As a leader in the Australian property sector, we understand and take seriously our responsibility to all stakeholders to uphold high ethical standards in our business practices and decision-making. A critical part of this is respecting the human rights of everyone we deal with, whether indirectly or directly.
GPT has been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact since May 2011, reporting against the 10 principles of the Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption in our annual Communication on Progress.
In line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, GPT recognises the responsibility of businesses to respect and uphold human rights, being those set out in the International Bill of Rights and the principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the International Labour Organisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principals and Rights at Work.
GPT’s commitment to human rights applies to our operations and our engagement with third parties and is embedded in our policies, systems and processes. This commitment is relevant to all areas of our business, in particular our people, our supply chain and procurement practices, compliance and risk management, and our community engagement and philanthropic activities.
We commit to the following in respect of our key stakeholders:
- Transparent policies, processes and reporting practices to communicate our approach and response to human rights in our business practices
- A culture that reflects our organisational values, and that fosters speaking up about things that matter, professional development and learning, and equal opportunity and diversity
- A safe workplace that promotes health and well-being, and is free from discrimination, harassment and bullying
- Fair wages and benefits, and the right to privacy
- A workplace free from slavery as defined by the Modern Slavery Act 2018, including forced, bonded, involuntary or child labour
Our supply chain
- Clear expectations in our Supplier Code of Conduct and related processes that encourage suppliers to identify, assess and manage potential human rights issues in their business practices
Our customers and communities
- Environments and experiences that promote health and well-being, and social inclusion
- A commitment to communicating and mitigating any potential impacts on human rights
Policies and procedures
GPT has various mechanisms in place, including policies, procedures, frameworks and strategies, which underpin how we work and how we engage with our stakeholders. As GPT’s operations are Australian-based, these mechanisms reflect Australian legislation with regard to human rights, examples of which include privacy, anti-discrimination, and labour laws. In addition to maintaining legal and regulatory compliance, our approach reflects and embeds fundamental human rights in how we operate.
GPT’s commitment to human rights is evidenced and supported by the following:
- Corporate values and Code of Conduct: Our values and our Code of Conduct articulate a common framework around the standard of behaviour expected of all GPT directors and employees, and form part of our induction as well as ongoing training and engagement activities. We also publicly disclose our priorities and approach to Diversity and Inclusion, which includes our work to address gender equality, First Nations, LGBTIQ and mature age worker inclusion.
- Supplier Code of Conduct: Our Supplier Code of Conduct articulates the behaviour and conduct expected of organisations that we engage to provide us with goods and services. All suppliers participate in a comprehensive Supplier Pre-qualification Survey and ongoing compliance monitoring and improvement. Suppliers are required to achieve and maintain the minimum standards outlined in the Supplier Code of Conduct, and must train employees and contracted parties on their rights and responsibilities.
- Compliance and Risk Management Frameworks: These frameworks are overseen by GPT’s Board and articulate processes for identifying, assessing, managing, mitigating and reporting on all material risks, including risks related to human rights.
- Modern Slavery Statement: GPT is committed to ensuring it complies with the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018, which includes an annual publication of a Modern Slavery Statement. GPT’s first Statement will be published in 2020. This will further enhance the transparency of our operations and supply chain in relation to human rights.
- Grievance and Whistleblower mechanisms: These provide our stakeholders with ways to safely, confidently and anonymously raise concerns about potential human rights impacts in our operations and supply chain. GPT employees, suppliers, volunteers and related external parties can confidentially report concerns about improper conduct by GPT or its suppliers through the GPT Whistleblower program, which enables us to swiftly and appropriately address any concerns that are identified.
- Reconciliation Action Plan and community strategies: Our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan and our community engagement strategies guide our contributions to building stronger, more resilient communities in Australia. Beyond our commitments and priorities to our people, GPT works closely with external stakeholders to understand the key priorities of each community where we operate and work collaboratively to deliver them.
We encourage all stakeholders to report any concerns or feedback they may have regarding how we manage human rights in our operations and our supply chain. We will act quickly to investigate and resolve any suspected human rights violations. We review our practices and policies regularly.
Grievances can be reported in any of the following ways:
- All stakeholders: The complaints mechanism on the GPT website.
- Investors: The complaints mechanism on the GPT website or the GPT Funds Management page, which includes contact details for the Australian Financial Complaints Authority of which GPT RE Limited and GPT Funds Management Limited are both members.
- GPT employees, suppliers and related parties: The process outlined in the GPT Whistleblower Policy, which includes contact details for GPT’s independent service provider “Your Call”.
- GPT employees: The process outlined in the GPT Grievance Resolution Policy.
- Customers, tenants and community stakeholders: Directly with our asset management teams including stakeholders contacting asset management teams via email and phone through ‘Contact Us’ details provided on asset websites, in person at Guest Services and Concierge Desks, through customer and tenant surveys, and also via direct messages on social media platforms where assets have accounts.