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Sustainability

GPT aspires to be an overall positive contributor to our communities, people and the environment. The aim is to manage our sustainability performance in a way that invites our stakeholders to hold us to account.

The Group’s purpose is to maximise the financial potential of Australian property with solutions that fulfil the aspirations of investors, tenants and communities.

With sustainability integrated into GPT's strategy the importance of underpinning our business objectives with an aligned organisational culture, effective stakeholder engagement, good governance and business processes that embed sustainability practices into our day-to-day operations is recognised.

GPT's employees are proud of the role they play in delivering sustainable outcomes for investors, customers, communities and the environment, and the Group continues to receive external recognition for its commitment and performance. With a large proportion of GPT's stock owned by off-shore security holders, our performance and reputation is monitored in an international context.

GPT is consistently ranked as one of the best performing property and real estate companies in international sustainability benchmarks. GPT is a global Real Estate sector leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, having held the number one or two position for the last 7 years. GPT is also a regional leader as measured in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark. See GPT’s Ratings and Awards for more information.

GPT was the first Australian real estate company committed to the UN Global Compact further challenging the business to integrate a holistic view of sustainability into business as usual.

GPT continues to deliver strong financial performance, delivering new assets to Australian communities, developing new intellectual property, building social value while reducing environmental impact.

Background and Policy

The GPT Group believes that looking after the environment to meet the needs of current and future generations is essential to ongoing business success. The Group recognises the need to continue to reduce environmental impacts and progress to a point where resources are sustainably used and emissions are at or below levels that can be reabsorbed without harm. Also recognised is the importance of applying the precautionary principle in consideration of environmental impact. Uncertainty in the long term outcomes of environmental effects should not delay action to reduce pollution and the consumption of non renewable materials.

GPT focusses on the quality of stakeholder relationships, ensuring that they are connected, responsive and collaborative. Through quality relationships, GPT will understand the communities' needs, aspirations, cultures and their sense of place.

GPT aims to be a highly trusted and ethical business wherever operations are located and in doing so, return value to local stakeholders as well as investors. This objective applies across the business, wherever GPT owns and actively manages high quality property, where GPT undertakes development activities and through the funds management business.

GPT aims to put the voice of stakeholder communities and the needs of current and future generations at the heart of decision making in the understanding that all the key decisions in terms of investment, development and operations need to recognise the interdependence between environment, people and economics.

This approach is embedded throughout the business recognising that where the group does not have control there is a responsibility to use the Group’s influence.

Refer to our Sustainability Policy for more information, with the following table providing a summary of GPTs policy commitments for various aspects. The linked pages include the associated challenges, opportunities, strategies and targets for each aspect:

Area Summary commitments
Health, Wellbeing & Safety Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of employees, contractors, customers and members of the public who are either present at, or affected by the Group’s assets.
Community Engagement & Development Being a highly trusted business wherever GPT operates, creating and managing assets that reflect the communities in which they are located, and returning value to these communities as well as investors.
Suppliers Working in partnership with suppliers to realise the full value of the relationships and to positively contribute to the stakeholder communities and environment.
Customer Engagement Maintain a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with customers that enables GPT to provide high-quality, sector-leading buildings and deliver engaging and positive experiences that are appropriate to local contexts.
Diversity The GPT Group is committed to encouraging diversity in the workplace and the provision of a work environment that is free from discrimination and promotes equal opportunity for all; and improving diversity - in particular - the number of females in leadership and other traditionally male dominated roles within the business.
Employee Engagement The GPT Group is committed to creating a high performance work environment characterised by high levels of employee engagement. Employees will be consulted over key aspects of the management of their working life and their involvement and feedback will be taken on board and seen as a pre-requisite for the successful implementation of initiatives.
Learning and Development Through our Learning & Development (L&D) platform the Group provides opportunities for our employees to maintain and develop capabilities, assisting them to achieve their career goals and ensure that GPT has a workforce that can be deployed to successfully deliver on our business strategy.
Our Environment Reducing environmental impact and being a positive contributor to environmental sustainability.

View all GPT Policy documents

Embedding sustainability

GPT's sustainability strategy builds on the cultural legacy of the founder, Dick Dusseldorp. The distinctive organisational culture that Dusseldorp built was founded on the belief that a community of interest exists between investors, employees and the wider community and the Group strives to ensure that this principle continues to be embedded in all that GPT does.

The sustainability strategy directly aligns with the corporate strategy, recognising that the value the Group delivers to investors and customers is deeply connected to environmental performance, engagement with our stakeholder communities and accountability to deliver what the business has set out to achieve.

During 2015, GPT made further significant progress in responding to the challenge of embedding sustainability into the business processes, systems and activities, including the following initiatives:

  • Continued development and application of a new protocol for measuring Community, GPT and shared value outcomes
  • Integration of solar power systems with the commissioning of a 1.25 MW solar power station on the Casuarina Square Shopping Centre in Darwin
  • Transformation of waste contracts and processes with improved reporting of material quantity, quality and destination
  • Continued focus on reviewing and enhancing systems for the integrated management of sustainability risks and opportunities across the business in line with the sustainability policies.

Governance

GPT's governance framework around sustainability is designed to enhance the delivery of outcomes. The Board Sustainability Committee, chaired by Dr Eileen Doyle, has a current focus on:
  • health and safety of GPT staff and contractors, building occupants and visitors
  • the environment as it impacts on and is impacted by GPT's business;
  • engagement of GPT's stakeholder communities (employees, tenants, suppliers and the communities within which GPT's assets are located);
  • legal and regulatory requirements in relation to environmental matters; and
  • community based programs.

