Community support

We understand that relationships are forged and trust is built during times of stress and hardship, and we are committed to supporting our communities when they need it most. In recent years, we have seen an increase in the frequency and severity of adverse weather events across Australia and New Zealand, and Downer has been quick to support the communities we operate in when nature strikes.

After the devastating floods in Queensland and northern New South Wales in February and March 2022, Downer responded with assistance.

Downer Group formally registered to assist Transport for NSW’s disaster recovery efforts around northern New South Wales and Greater Sydney.

In addition, Downer has pledged to support the Business Council of Australia’s Community Rebuilding Initiative, which has been established to build a permanent capability to mobilise and coordinate the business community’s response in times of tragedy and to act as an interface with Federal and State authorities and established recovery agencies. Downer has previously donated $100,000 to the Business Council of Australia’s Community Rebuilding Initiative in April 2021 to assist with flood recovery, and donated $500,000 in 2020 in response to Australia’s bushfire crisis.

In Queensland, Downer’s Pavements and Maintenance crews worked to rebuild some of the most severely damaged roads across South East Queensland. A 1.4-kilometre stretch of Gympie Road at Bald Hills Flats sustained extensive damage, with crews mobilised quickly to open the road to the travelling public. The emergency work included: removal of 300 tonnes of vegetation; replacement of damaged road signs; extensive pavement repairs; embankment repairs; and multiple layers of new asphalt.

Our people also offered their individual capabilities and experience to help out affected areas.

In the New South Wales Northern Rivers region around Lismore and Ballina, thousands of homes were inundated with water and left without power.

Downer’s Facilities team was proud to support the Electrical Trades Union’s Community Connect initiative, sending qualified tradespeople to the towns of Woodburn, Broadwater and Wardell to help restore power to homes. Downer also mobilised a team of experts and brought specialist subcontractors from other regions to repair damaged homes for social housing tenants around Lismore.

Read more

Major sporting sponsorships

Sunshine Coast Lightning

Downer has been the Principal Partner of Sunshine Coast Lightning Super Netball club since the team’s inception in 2017. “The alignment between Downer and Lightning centres around both organisations recognising that people and relationships are the cornerstone of enduring success,” Lightning CEO, Danielle Smith, said. 

“Securing Downer as a Principal Partner long-term plays a pivotal role in ensuring Lightning’s future viability and it is a partnership that we are excited to maximise in years to come.”

New Zealand Masters Games

Downer was proud to again be naming rights sponsor of the New Zealand Masters Games in 2021. The Downer New Zealand Masters Games is held every second year in Whanganui, and is a key event for the local community. Our people are also active participants in the games.

Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge

Downer has joined Bicycle Queensland as the main sponsor of its city to coast cycling event, the Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge for 2021 and 2022. The Downer Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge is one of Australia’s biggest charity cycling events. Celebrating its 17th year, the event sees cyclists of all ages participate in rides ranging from 40 to 100 kilometres.

In addition to Downer’s Group-wide partnerships, we also encourage our teams to form strong relationships in their local communities.

For example, in Tasmania Downer supports JCP Youth, which delivers programs to young people who are at-risk or vulnerable in our community, positively influencing their environment and personal network, and equipping them to be leaders in their communities. The program has had significant success with young people who are disengaged or ‘on the radar’ for police and the wider justice system. Downer was also a major sponsor of Cancer Council Tasmania’s Relay for Life in 2022. In addition to financial sponsorship, Downer and subsidiary company, VEC Civil Engineering, entered teams in two relay events and raised a combined total of $13,000.

In Western Australia, our Facilities team in Port Hedland have supported three important local initiatives in FY22, focusing on young people, mental health and sport. The partnerships include a sponsorship of the Hedland Youth Awards 2022, Hedland Reds junior football club, and supporting the build of Anglicare WA’s new Headspace facility in Port Hedland. These partnerships are an important opportunity to demonstrate Downer’s commitment to the communities we operate in, while also helping to deliver much-needed services in key areas of need. Downer has been part of the Port Hedland community for more than 25 years, and currently employs more than 500 people in the region. 

Read more

Customer feedback and insights

Seeking and capturing customer feedback helps Downer adapt and evolve with our customers’ changing needs, and maintain our reputation as a thought leader across the industries we operate in.

In FY22, we monitored customer satisfaction with Downer’s performance through a range of survey and feedback approaches, including:

  • Project/contract-specific customer surveys and reviews
  • Strategic customer reviews
  • Multi-customer survey programs
  • Tender debrief sessions (won or lost)
  • Informal feedback.

Project/contract-specific surveys and reviews: We use this process to assess how well Downer understands and delivers on the customer’s service expectations. This information helps to identify improvement strategies and opportunities to create more value for the customer and position Downer for ongoing work with the customer, which can be retention of an existing service contract, extension of scope or future project and service contract opportunities.

Strategic customer reviews: This involves a more detailed assessment of Downer’s relationship with a key customer, going deeper than assessing their satisfaction with Downer’s performance on any individual project. We do this to validate what is important to them at an organisational level, and how they perceive Downer as a service provider. This information helps us identify opportunities to bring new services and create more value for Downer’s customers.

Multi-customer surveys: Surveys of customer groups (for example all customers within a specific market or service offering), which we use to gauge Downer’s strengths, weaknesses and market positioning, as perceived by key customer personnel.

