Working with our suppliers

At Vicinity, we seek to build long term relationships with partners who share our values and commitment to sustainability.

 

Our supply chain

Vicinity engages thousands of suppliers to provide goods and services for our centres and corporate offices.

The majority of our total procurement spend goes towards operating our centres, for services such as waste management, cleaning, security, mechanical, landscaping and maintenance, vertical transport and essential services like energy, gas, heating and cooling, sewerage and water.

For our development projects and centre refurbishments, we engage builders, civil contractors, design consultants and tradesman. We also use information and telecommunication service providers and professional service consultants to service our offices and centres.

We recognise the need to reduce sustainability risks inherent in our supply chain and take an active approach to promote responsible practices with our suppliers. We also welcome the opportunity to proactively use our procurement decisions to drive positive outcomes in our local communities.

Addressing risks

Our Sustainable Procurement Policy outlines our commitment to build a responsible supply chain that creates a positive impact on local communities.   

We expect our suppliers to demonstrate their own commitment to sustainability, and work with us to realise the objectives of our Sustainability strategy. Our expectations of suppliers are articulated in the Supplier Sustainability Code of Practice.

Our suppliers are selected through a rigorous tender process that considers a number of elements, including relevant sustainability risks.

We use a Supplier Sustainability Questionnaire to evaluate our suppliers on their management of material risks and impacts related to the services they provide, whether it’s environmental standards, human rights, fair wages and working conditions, governance or business ethics.

In FY17, Vicinity appointed five new suppliers to provide cleaning and fire services for our centres (representing 2 per cent of our operational spend), all of whom have been evaluated for environmental and labour-related risks, impacts and opportunities.

Supplier performance

During the year, we established a Vendor Management Office (VMO) as the key platform through which we manage relationships with our suppliers.

The VMO gives our procurement and operations teams information and tools to guide meaningful conversations with our suppliers.

These tools will help them better manage supplier performance,

respond to issues that arise and provide feedback on a regular basis.

It forms part of our commitment to build long-term relationships with our suppliers and create mutually beneficial outcomes for both Vicinity, our suppliers and the communities in which we operate.     

Procurement through social enterprises

With a portfolio of Vicinity’s scale and reach, we acknowledge our role as a large employer of service providers across Australia, generating significant economic activity through the operation of our centres.

Partnering with social enterprises gives us the opportunity to make a positive impact in local communities through our day to day operations.

Currently we are working with:

  • YMCA Rebuild in Victoria, who employ youth out of custody and support their integration back into the community and workforce, and
  • Activ Foundation in Western Australia and House With No Steps in New South Wales who employ individuals with disabilities.

We also encourage our suppliers to engage social enterprises in their operations and supply chains. During the year, we connected a cleaning supplier with Marist180 to employ nine at-risk youths for cleaning services.

Collectively through above social enterprises, we’ve facilitated the employment of approximately 30 people in to our supply chain during FY17.

In the year ahead, we will explore opportunities to extend our existing arrangements with social enterprises to other states and centres.

We believe this inclusive approach strengthens our communities and increases the local community’s connection with our centre, driving the success of our business.


 

Case study: Making an impact with YMCA ReBuild

Vicinity’s partnership with YMCA ReBuild started as a small painting project at Emporium Melbourne.

It has now expanded to seven shopping centres across Melbourne, providing a range of maintenance activities from painting to landscaping.

YMCA ReBuild is a social enterprise operating in Victoria that works with youth out of custody and supports their integration back into the community and workforce. It forms an important part of YMCA’s The Bridge Project. 

YMCA ReBuild provides young people with the chance to learn a new skill, receive supervised on the job training and find a pathway to regular employment. Young people participating in the program are heavily supported by YMCA along the way to give them the best chance of employment success.

Partnering with YMCA ReBuild to provide basic maintenance and landscaping services at our centres aligns with our community investment program focus on alleviating youth unemployment and disengagement in local communities. It is this strategic alignment that provides credibility and longevity to our partnership.

During FY17, Vicinity spent over $75,000 procuring maintenance services through YMCA Rebuild. This figure is set to grow in FY18 as we expand our partnership to additional centres.

We are also exploring further opportunities to work with YMCA’s The Bridge Project more broadly, and are working together to introduce candidates from YMCA directly into the recruitment process for roles at Vicinity, as well as connect them with  employment opportunities at our major suppliers and retailers. 

Vicinity Centres has become both a key commercial and community partner of YMCA ReBuild, offering the means for us to provide the skills and attributes that young people we work with need to take the next step in their lives. By engaging ReBuild Vicinity has not only been able to satisfy a range of normal operational needs, it has just as importantly made a discernible difference in the lives of the disadvantaged young people we work with.
Gary Sinclair, YMCA ReBuild Manager