Woolworths Limited has the simple philosophy of demonstrating corporate leadership by doing the right thing. Our community investment aims to create a positive impact for both the community and the business.
In 2014, Woolworths Limited contributed the equivalent of $47.6m in our communities, including:
- $20.9 million in cash donations
- $15.6 million generously donated by our customers and staff
- $4.9 million in-kind
- $6.2 million staff and management time
We have a target of the equivalent of 1% of pre-tax profits going towards supporting our communities. Our businesses achieve this by supporting organisations, programs and initiatives in our core focus areas in a manner that is relevant to their business objectives, strengths and skills.
Focus of our investment
Woolworths is a point of contact for millions of customers, in stores and online, each week. This, along with our 198,000-plus employees, gives us the opportunity to raise funds for, partner with, and support community groups that our stakeholders are engaged with.
Our community investment strategy and key focus areas for our business divisions help us prioritise our support and ensure that our community partnerships and investment:
- are relevant to our core businesses
- meet community expectations, and
- win support from customers and employees.
Fresh Food Rescue
Woolworths has a proud record of food donation in partnership with food relief organisations in Australia and New Zealand. We work with a large number of food relief charities that collect food from our stores and provide meals for people in need in our communities.
In 2014 we donated more than 1,300 tonnes of food to charities, which was used to produce more than 1.8 million meals to those in need. Organisations that collect from our stores include Foodbank, OzHarvest, SecondBite, FareShare, Churchlands, House of Hope and The Salvation Army.
Earn and Learn
In the third year of this program we donated more than 400,000 corporaitems of new school equipment, to 13,148 schools and early learning centres across the country. Popular subjects for the equipment donated to primary and high schools were mathematics, English, science, arts and crafts, robotics, sport, music and dance.
Fresh Food Future
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) estimates that feeding a global population that is projected to reach 9.1 billion in 2050 would require a 70% increase in food production. The UNFAO projections indicate that 90% of the gains in production needed will be achieved by increasing yield growth and cropping intensity on existing farmlands rather than by increasing the amount of land brought under agricultural production(1). The challenge of boosting crop yields is made more pressing by climate change. In Australia, there is the additional concern of the ageing of the farm population which has been evident in official statistics in Australia since 1981(2).
Our Fresh Food Future program aims to contribute to developing solutions for these challenges and it reaffirms our commitment to investing in the future of rural Australia and food security. Fresh Food Future draws together a number of initiatives to address two main objectives:
- The advancement of agricultural sustainability; and
- Building leadership capacity in the sector.
Fresh Food Future has four program areas which help direct our initiatives and investment. These are:
- Foundations for the Future – includes research to support sound policy development.
- Powering Productivity – focuses on adoption of sustainable agriculture practices and increasing production capacity.
- Leaders for the Future – focuses on supporting training, capacity building and leadership in the rural sector.
- Consumer Connections – provides our customers the information they need to make more sustainable choices.
Emergency Relief for Natural Disasters
Australian emergency relief The Salvation Army is our official partner in the case of domestic natural disasters. During a severe domestic disaster, such as bushfires and floods, our stores also mobilise in-kind support and resources for their communities. Woolworths Limited businesses will only channel donations through the Company’s appeals.
We raised around $4.5 million for The Salvation Army to assist after the NSW bushfires in late 2013, and we raised almost $1 million for drought relief in early 2014.
Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal
The Countdown team in New Zealand, with the help of customers and suppliers, raised $1.2 million (NZD) for children’s hospital wards around the country. Since 2007, the appeal has raised $6.9 million NZD).
Requests for support
We receive many requests from worthy causes. However, unfortunately, we are unable to support them all. In order to appropriately channel our support our community investment does not provide funding for the following:
- Unregistered charities or organisations
- Australian Business Number (ABN) is a mandatory for all organisations.
- Charities require Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status and must be authorised licensed/permitted to conduct charitable fundraising activities in the States/Territories in which they operate.
- Charity advertising or promotions, unless part of a Woolworths specific campaign.
- Political campaigns and activities.
- Organisations with religious affiliation are not excluded, so long as participation is open to the community generally.
- Year end deficits.
- Sponsorship of individuals, including Woolworths Limited staff (see employee specific schemes).
- Overseas projects not linked to a Woolworths program.
- The replacement of funds provided by government, which does not bring additional benefits to people or communities.
- Business-related conferences, awards and exhibition sponsorships.
If you feel your request meets our criteria please contact us here.