Tender review sessions (won or lost): At the completion of a tender process, Downer will typically seek a tender review or debrief session with the customer for both successful and unsuccessful bids. These sessions offer additional insight into our customer’s drivers and provide valuable information about how successfully Downer articulated its value proposition, to influence our current and future customers to work with us.

Informal feedback: We seek informal feedback regularly throughout the year on our projects and contracts.

Read more

Helping our customers to net zero

Our deep understanding of our customers and markets is crucial as the world moves towards a net zero carbon emissions future. The services Downer delivers position us to be at the forefront of the journey to net zero – delivering services that will help our customers decarbonise their operations and improve our communities into the future.

Some examples include:

  • Downer is one of the largest and most experienced providers in the renewable energy market and power systems sectors, with more than 3GW of renewable energy generated by wind and solar farms that Downer has either built or is currently delivering.
  • Downer’s Roads Services business continues to be a circular economy leader through its Reconomy business and the manufacture of the ReconophaltTM sustainable asphalt product that contains high recycled content derived from waste streams such as soft plastics, toner, glass and reclaimed road that would otherwise be bound for landfill or stockpiled.
  • Our Utilities business installs rooftop solar panels and battery storage systems into schools – including the ACEs program in Queensland, which has already resulted in 550 schools making the switch to solar.
  • There will be no energy transition without transmission – and through our Infrastructure Projects business, Downer is the leading provider of high voltage transmission and distribution networks.
  • We are delivering building efficiency upgrades through our Defence and Facilities contracts, while our Rail and Transit Systems business is providing energy-efficient enhancements to Sydney Trains’ modern fleets through air conditioning upgrades.
  • Our Facilities business is also at the forefront of decarbonisation technologies and innovations. We have established the capabilities and partnerships that will help position Australia as a world leader in clean Hydrogen, and we have also supported our customers, Chevron and Santos, in delivering carbon capture underground storage systems. We are also well positioned to support customers like Origin in end-of-life asset management, asset re-life planning and just transition.
  • In New Zealand, our Hawkins business is a leader in the sustainable design of vertical infrastructure, for facilities including commercial premises and university facilities.

Importantly, Downer’s understanding of our customers’ needs and the industries we operate in is allowing us to predict future requirements on the journey to net zero, and proactively offer our customers industry-leading solutions.

Read more

Percentage of spend by supplier category

Project materials
Professional services
Fleet and fuels
Information and communication technology
Labour hire and recruitment services
Heavy machinery and equipment
Food and beverages
Premises renting

Supply chain engagement

In FY22, Downer leveraged our involvement in the Sedex and the Carbon Disclosure Project supply chain programs to engage with our suppliers. Carbon Disclosure Project is a not-for-profit organisation focused on enhancing worldwide disclosure on carbon emissions and climate risk. 

Carbon Disclosure Project surveys over 9,600 companies worldwide each year to compile one of the most comprehensive datasets on global emissions and initiatives to tackle climate change. The supply chain program expands on CDP’s survey process by allowing companies to directly connect with their suppliers and understand their broader carbon footprints. This program not only provides Downer with insights into our Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions arising from our supply chain, but it is also an opportunity to meaningfully engage with our key suppliers, strengthen our relationships, and make more informed supplier decisions based on their relative emissions profiles. 

Downer ran our first survey process through this program in FY22, for FY21 data. Downer engaged 284 suppliers and received a response from 23 per cent of requested respondents.

Downer’s approach to the CDP Supply Chain program in FY22 is two-fold:

  • Boost the percentage of suppliers who respond to the Carbon Disclosure Project survey and collect emissions data across their organisations
  • Directly engage with suppliers to form partnerships that will ultimately aid in reducing emissions across our value chain. For example, Downer has engaged with Telstra and Dell to share decarbonisation goals and see how we can work together to achieve shared targets. 

Sedex is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve ethical and responsible business practices in global supply chains. It provides an online platform, tools and services to help organisations like Downer operate responsibly and sustainably, protect workers and source ethically. Almost 60,000 member organisations from 180 countries use the Sedex online platform to exchange data, manage business risk, meet compliance and drive positive impact on people. Joining the Sedex program provides Downer a forum to connect with like-minded companies, creating opportunities to do ethical business and approach shared topics of interest. It also offers a streamlined and consistent process to ensure that Downer is only dealing with suppliers that meet our minimum standards for fair and safe working conditions, anti-corruption practices, anti-discrimination policies, and environmental compliance. 

Read more

Indigenous suppliers

Downer is committed to supporting the economic development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.

In FY22, Downer launched an Indigenous Business Database to help our Business Units identify and engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers. The Indigenous Business Database is a list of Indigenous businesses from across Australia, searchable by State, postcode or industry. The directory contains more than 500 ratified Indigenous-owned businesses across various industries and sectors, and aims to enable Downer to better engage with Indigenous businesses and communities.

While Indigenous procurement supplier agreements decreased from 156 in 2021 to 147 in 2022, Downer’s overall spend with Indigenous businesses increased by 48 per cent, as detailed below. In a period when Downer’s overall supplier spend decreased, we are pleased to increase our support for Indigenous businesses.

Read more

Māori suppliers

In New Zealand, Downer is a member of Amotai at Aukōkiri level (the highest level). Amotai offers access to a register of businesses which are verified to be at least 50 per cent Māori or Pasifika owned.

Amotai enables Downer to proactively engage with suppliers who are aligned with our public sector customer Te Tiriti partnerships. We also increased the overall Māori supplier spend within Downer New Zealand’s operations from $28,178,386 in FY21 to $29,210,575 in FY22.


Read more