Divisional Reports

Australian Food & Petrol

Woolworths is Australia’s largest supermarket chain, operating 961 supermarkets and 516 petrol sites across Australia. We rely on more than 115,000 hard working employees in stores and support offices to provide our customers with superior service, range, value and convenience.


Health and Nutrition

We are the largest retailer of fresh food in Australia and one of the largest in New Zealand. For our Own Brand products we have undertaken a range of initiatives to improve their nutritional value, while also making sure that the labelling is clear for our customers to make informed decisions about the products they purchase.

Woolworths was the first Australian retailer to adopt the Australian Federal Government’s voluntary Health Star Rating System, as part of our commitment to helping customers make healthier choices.

The system allows customers to make quick and easy comparisons between packaged foods within a category, based on their nutritional profile. The more stars, the healthier the choice. Since the scheme was rolled out, approximately 19% of our Own Brand portfolio has now applied the star rating.

Animal Welfare

Woolworths has committed to phasing out cage produced eggs and to stop using them as an ingredient in our Own Brand products where egg is a defined ingredient. Since we announced this intention, we have phased out all Own Brand caged eggs from our stores. Less than 47% of all eggs sold in our Australian Supermarkets were produced in caged farm operations.

By December 2014, Woolworths fulfilled its commitment to source all Own Brand fresh chicken from farms that are Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Approved (or equivalent).


Responsible Sourcing

In 2015, an estimated 8,340 tonnes of seafood sold at seafood counters in our Australian Supermarkets was certified sustainable by credible third parties, including 2,390 tonnes certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC ) and the remainder through one of the aquaculture certification programs.

Food Waste

Woolworths set an ambitious target to remove food waste from its waste stream by 2015, and a significant amount of progress has been made thus far.

Since making this commitment in 2007, we have continued to divert food waste to other beneficial means of reuse. Most of our solutions to reduce food waste are supported by successful partnerships with external parties.

We have also recently launched a new food rescue partnership with OzHarvest, which will allow for further diversion of food to those in need.


Local sourcing

Our customers are always looking for good quality products at the best possible price, and they also want to support local suppliers. Research has shown that 86% of customers believe that locally produced foods should be more readily available in their supermarkets.

‘The Odd Bunch’

An estimated 25% of edible fresh fruit and vegetables are thrown away, due to visual imperfection or cosmetic damage, every year in Australia.

Supermarkets set high quality standards for produce as we know that is what our customers prefer, but our national roll-out of ‘The Odd Bunch’ program challenges that trend.

Through the program, we offer produce that doesn’t look perfect, but still tastes great, is nutritionally the same and comes at a discounted price. We moved quickly on this program, getting the offer into all stores, with 31 products in the range and specific labelling to engage our customers with the offer.

‘The Odd Bunch’ has been bought by 12% of our customers and 21% of them had not bought those products with us before. This has delivered 20,000 tonnes of produce sold which might have otherwise been wasted.

This initiative is a prime example of creating shared value where farmers benefit from more of their crop being sold, Woolworths benefits from sales and a more diverse offer, and customers benefit from a cheaper choice of healthy fresh produce.

Community Investment

Woolworths Supermarkets continues to support a broad range of charity partners, from national campaigns to local community groups.

Nationwide, we support the state Agricultural Societies to deliver agricultural shows in cities and towns. These shows, apart from being a lot of fun, expose the public to the farmers who grow the food that our customers want.

More than $2.7 million is invested in these shows.

Total investment $25.8 million
Cash $8.4 million
Customer fundraising

$11.2 million

Staff time $5.8 million

Food Waste Diversion Hierarchy











Woolworths Liqour Group

Woolworths Liquor Group continues to be the national leader in drinks retailing, offering our customers a choice in formats: Dan Murphy’s (Destination), BWS (Convenience) and The Wine Quarter (Online).


Charter for ranging alcohol

The process of selling alcoholic products to our customers actually starts early, when we are first looking at a product that we might want to put on our shelves. We have 10 principles that are used to screen a product, helping determine whether it is suitable, non-offensive and does not appeal to minors.

