Additional sustainability information
 
     
 
Bidvest Foodservice- Asia Pacific

Sustainable development at Bidvest Foodservice- Asia Pacific

Bidvest Australia is well advanced with its strategy of establishing Australia’s first truly national foodservice distribution network, offering a complete range of food and food-related products and services.  Bidvest Foodservice-Asia Pacific embraces its customers’ sustainability aspirations and expectations and works to meet this shifting demand by investing extensively in training and productivity. We acknowledge our responsibilities to the environment by carefully considering natural resources and by building responsible environmental stewardship into our partnerships with suppliers.

For further information, contact us at sustainability@bidvest.com.au or through our website www.bidvest.com.au

Click here to download the Bidvest Australia sustainability report

Material sustainable development issues

  • food safety and product integrity
  • effects of the economic downturn on consumer spending patterns 
  • water shortages and restrictions in certain locations
  • increasing government regulation to reduce carbon emissions
  • competition for labour, putting pressure on human resource management

Introduction

Bidvest Foodservice Asia Pacific comprises Bidvest Australia, Bidvest New Zealand, Angliss Singapore and Angliss Greater China. Bidvest leads the foodservice industry and offers a full end-to-end national distribution service. Through Angliss Hong Kong, Bidvest Foodservice- Asia Pacific operates in the developing Chinese market, with distribution centres in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen, Guangzhou and Macau.  Bidvest Australia is the largest operation in Bidvest Foodservice- Asia Pacific. In Australia, sustainability and environmental concerns are driven by high customer awareness and growing government legislation, encouraging us to think positively and creatively about our obligations to society. Despite the economic slowdown, our New Zealand operations address sustainability challenges in a positive manner and have embarked on a series of initiatives that will enable the business to grow as a valued corporate citizen. Operations in Singapore and Hong Kong are strongly affected by the economic downturn, but are taking up sustainable business practices as tools to improve cost structures and market offerings.

For Bidvest, sustainability is a total concept. It is the product of deliberate business actions to ensure long-term survival and has three themes – People, Profit and Environment.  Sustainability is integral to our business.

ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

Employees

Bidvest Australia maintains a fair wage and salary structure in accordance with Federal and State legislation and as per industrial agreements negotiated between management and staff. The level of remuneration is generally above the industry sector standard.

Equal opportunity

Australia is a diverse nation and our workforce reflects this diversity with staff from numerous racial, cultural and religious backgrounds. Diversity is reflected in all levels of staffing. Bidvest Australia has well-developed policies on equal opportunity employment, harassment and discrimination.

Our reporting to the Equal Opportunities for Women in the Workplace agency is well regarded and we have been able to record significant achievements in advancing the rights of women in the workplace.  Some examples are:
  • over 29% of our national and regional managers are women
  • for the first time, a woman holds the position of assistant general manager at Bidvest’s largest distribution centre in the Asia Pacific region – Brisbane.  This executive is also sales manager at this business unit
  • the coveted Frank Vale Award for the outstanding young achiever of the year – one of the most coveted in the distribution business – went to our female distribution manager for Bidvest Brisbane
  • the first diplomas to be awarded by the Bidvest Academy in Australia went to two women staff – one diploma was for logistics, the other for business management

Customers

Our “one-stop-shop” philosophy allows our customers to maximise efficiencies in purchasing and reducing unnecessary costs, by offering a wide selection of products and services, competitive pricing and the ability to make payments through a single transaction.

Suppliers

Bidvest Australia boasts a dedicated Quality Management System that incorporates ISO 9001:2008, Codex HACCP (Food Safety), OH&S, Environmental Sustainability and Corporate Governance issues.  The Bidvest QMS also provides consistency within the group encouraging greater efficiencies and savings to enhance the sustainability of Bidvest, its customers and suppliers.

Affected communities

Bidvest is committed to actively participating in and improving the communities in which we operate. At a Corporate level, Bidvest is a substantial contributor to the broader Australian community and charitable organisations. However, we do not believe that this is the responsibility of Corporate alone. Every business unit is a member of its local community and they are expected to play their role in being good corporate citizens.  As a result, many local charities and community organisations receive support from their local Bidvest business units.

ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE

Authorised in April 2008, Bidvest Australia’s environmental policy recognises the division’s responsibility to the environment and commits all operations to minimise the company’s carbon footprint while encouraging business partners to do the same.

The company is committed to creating a work culture in which environmental concern is integral to our business operations rather than a series of short-term reactions and initiatives. Our environmental policy is central to the way we do business and affects all relationships in our supply chain.  Our policy emphasises the need to develop appropriate organisational strategies and the importance of understanding how each business unit and employee can make a difference.

Major tenders are now placing greater priority on environment and ethical compliance to be successful. This is a challenge to sales staff not accustomed to this shift in approach. Following the loss of some business, we are conducting strong awareness programmes with all staff on the importance of managing the societal and environmental aspects of our product offering.

Carbon footprint

Bidvest Australia is required to report to the National Greenhouse Emissions Reporting Act (NGER) and the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act.  Following the lowering of threshold levels for mandatory greenhouse emission reporting, we are now required to expand our set of reporting criteria substantially, giving us wider control over our environmental impact, in particular our impact as a result of indirect energy used.

Use of resources:

Energy

Bidvest Australia continues to replace high energy lighting in its warehouses and offices with energy efficient lighting.  The Clayton warehouse in Melbourne has trialled new energy efficient lighting with dramatic results, both in reduction of energy and costs, but also in improvement of lux levels.  They are planning to implement these new lights throughout the warehouse.  Other business units are also running or investigating similar programmes.

Water

Recent rains have alleviated the water shortage in many parts of Australia.  However, Australia remains a dry continent and Bidvest Australia continues to provide water saving features in its warehouses through the introduction of Water Efficiency Management Plans throughout the group and new truck washing facilities that use collected rainwater and/or filter the water before being fed back into the natural environment.

Fuel Usage

Bidvest has been promoting the use of ethanol based fuel (E10 – 10% ethanol) and there has been a significant increase in the amount ethanol based fuel over the past year.  This year, 170 000 litres of E10 were used against 120 000 litres for the comparable period in 2009, representing an increase of 40%.

The use of LPG has fallen 19% over the past year, from 13 000 litres in 2009 to 12 000 in 2010.

Despite our continuing expansion, the overall use of fuel decreased % over the past year from litres in 2009 to litres in 2010.

Bidvest Australia is also continuing its fleet replacement programme through the purchase of more efficient delivery vehicles, resulting in reduced fuel usage and further noise abatement.

Alternative energy usage

We investigated the potential for using alternative energy resources rather than coal generated electricity.  However, the cost of alternative energy supplies was virtually twice our existing cost structure.  At this stage, alternative energy is considered to be unviable.  We will continue to encourage reduce electricity use by the business units wherever possible through the installation of energy efficient lighting, energy efficient equipment and turning off unnecessary equipment and lighting when not in use. 

Recycling

Bidvest Australia has implemented a national recycling programme that will be rolled out into all business units as their existing contracts expire.  While the implementation is still in an early stage, the reports indicate substantial savings in costs to the company as well as the increased benefits to the environment.

Information technology

Over the last 12 months the Bidvest IT Department has undertaken a number of projects to lower the impact of Bidvest’s computing systems on the environment.

Carbon footprint

Applications have been developed which enables Bidvest to reduce its carbon footprint (e.g.: electronic storage and retrieval of Proof of Deliveries results in less paper being used) and the ability to better track aspects such as Electricity and Water usage.