Focus Areas



Our customers expect a consistently great shopping experience with the best range of products at unbeatable prices in a convenient location.

Our employees expect us to provide them with a safe workplace, where they are treated with respect and where they have the potential to grow in their careers.



Woolworths values diversity and aims to create a vibrant and inclusive workplace. We want our employees to feel valued at work, regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, beliefs, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Engagement and Valuing Our People

In this year’s employee engagement survey we had a participation rate of 80%, and an overall engagement score of 66%, which decreased by 2% compared to the previous year. This result falls below industry standards and our leaders continue to work with employees to better understand how we can increase engagement and make Woolworths a great place to work.


Woolworths provides a great opportunity for our employees to build a career. We use a mix of learning opportunities, including formal training (in ‘classrooms’ or online), on-the-job experience, mentoring and coaching.

Safety and Health

Destination ZERO is our vision for safety and health in Woolworths. It means a journey towards becoming one of the world’s safest places to work and shop.

At the time of preparing this report, Woolworths has reported a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTI FR) of 10.51, which is a reduction compared to the restated LTI FR for 20144. Of note, more than 1,200 of our sites did not have a lost time injury during the year.



indigenous employees1


employees with a disability2


of management positions held by women


hours of training


training courses


invested in training


trainees and apprentices3

  • Employees self-declare if they are indigenous in our engagement survey; this result excludes Woolworths Liquor Group, ALH Group and BIG W
  • Employees self-declare whether they have a disability in our employee engagement survey. A rewording of this question to include an example of visual impairment may have skewed the result if employees who wear glasses answered this incorrectly
  • Excludes New Zealand Supermarkets and ALH Group
  • LTIFR continues to update after the reporting period to capture any delays in reporting




>Our aim is to do more with less by using the natural resources of our plant more efficiently.

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Carbon Intensity1 (t CO2-e/$m EBIT) 881 838 841 793 808

Energy Intensity2 (GJ/$m EBIT)






Water Intensity3 (kL/$m EBIT)






Waste Intensity4 (T/$m EBIT)






Carbon Emissions

Use of low greenhouse gas emitting refrigerants, efficient redesign of customer-facing refrigeration cases, large scale adoption of efficient fluorescent light and then LED lighting, and improved energy management systems also delivered an estimated reduction in carbon emissions of more than one million tonnes, or the equivalent of operating an estimated 405 supermarkets as carbon neutral.

Our original initiatives have delivered estimated operating cost savings of $172 million, from $137 million in capital investment. Our next phase of energy efficiency, dubbed Project Enlighten, focuses on lighting technology and has the potential to save $100 million in operational costs annually when fully implemented.


Packaging plays a key role for retailers and brand owners. Significant resources have been invested in growing, processing and transporting the products that are on our shelves, ensuring all products are protected from the supply chain through to the pantries of our customers.

Woolworths has reviewed the packaging material of more than 3,000 Own Brand products. The products account for more than 34% of Own Brand sales and required the use of more than 32,300 tonnes of packaging materials.

Waste and Recycling

Managing waste is a key focus for the business. We are committed to key targets of zero food waste to landfill and increasing recycling rates, both of which will also help the business reduce operational costs.


By 2020, we aim to have zero net deforestation from commodities sourced for our Own Brand products.

In 2015, these products used 6,210 tonnes of sustainable palm oil. We have converted all our existing baseline of Own Brand food products to certified sustainable palm oil.

All of our Own Brand tissue, toilet paper and kitchen towel products are sourced from independently certified, sustainable sources.



reduction in carbon emissions

  • Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions only, from stationary sources
  • Energy use from stationary sources only
  • Estimated water use from Australian Supermarkets only
  • Waste to landfill from Australian Supermarkets, New Zealand Supermarkets and BIG W




Prosperity of our business is linked to the prosperity of our suppliers and the communities we serve and we contribute by creating jobs, economic activity, shareholder value and investing in our communities.

Jobs and Employment

In 2015, more than 43,000 talented people joined the business in Australia, New Zealand and other international sourcing offices. More than 23,000 of these were young people, many getting their first start in the workforce with us.

Woolworths Limited is the second largest private sector employer in Australia and the largest in New Zealand.


Suppliers are a critical stakeholder for the business, whether we are stocking their brands in our stores or if they are a supplier of products under our own brands. We must balance providing value to our customers with a fair return to suppliers.

The 2015 Advantage Report, which assesses retailer performance from quantitative and qualitative research, Woolworths’ overall performance was rate 6th out of the 17 retailers that were rated.

Better conditions for workers in our supply chain

We uphold human rights for our employees and those working in our supply chain.

We expect all our suppliers to comply with our ethical sourcing policy, which has a compliance audit program for factories making our Own Brand products. Production facility audits are prioritised based on human rights risks of countries as well as product categories.


Many Australian and New Zealand communities have a Woolworths business in their town centre. This provides us with the opportunity to engage with our customers, employees and suppliers to raise awareness of and contribute vital funding to charitable organisations and community programs.

Woolworths has a public target to give the equivalent of at least 1% of pre-tax profits to the communities in which we operate. Our 2015 pre-tax contribution was 0.7%.





Qld floods and Cyclone Yasi



Tasmanian bushfires, Qld and NSW floods



Blue Mountains bushfires, Qld and NSW drought



Hunter Valley storms




young employees1


paid in wages


in taxes paid


contributed to community partners

  • Young employees are aged under 25 years