Our managing director is committed to building a sustainable Fuji Xerox Australia and has ultimate responsibility for our sustainability performance. There is clear leadership recognition that we are accountable to stakeholders for not only business results but also for our social contribution and environmental impact. Our executive leadership team recognises that the company’s financial success is dependent upon engaged employees, loyal customers and how well we respond to their concerns across the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability.
Like many organisations, embedding sustainability in how we plan, manage and measure our business remains a key challenge. With sustainability no longer an explicit part of our strategy it is critically important that we work to integrate voice of stakeholder in what we call the strategic rhythm of the business. To that end we will develop a stakeholder materiality matrix in 12/13. This will involve refining our stakeholder commitments and the material issues that concern those stakeholders into a business planning tool. This stakeholder materiality matrix will form part of our planning process in 12/13 and ensure that the management and reporting of sustainability issues becomes more embedded across all divisions.
In terms of how well we listen and respond to our stakeholders’ concerns we are still developing the formal mechanisms that will capture all relevant views. This is illustrated in our stakeholder engagement framework, which has identified some gaps, although we do have well-developed staff and customer engagement tools.
Internal perspectives heavily influence the organisation’s identification of sustainability issues. Without strong engagement mechanisms to capture and make visible external stakeholder perspectives, we will continue to be internally led in our identification of sustainability issues. Ideally, we should identify and address our sustainability issues in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders.
How we engage our suppliers on sustainability is dealt with in the supply chain section of this report. While our strategic relationships with paper and logistics suppliers are well managed by the appropriate business owners, we lack a consistent and clearly defined approach to procurement across the organisation. This is due to delays in filling the role of national procurement manager with other business priorities, such as improving risk management, taking precedence. In 12/13 we plan to appoint a national procurement manager and the role will take responsibility for engaging suppliers towards a mutually beneficial relationship and improved sustainability outcomes.
Our dealer sustainability program is mandatory for all authorised Fuji Xerox Australia dealerships to participate. It is now in its fifth year and there are annual performance reviews against the three level program established to guide and gauge the maturity of our dealers sustainability management and outcomes; and how they support their customers sustainability objectives. The program encourages networking between the dealerships to share their challenges and ideas to improve performance, as much as collaboration with Fuji Xerox Australia. Annually we present a number of awards to recognise outstanding performance by our dealerships and dealer sustainability champions.
“There is no doubt that our participation in this program has been of enormous benefit to us. Sustainability is now one of our core values and is well embedded in the company. We do not do it just because it is the right thing to do. We do it because it has proven to be very good for business. Not only have we reduced our waste handling costs by over 20 percent, and our building energy costs by 14 percent across the board during 2011, it is helping us sell machines. Consideration of the environment is increasingly at the forefront of customers’ minds. Our first formal sustainability report is in demand from our account managers and is proving a valuable tool in the sales process to quickly and comprehensively establish our environmental credentials.”
Keirran Downham, Fuji Xerox Business Centre Tasmania, Dealer Principal.
Fuji Xerox Australia’s approach to government relations has been to focus on the policy developments that directly impact our business. This has led to us playing a significant role in the development of electronic waste regulation, such that what we consider business as usual in end-of-life product stewardship may become common practice across our industry. We also work through the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) on other relevant policy matters, such as the development of minimum energy performance standards and the adoption of ICT sustainability standards in government procurement policy.
Without doubt, the main focus of Fuji Xerox Australia’s work with government has been to advance extended producer responsibilities across the IT sector. The work we have been doing in conjunction with the AIIA culminated with the enacting of the federal government Product Stewardship Act 2011, with associated regulations governing the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.
In relation to broader and more complex sustainability issues such as the introduction of a carbon price in Australia, we have tended not to take a political position that would influence contentious policy developments. Instead our efforts are focused on managing carbon emissions at every stage of the value chain, including usage at our customers’ sites.
With the need for corporate sustainability leadership becoming more pronounced, Fuji Xerox Australia is giving increased consideration to the role that we can now play in broader public debates on sustainability, including influencing government policy. We will take opportunities to align with independent non-government organisations that promote views consistent with our own in promoting more sustainable practices through government and public forums. Conscious of our growing business and community footprint, where the development of public policy in relation to our material sustainability issues would benefit from our involvement, we will consider how we can best influence debate, whether it be related to social policy, innovation or diversity matters.
With our head of sustainability in Australia now leading sustainability for all Fuji Xerox operating companies in Asia Pacific, our role in regional sustainability developments has become greater. Fuji Xerox Australia can both influence and be impacted by this development. Our sustainability management and marketing models are being modified for regional use, while our policies and strategies are increasingly informed by regional developments. The development of a regional paper procurement committee to resolve supplier issues around sustainability risks is just one example of this.
Materiality processKnowing that stakeholder inclusivity is a work in progress, in 11/12 we modified our materiality process to place more emphasis on external interviews and the analysis of external information, relevant to our sustainability journey. We also asked our newly formed sustainability advisory board to provide comment on our draft material issues register and to help us prioritise those issues. This is the first time stakeholders outside our organisation have played a formal role in that exercise.
This board is made up of representatives from peer companies, customers, suppliers, the investment community, universities and environmental non-government organisations. The board meets twice annually and its mandate is to provide input to our materiality process, comment on strategy, provide guidance on strategic changes in direction and policy, and review our sustainability report and annual performance. Our managing director takes an active role in the board and is keen to ensure the representation of the board and its discussions deliver pragmatic value to the business.
Our first two board meetings were conducted in 11/12 providing the opportunity to brief our board members on our organisation, our strategy and sustainability journey. The third meeting took place after the end of the year under review and was focused on the materiality process for the production of this report. Some very useful insights were shared about how we can align our emerging risk management approach with materiality.
Feedback was that the risk management and materiality review processes should seek to inform each other to increase the effectiveness of both processes, and add value in decision-making and planning for the company. We will look to align the roadmap for the materiality and risk processes to match the strategic rhythm of the business so that voice of stakeholders can add greater value to the planning and review process in 12/13.