Michael O'Brien, Managing Director QIC Global Real Estate:
With COVID-related disruptions continuing to be a focus, not only in the operation of our centres and office assets, but in many facets of our lives, I have been extremely proud of the team’s uninterrupted commitment to delivering on our ESG priorities over the past year.
Central to this has been finalising the establishment of our dedicated QICGRE Sustainability team, and actioning a review and refresh of our QICGRE ESG Strategy. Our refreshed strategy is based on significant research and stakeholder engagement to understand the factors that are most material to the real estate portfolio. It recognises our achievements to date in progressing our ESG agenda and performance, and aims to refocus and amplify our efforts to ensure we are driving long term sustainability results and enhancing the value of our assets for our clients and the communities in which we operate.
In line with this strategy, work continues on the delivery of projects to support our 2028 net zero carbon emissions target, including the rollout of more than 27MW of renewable energy generation capacity for the first tranche of one of Australia's largest rooftop solar projects.
We also continued our ongoing commitment to initiatives which support the social themes important to our communities. As central hubs for their local communities, our centres and offices have played an integral role in navigating the impacts of the pandemic. Remaining open throughout to provide access to critical goods and services, and in some cases hosting drive-through testing and vaccination clinics, our focus has been ensuring the safety and resilience of our retailers, tenants, customers and staff, and supporting community wellbeing through the continuation of our ‘A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way’ campaign.
During the year, we also strengthened our approach to supporting our communities with the aim to drive positive change across social themes that are most prevalent in local areas, and where our assets are well positioned to meaningfully respond. Following an extensive research and stakeholder engagement process we have developed Community Investment Program focused around the central theme of 'Physical health and wellbeing' that will deliver measurable positive impact, and continue to be delivered in a way that best resonates with local communities surrounding our assets.
We’ve also introduced Business for Societal Impact (B4SI) reporting, allowing us to better understand and map our contributions to local communities, businesses and society, amounting to almost $700,000 over the past year. And with the launch of QIC’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), our second-generation RAP, the QICGRE Indigenous delivery plan will continue to direct our actions towards key reconciliation activities identified through our RAP.
My team and I are pleased to present our 2021 ESG Report.
QIC respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging