry standards and will not tolerate any forms of cruelty, abuse or inhumane treatment of animals in its supply chain. Suppliers must uphold these values and have processes in place to monitor and ensure that animals are treated humanely and with respect, strive to improve traceability throughout its supply chain, and comply with all applicable local laws and regulations relating to animal production and welfare.

A copy of Myer’s Animal Welfare Policy is hereOpens in new window