The Board has ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the sustainability strategy conforms to GPT's Sustainability Policy and that there are robust management system procedures in place for managing GPT's key areas of sustainability risk and opportunity.

The Corporate Governance section provides more information on the Board Sustainability Committee and its charter.

The CEO chairs the Leadership Team with a role to ensure that the organisation continues to be recognised as an international real estate leader known for the integrity of its stance on the environment, its commitment to the communities in which it operates and the opportunities it provides for its people and business partners to contribute to the wellbeing of current and future generations.

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Materiality

The external recognition GPT has received for performance across the various aspects of material impact gives us confidence that Group is well advanced in managing those aspects that are of interest to our various stakeholders. The Groups non financial reporting is guided by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the areas of interest contained in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the Global Real-Estate Sustainability Benchmark surveys. In order to continually improve the quality of information provided to stakeholders regular reviews of materiality are necessary.

Feedback on the Groups material social and environmental impacts is assessed via:

  • Investors and analysts
  • Media questioning and reports
  • Employee engagement
  • Tenant engagement and shopper surveys
  • Participation in external events and forums
  • Dialogue with specialist consultants

Following are examples of stakeholder feedback used to influence GPT's sustainability focus:

Stakeholder View
Employees
  • More than 90% of surveyed employees want GPT to push the boundaries in managing energy, emissions, water and waste
  • More than 76% of surveyed employees want GPT to push the boundaries in managing biodiversity
Customers (Office Tenants)
  • On a scale of 1 (least important) to 6 (most important) energy efficiency, water efficiency and waste management all rated over 5 in importance
  • In the most recent national retailer survey, 86% of retailers surveyed rate environmental initiatives and education as extremely, very or somewhat important; 92% rate community initiatives to be extremely, very or somewhat important; and
  • 95% somewhat or strongly agree that GPT makes an active contribution to the local communities and 88% somewhat or strongly agree that environmental sustainability should be integrated into shopping centre developments and operations
Investors
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and the Global Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) reward disclosure of energy, water use, carbon emissions and waste streams
Community
  • Mandatory carbon disclosure under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System (NGERS)
  • Mandatory disclosure of office National Australian Built Environment Rating Systems (NABERS)
Industry
  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guides reporting of environment, suppliers, customers, people and so on

Responding to stakeholder needs and focusing on sustainability supports the delivery of the Group’s strategic priorities. For example; in the area of environmental management the following benefits are gained:

  • Reduced resource consumption leads to avoided costs, lower utility bills for the owner and/or tenants.
  • Lower operating costs enhance the attractiveness of GPT's properties to tenants resulting in higher occupancy rates and longer term tenants.
  • Higher NABERS ratings (for office) ensure these properties are attractive to the widest range of prospective and incumbent tenants.
  • High performance buildings can enhance the GPT brand and through association protect the brand and image of tenants.
  • High performance properties and reporting attracts engaged employees that in turn add value to GPT.

 

Engaging with stakeholders

GPT is committed to identifying and collaboratively engaging with stakeholders to understand, meet and respond to their needs. GPT looks to build on the quality of stakeholder relationships and to identify and build partnerships that facilitate improved outcomes.

Based on the impacts of the business and those that interact with it GPT has identified the following stakeholder groups, and key areas of stakeholder engagement as summarised below:

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Stakeholders Types of engagement
Investors Annual General Meetings
  • ASX announcements and quarterly announcements
  • Annual Reviews, Annual Results Data Pack, Financial Results
  • Face-to-face briefings and meetings with investors globally
  • Tours of GPT assets
Refer to Investor Relations and the following section for more information.
Customers
  • Surveys and face-to-face meetings
  • Retail Outlook Seminars
  • Retailer Intranet
  • Office Tenant Relationship Managers
  • Office Building Management Committee Meetings Refer to Our Customers for more information.
Our people
  • Employees are involved and engaged in areas such as:
  • Performance management process and objective setting
  • Development planning
  • Succession planning
  • Comprehensive communication includes: frequent CEO updates
  • GPT engages employees in initiatives and projects such as the work environment; culture renewal project and brand strategy.
Refer to Our people and the section below for more information.
Community A comprehensive program of research (desk top, one-on-one consultation, community focus groups) of communities in which assets are located, was conducted by The Hornery Institute in 2010/2011. This work provides GPT with a baseline of those most material community issues that the business is able to influence. The issues can be grouped as:
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Inclusiveness
  • Jobs and skilling
  • In addition, GPT is exploring the adoption of Shared Value as a framework to realise those areas of greatest mutual benefit.
Refer to Community Engagement & Development for more information.

Investor engagement

Close communication and engagement with GPT’s investors is critical to ensure they are well informed of the risks and opportunities managed by the business. Investors need a clear understanding of the business, vision and strategic direction to help them make well-informed investment decisions.

Primary investor interaction is via the reporting process with a full update provided to all investors on a quarterly basis when the Group announces the Full Year, Half Year and Quarterly Results. This is supplemented by contact throughout the year via meetings, conference presentations, roadshows, asset tours and ad hoc contact to enable investors to obtain a deeper understanding of the business.

Increasingly, investors are preferring online engagement and the website and digital communications capture this preference through updates, news announcements and webcasts. GPT also continues to engage with traditional media as a way of providing information to investors.

Key areas of engagement relate to financial and operational performance; strategy; sustainability initiatives; and outlook. GPT's Wholesale Fund Managers consult with the wholesale investors as part of decision making processes. Listening to their views, taking them into consideration and when a decision is made, reporting back are foundational to the relationship.

Historic reports

Note that since 2010 our Sustainability reporting is provided through GPT's website which is updated periodically with a major refresh annually to coincide with GPT's annual reporting for the year ending December.


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