Country Road is committed to understanding, managing and, where possible, reducing the environmental impacts of our operations. This enables the Company to address the expectations of our customers and employees maintaining trust in our brand and protect shareholders' interests, by responding proactively to a changing regulatory environment.
The environment strategy aims to reduce impacts in three focus areas: packaging and waste; energy use and carbon emissions; and responsible sourcing. These areas were selected due to the extent of the Companys direct impact and its ability to reduce their impact. Although water is not a core material impact for Country Road due to the relatively low levels we utilise we are implementing measures to better track and reduce consumption where possible.
In 2008, Country Road became a Signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC), a national initiative between the government and packaging supply chain, focused on reducing the amount of used packaging that reached landfill. As an APC Signatory, Country Road submitted a detailed 2-year Action Plan (20082010), which included 18 performance indicators focused on the following: reviewing our consumer packaging; working with our vendors to improve the sustainability credentials of our packaged goods in Homeware and Accessories; and reviewing improving our apparel packaging where feasible.
78% of the Action Plan was completed in 2009 (the results of which are summarised in the Country Road 2008/9 CRSEE Review) and the remaining 22% was completed in 2009/10. 2009/10 achievements include:
A second carbon audit was completed for Country Road in 2009/10, showing positive progress against the Companys 2007/8 baseline results. Opportunities to further improve the Companys energy efficiency and reduce direct carbon emissions have been identified and will be explored further in 2010/11. Measures and targets to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions were also developed in 2009/10 and will be integrated into relevant divisional plans in 2010/11. Results will be reviewed by the board annually.
To support the achievement of these targets, Country Road recently signed up to CitySwitch a leading local government programme that supports companies to improve office energy efficiency.
Wool Sourcing: Country Road has taken a proactive approach towards sourcing a sustainable supply of non-mulesed wool, by engaging in ongoing consultation with wool industry groups and relevant industry bodies. Country Road is committed to generating real change in this area, by encouraging the adoption of commercial alternatives to current industry practices. Our winter 2010 Lambs wool and Merino key volume programmes for both Country Road and Trenery brands, were sourced from both non-mulesed and ceased-mulesed wool top. Moving forward, we aim to work with the industry to feasibly and incrementally increase the proportion of our wool products that come from non-mulesed sources.
Office supplies: Country Road procures the majority of its office supplies from Corporate Express, who was named the 2008 Sustainable Company of the Year at the 8th Annual Australian Sustainability Awards, and offers a broad range of “Earth Saver” products. In 2009/10, 51% of the products we purchased from Corporate Express were from the Earth Saver range.
Paper use: A survey of Country Road’s Australian and New Zealand paper use revealed that we used approximately 30,600 kg of office paper in 2009/10, 21% of which was 50% recycled paper. Since the survey, the proportion of 50% recycled paper has increased to 39% of total office paper use. The change resulted in a reduction of 2.3 tons of virgin paper.
Water: Water tanks with a capacity of 39,000 litres were installed at head office in 2008, which saved 600,000 litres of water in 2009/10 (up 50% from 401,000 litres in 2008/9).