Partnerships highlight diversity as key to future of staffing 

As you might suspect from the name, sustainability knowledge is a key focus of Australia’s Supply Chain Sustainability School. As it found in its 2018 survey of contributors and industry leaders, others agree, with 63 per cent of respondents saying sustainability knowledge has become more important in the last year and 83 per cent saying they have a sustainability plan in place.

Taking the results to heart, the school has announced new partnerships with the Property Council of Australia, Social Traders and Supply Nation.

The Property Council of Australia advocates for Australia’s largest industry, accounting for 1.4 million jobs and $202.9 billion in GDP. Part of its aim is to promote social sustainability and gender diversity in the field, striving for at least 40 per cent of the property workforce to be female and at least 40 per cent male, with the other 20 per cent discretionary. The council also works to combat modern slavery in property supply chains.

“Australian property companies have forged a world-leading position on environmental sustainability and are increasingly focused on social outcomes as we have an enormous capacity and opportunity to do well by doing good,” Francesca Muskovic, the council’s policy manager for sustainability and regulatory affairs, said. “In the same way we are using transparency and reporting to drive improved diversity outcomes in the property industry, we want to apply a common set of metrics to support greater benchmarking and place a more robust value on the ‘people’ part of the triple bottom line.

“We are also intensely focused on issues like modern slavery, where the property industry has significant influence across a large supply chain and is well-placed to work collaboratively to help deliver solutions. By partnering with the school, we’re embarking on a project to provide education and support for continuous improvement for suppliers to identify and remediate risks of modern slavery.”

Social Traders’ goal is to create 1,500 jobs for disadvantaged Australians by 2021. Networking with corporate and government buyers and more than 600 suppliers it has certified, Social Traders aims to facilitate $105 million worth of sales for companies hiring disabled or chronically unemployed people, plus migrants and refugees.

“We’re excited to be working with the Supply Chain Sustainability School,” Social Traders Executive Director Mark Daniels said. “Australia’s current infrastructure boom is being led by the property, construction and infrastructure sectors, and the opportunity for bringing disadvantaged Australians into the labour force means this boom can mean so much more than improved roads and rail networks.”

Supply Nation works to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned businesses by connecting them with government and corporate project leaders.

“The impact of engaging an Indigenous business can flow much farther than the business owner and their families — it can foster momentous change within a whole community,” Supply Nation CEO Laura Berry said. “Since its introduction in July 2015 the Indigenous Procurement Policy has contributed to a significant growth in the Indigenous business sector with approximately $1 billion in contracts awarded to more than 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses across 6,850 contracts.

“Supply Nation is looking forward to working in partnership with the Supply Chain Sustainability School to develop an online resource tool for the school’s members about the history, importance and long-term business benefits of supplier diversity in Australia’s business landscape.”