We respect the fundamental rights of all people to live and work in environments that foster ingenuity, accord and vitality.
Delivered through our assets, we’re partnering with our communities to create tangible and valued ESG outcomes. To find out more about some of the community initiatives which have been delivered in FY19, visit the case studies section of this report.
We are evolving shopping centres into culturally relevant, ever-evolving community hubs. The core objective of this strategy is to create places that evoke a town centre feel and encourage meaningful experiences that meet diverse needs, both now and in the years to come.
We recognise that the needs of those visiting our centres have changed in response to a multitude of macro forces, with locals now demanding more convenience, diversity, and depth of experience from the assets we hold. By evolving our centres to ensure they remain highly relevant and valued destination for our local communities, we are ensuring long-term sustainable returns for our investors.
We are extending our thinking in place creation to consider our assets more as multi-purpose destinations that serve the whole of life needs (health and wellbeing betterment, learning and education, entertainment and leisure) of the communities in which we operate. This approach will manifest itself in different ways because for our assets to remain compelling and engaging they must be reflective of the unique values, attitudes and aspirations of our communities.
For QIC GRE, much of our work centres on relationships. Fostering positive, working associations with those who influence or are influenced by our assets is critical to our success.
We approach the way we engage with our stakeholders by seeking to view the work we do through their lens and understanding their needs and priorities throughout the lifecycle of our assets.
We undertake a thorough process of identifying and mapping stakeholders via a range of internal forums, which include a cross-section of personnel from within our business. These personnel may include (but are not limited to) senior management, fund managers, asset investment managers and analysts, centre management staff, stakeholder relations officers, marketing teams, and construction and operational contactors.
This process is particularly relevant for the delivery of development projects at our assets, where we undertake comprehensive planning to minimise impacts to our retail partners, customers and the local community during construction works.
Preparation for development projects routinely includes stakeholder engagement activities such as: town hall-style retailer briefings, briefings with local Council, other local government representatives and local media, setup of a community project information phone line, one-on-one meetings as required between retailers and Centre Managers, informal retailer engagement events hosted by Centre Management throughout the project delivery, as well as a range of information disseminated to the community including newsletters, websites, social media and regular project bulletins.
These engagement activities aim to provide a range of opportunities for our identified stakeholders to access information and ask questions on topics relating to the development such as potential impacts and what is being done to minimise these, access changes, future plans, and detailed information about what is being delivered through the project works.
We engage with a wide range of stakeholder groups:
We require ongoing compliance with all laws and legal requirements relating to bribery, corruption, money laundering, fraud or similar activities. This includes our retail and business partners.
QIC staff are required to undertake training on anti-corruption policies and procedures, as part of the mandatory ‘Anti-Bribery and Corruption’ annual online training.
The Modern Slavery Act 2018 came into effect on 1 January 2019, placing a requirement on eligible entities to submit a Modern Slavery Statement annually. The Act seeks to actively reduce the risk of modern slavery occurring in Australia and across the globe. As an investor, QIC is required to also report on the risk of modern slavery across our investment activities and portfolios, as well as through our operations and procurement supply chains. Pursuant to the Act, QIC has a standard modern slavery clause included in our contracts to manage potential modern slavery risk.
In the retail sector, the cleaning industry is considered one of the highest risk areas, and has been an area of focus for QIC GRE. QIC has been an active participant with the Cleaning Accountability Framework (CAF) since its inception in 2014, well prior to the recent introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2018. QIC has representation on both the CAF Steering Committee and the CAF Standards Sub-Committee, and Castle Towers Shopping Centre in Sydney was one of the first retail assets to complete the CAF Pilot program.
Working with CAF, the collective aim is to standardise practices and uphold labour rights within the cleaning industry. CAF’s work extends to a range of activities including supplying tools for tendering for business, face-to-face meetings undertaken by independent CAF representatives with all cleaning staff, and coordinating third-party audits of assets as well as cleaning companies including requesting full pay slips, ensuring maximum transparency.
The risk of child labour is highest in vertically-integrated systems that link raw materials to finished products. Due to the nature of QIC GRE’s business, the risk of child labour in operations and suppliers is considered to be low.
The main element of QIC GRE’s supply chain involves the contracting of services, with our key focus on ensuring that all contractors are paid reasonable wages. To manage any risks associated with the use of contractors, including forced or compulsory labour, we undertake a number of pre-engagement activities including:
Information about training and qualifications for contracted staff is requested at tender and is kept up to date, with required training specific to the type of work.
Additionally, Savills staff employed at our shopping centres are expected to have undertaken appropriate training for their roles, and QIC GRE performs an audit each year to ensure that this training has been completed. Training routinely provided for Savills and other staff employed at our Centres includes:
We note that no operations have been subject to human rights reviews or assessments in FY19.
QIC’s active board, committees and tailored policies and standards provide the perspective and structure for efficiency and integrity in corporate governance.