Responsible marketing

Woolworths Liquor Group (WLG) is a supporter of programs run by DrinkWise Australia, an independent, not-for-profit organisation for healthier and safer drinking. Founded on industry leadership and community partnerships, DrinkWise develops and runs national information campaigns. We provide financial support and promote DrinkWise social marketing campaigns in our stores.

We follow the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) and abide by the ABAC adjudication process to ensure our Exclusive Brand products comply with the code. Our previously mentioned principles for ranging alcohol support our efforts to comply.

Responsible service of alcohol (RSA)

We train our staff on the responsible service of alcohol and they receive regular refresher training. We feel that the many programs we run surpass our regulatory requirements to not supply alcohol to minors or those already intoxicated.

Many of our RSA programs were developed by our business and have since been adopted by industry. The programs include:

  • ID25 – asking customers to provide identification if they appear younger than 25
  • ‘Don’t buy it for them’ – awareness of the dangers of supplying alcohol to minors
  • School uniform policy – refusing to sell alcohol to a customer in school uniform, even if they are 18 or older
  • Special event preparation – additional training for staff leading into events like Schoolies week



Our business has implemented its Good Buyer Principles, which sets out the standards our buyers should follow when dealing with suppliers. We require that all parties act with fairness and transparency when they deal with each other.

Principle 1: Fair and clear relationships
Principle 2: Clarity in marketing and promotional activity
Principle 3: Open, honest and early communication
Principle 4: Protection of intellectual property
Principle 5: Dispute resolution

White Ribbon

White Ribbon is a global male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. White Ribbon Australia aims to engage boys and men to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to and perpetuate men’s violence against women.

In 2015, we raised more than $158,000 to support White Ribbon through merchandise sales in BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores.

Total community investment by Woolworths Liquor Group


New Zealand Supermarkets

Countdown is the main brand for Progressive Enterprises Limited’s owned and operated stores, with 177 supermarkets throughout New Zealand. We are one of New Zealand’s largest employers, and we partner with thousands of suppliers and farmers, and with dozens of local and national charities.



In New Zealand, Woolworths is committed to HeartSAFE, a voluntary collaboration that brings together the food industry, the Heart Foundation and other food experts to set targets for sodium reduction in high-volume, lower-cost foods.

To date, over 90% of our breakfast cereals and processed meats have met the HeartSAFE targets, and we are well underway to reducing our bread sodium content to further align with lower Australian targets. Sodium is also being reduced in a further seven categories. We are on track to deliver these commitments in the next two years.

Partnering with Work & Income

In May 2014, Countdown began a partnership with government agency Work & Income New Zealand (WIN Z) to support people in accessing employment and fostering retail careers. Since then, we have seen a total of 382 people take up roles in Countdown, Fresh Choice and Super Value stores throughout New Zealand.


Carbon Emissions

Since 2007, the business has grown its physical presence by 37% (including new stores and expansion during refurbishments), but the implementation of energy efficiency and low carbon technology has resulted in carbon emissions increasing by only 1.8% above its baseline emissions.

Countdown uses third-party transport providers to transport goods from distribution centres to stores. By working with our transport providers to improve our logistics network and planning, we have reduced truck fuel usage by 3.5% from the previous year.


Jobs and Employment

During the year, we opened five new stores and re-opened another, with more than 400 people working in locations such as Orewa, Hauraki Corner and Vogeltown. Over the last three years, we have invested more than $485 million in new stores.


New Zealanders want to spend their money on locally grown produce or locally made products. Working with more than 4,000 local farmers and suppliers, we deliver a great choice of locally produced meat, fruit, vegetables and fish.


Countdown will also review its community investment strategy in the coming year, but in the meantime we continue to provide valuable support to charities and programs.

Since 2007, our annual Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal, which involves in-store fundraising initiatives, has raised NZ$8.2 million for children’s hospital wards around the country. Almost NZ$1.3 million was raised in this year’s appeal, thanks to the generosity of our customers, staff and suppliers.


in Community investment

New Zealand sourced – fresh (in NZ Supermarkets)

Note: Fruit and vegetables exclude produce that cannot be commercially grown in New Zealand.

