It is my pleasure to provide you with an update on Vicinity Centres’ (Vicinity) Sustainability journey through Vicinity Unwrapped – Our Sustainability Story.
FY20 has been an extraordinary year, not just in Australia but globally, with the challenges of COVID-19 testing our collective resilience. Vicinity’s primary focus during this time has been to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, tenants, contractors and broader communities.
As one of Australia’s leading retail property groups, with 400 million shoppers visiting our centres annually, we recognise the critical role our centres have played in their local communities at this time and take this responsibility seriously.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our centres have remained open for our communities to access the essential goods and services they need.
Throughout the year, we have continued to bring our purpose of Enriching Community Experiences to life, and through our sustainability strategy, progress our work to create sustainable and resilient destinations and shape better communities.
We completed the third year of our national partnership with Beacon Foundation, through which we deliver our community investment program to alleviate youth unemployment and disengagement in our communities. Through an independent social return on investment analysis of our partnership, we found that for every $1 Vicinity has invested in Beacon’s programs since January 2017, there has been a positive ongoing economic benefit to the community of more than $22 each year. This is an exceptional outcome for the young people participating and for society more broadly.
Vicinity also implemented a wide range of initiatives in early 2020 to support bushfire-affected communities, with our overall contribution valued at more than $730,000.
We are tracking well towards our Net Zero by 2030 carbon target, having reduced our energy intensity by 20% from our baseline*, and by continuing to progress our on-site solar program across our wholly-owned retail assets.
Our industry-leading solar program now includes 25.2 MW of solar installed across our managed portfolio, with seven centres added during the year. We now have 17 centres with solar installed.