Downer once again proved its resilience in managing these challenges and taking advantage of opportunities as they have arisen. Our Urban Services strategy and strong Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) focus provides the foundation.
FY22 also saw a pronounced acceleration in the push to decarbonise the economy – and this will create a solid pipeline of opportunities for Downer. Following the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties in late 2021, our customer base has committed to decarbonising their operations. As the world shifts towards a net zero future, Downer is uniquely positioned with its skills, experience and technical capabilities to support society with this transformative change.
In FY22, we continued to decarbonise our own operations. Downer’s focus on our Urban Services businesses has seen our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions intensity reduce from 41.37 tCO2-e in FY21 to 31.11 tCO2 -e in FY22. We are committed to implementing solutions that will reduce our operational emissions by 50 per cent by 2032 and net zero by 2050.
Sadly, a long-term Downer employee in New Zealand died in May 2022 following a fall at work. Although the cause of death is not yet known, Downer has treated this as a workplace fatality. Downer operates in sectors that are exposed to high-risk activities and, while we have a history of strong safety performance, we are determined to learn from this loss. The health and safety of our people is Downer's number one priority.
A key element of Downer’s Zero Harm strategy is a commitment to support the mental health of our people and communities. Our accredited Mental Health First Aid program continues to arm our people with the knowledge to support their own mental health, and also look out for their friends and families. We also renewed our successful partnership with Beyond Blue this year, agreeing to again be the Major Partner for their 2022 Tax Appeal, while in New Zealand we established a new partnership with the Mental Health Foundation.
In FY22, Downer continued our Board renewal process, with new Non-Executive Directors – Mark Chellew, Mark Binns, Mark Menhinnitt and Adelle Howse – joining the Board. On 30 September 2021, Mike Harding retired as Chairman following 13 years on the Board, while Non-Executive Director Phil Garling retired on 30 June 2022.
Importantly, Downer took a number of steps to further strengthen our governance processes and tighten our project and contract delivery management systems. Significant work has gone into The Downer Standard, our Integrated Management System which gives the organisation a single governance framework focusing on consistent and repeatable outcomes for our customers.
We also understand that we need an engaged workforce. Downer operates in tight labour markets, making talent attraction and retention a high priority. Over the past 12 months, we have implemented a range of initiatives to improve the employee experience and reinforce Downer’s reputation as an employer of choice. This includes the launch of Downer’s first Group-wide Inclusion and Belonging Strategy, which will help us ensure all our people are valued and respected.
Pleasingly, Downer reaffirmed our commitment to community support this year by establishing a range of new partnerships with not-for-profit organisations. In March 2022, we launched Downer’s first workplace giving program, to support four strategically-selected charities – Australian Cancer Research Foundation, Greening Australia, TLC for Kids and The Salvation Army’s Family Violence Stream. Downer will match our employees’ donations up to $250,000 and will also encourage our people to undertake volunteering opportunities to provide additional support to our charity partners. In addition to our long-running partnership with the Australian Numeracy and Literacy Foundation, Downer also established new charitable partnerships with two Indigenous organisations, The Stars Foundation and NRL Cowboys House, to support the education of young Indigenous people.
It’s been a challenging but rewarding year for Downer. Thank you to our shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and communities for your support over the past 12 months.
Downer Group CEO