Through our Community Investment Framework we are able to deliver long-term sustainable growth for our businesses and ensure the long-term health and vitality of our local communities. The Framework, implemented during 2013, has been one of the key outcomes of our Sustainability Strategy. It has been established to help us to build meaningful community relationships and has enabled us to further support our people in their endeavours to make a difference within their local communities.
The framework sets minimum standards all businesses and sites within the Group are required to uphold when administering community programs and spend, ensuring funds are issued consistently and fairly across our operations. Importantly, the Framework preferences local approaches, enabling each IPL business and site to respond to the distinct needs of their communities.
IPL’s Community Investment Framework directs that all community investments are issued in accordance with our ‘Principles for Giving’. These Principles have been endorsed by the Executive Team and ensure we have a strategic and consistent approach to community giving across the Group.
The Principles for Giving ensure that we:
• Support activities that provide solutions to local challenges and opportunities in the communities around our operations and where our employees live.
• Place a strong emphasis on supporting initiatives that help local organisations develop the skills and resources to bring positive and lasting benefits to the community.
• Provide funding to initiatives that are aligned to IPL’s Values and business strategy, and are integral to the long-term sustainability of the communities where we operate.
Our areas of focus are:
• Education – providing support for childhood, adult and indigenous specific education activities;
• Health – providing support for activities working towards better physical and mental health;
• Community Development – providing support for activities that enrich community life and enhance the social, environmental and economic sustainability of local communities.
IPL Community Fund
The establishment of the IPL Community Fund in 2013 provided IPL’s operations worldwide with a formal avenue through which to apply for grants of up to A$10,000 (or local equivalent) in support of local community initiatives. Applicants are asked to demonstrate the value of their initiative to the community as well as the link between the initiative they’re hoping to support and their site’s broader community engagement efforts. In 2014 this fund was suspended and future funding will be reviewed as part of the annual corporate budget process.
Dollar for Dollar Program
Our Dollar for Dollar program, a key component of our Community Investment Framework, matches employee donations and fundraising efforts that are aligned to our Principles for Giving to a total of A$2000 per initiative.
Australian employees are offered a voluntary Workplace Giving scheme whereby they can donate to one or more of the company’s nominated not-for-profit charities. The process is simple and streamlined, it offers a choice to employees as to how their contributions are directed, and allows them to influence where some of IPL’s community giving is focused: IPL has readily, and for a considerable number of years, embraced Workplace Giving matching to a level of $20,000 for each financial year.
Measuring community investment
This year our total community investment was A$354,806 including cash, time, in-kind support and management costs. Many donations were made locally, either through the donation of products and services, volunteering, local sponsorships or fundraising efforts. 100 percent of both local and Group donations were made in line with our Principles for Giving, with 20 percent going to health initiatives (including sport), 10 percent going to education and 70 percent to local community development.