General Merchandise

BIG W and EziBuy continue to provide Australians and New Zealanders with value choices for branded and Own Brand general merchandise. BIG W operates 184 stores and EziBuy has five stores in New Zealand. Both businesses have a strong online presence.


Animal Welfare

Our customers expect that all of our Own Brand products will be produced to high standards of animal welfare.

BIG W does not use animal testing in its Own Brand products, particularly in the area of personal care and cosmetics.

BIG W and EziBuy have committed to not selling any products made from Angora wool.


Ethical Sourcing

BIG W seeks to ensure that the people who are making the products we sell are being treated fairly.

We are a signatory to the Accord on Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety, an independent agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces. The program involves independent safety inspections of factories, with retailers assigned to take the lead on following up on corrective actions.

In the previous year we collaborated with the Walk Free Foundation, The Salvation Army and the Uniting Church to develop a policy and implementation plan for stopping cotton sourced from Uzbekistan being used in our products.


Our BIG Heart Appeal continues to be the main avenue for contributing to the community. The Appeal supports the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick (NSW), The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation (QLD), the Bone Health Foundation Inc (SA), The Royal Children’s Hospital (VIC) and the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.


of Bangladesh factories audited on ethical sourcing standards before orders are placed


ALH Group operates 331 licensed venues and 558 retail liquor outlets across Australia. We are a market leader offering a diverse array of hospitality experiences, including sports bars, bistros, restaurants, cafes, retail liquor, accommodation, nightclubs, electronic gaming and wagering.


Responsible Gambling

ALH Group is committed to providing responsible gambling in our venues. ALH Group has a hotel and gaming charter that clearly demonstrates our commitment to responsible gambling.

ALH Group works with David Schwarz, a well-known former professional footballer and reformed problem gambler, as its Responsible Gambling Ambassador. David provides employee education and customer awareness about the importance of ‘asking for help if your gambling becomes a problem. Most importantly, David is available for our staff to discuss any gambling problems they or their families and friends may be experiencing.

Pre-commitment is a cornerstone of our responsible gambling plan moving forward. It is our intention to have pre-commitment functionality on every gaming machine in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia by the end of 2015. This will mean that our hotels will have pre-commitment functionality installed years ahead of planned legislation in most jurisdictions in Australia.

Responsible service of alcohol

ALH Group believes that individuals have the right to choose to consume alcohol in licensed venues as a form of social activity. We have a responsibility to deliver best practice in terms of our service of alcohol and to set a positive example to our customers and to other licensees.



ALH Group is proud of its involvement in the community, with hotels often being a community hub and meeting place. ALH Group works closely with many charitable organisations, financially supporting a diverse range of worthwhile causes ranging from seriously ill children to services supporting the families of armed services personnel.

In 2015, we contributed a total of $1.51 million to worthwhile organisations that include Very Special Kids, the Leukaemia Foundation, Bravehearts and The Salvation Army.

Total community investment by ALH Group


Home Improvement

Our Home Improvement division operates under two main brands, Masters Home Improvement and Home Timber and Hardware. Our presence in this sector continues to grow, with the operation of 58 stores under the Masters brand and Home Timber & Hardware operating 44 stores and wholesaling to 452 stores under the brand.


Our Masters and Home Timber and Hardware stores continue to be popular employment choices with older workers and tradespeople who are not yet ready to retire. More than 1,250 (14%) of our Home Improvement workforce are older workers.



The sustainable sourcing of timber and panel products is the most material environmental issue for this business. Sourcing timber from sustainably managed forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) continues to be a priority. We also source timber products which are certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certifications (PEFC) and have a range that has been DNA-tested to check whether it has come from legally logged forests.


Masters is Australia’s fastest growing hardware store and during the year we opened nine new stores. The division created more than 1,200 new jobs over the same period.

FSC certified


PEFC certified