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Amcor - Corporate Social Responsibility

Client: 

Amcor Limited

PR Company: 

Amcor Limited

Award Category: 

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2009 C15 - 7

Year: 

2009

Executive Summary: 

Amcor, a global packaging Company, aims to be a leader in supporting environmental and social initiatives in the communities in which it operates.

 

In Australia, Amcor has implemented a program to capture water from the roofs of its manufacturing plants and supply it to local councils and community organisations.

 

Through this innovative water collection project, Amcor has not only produced a solution to an environmental challenge, but has engaged with the community, local councils and co-workers (employees).

 

Nearly six million litres of water will be collected from the roofs of Amcor’s five manufacturing plants in Victoria over a full 12-month period.  A further six million litres of water will be saved through water-saving initiatives implemented at the homes of Amcor employees.

 

Through partnerships negotiated with the local communities, the collected water is supporting vital community assets, including sporting ovals and public amenities.

 

The project is ongoing. 

 

Water is continuing to be collected from the roofs of Amcor sites and provided to the local partner.  Additional sites across Australia will implement the project in the future.

Situation Analysis: 

Amcor has been operating a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program in Australia and New Zealand (known as teamcor) since 2005.  The Company recognises the impact its manufacturing operations and packaging products have on the environment and the role it can play in CSR.

 

In 2008, a commitment was made by Amcor to focus its CSR activities on water conservation across all sites and coordinate these activities centrally.

 

Given highly-publicised water shortage problems in Victoria and in recognition of Amcor’s large use of water, it made sense to direct CSR efforts towards conserving water.

 

The Company agreed to a water-giving project, which aimed to:

 

  • Encourage co-worker participation.
  • Conserve water.
  • Achieve mutual benefits for Amcor and its community partners.

This involved harvesting rain water from substantial roof areas of Amcor’s manufacturing plants in Victoria.  This water would then be provided to the local community. 

 

The approach provided an opportunity for co-worker involvement around water conservation and allowed co-workers and the community to develop partnerships for the distribution of collected water. 

Research: 

Work was undertaken to identify how much water could be harvested and its benefit to local Councils, organisations and the community.

 

The feasibility of partnerships with local community organisations was also assessed.

 

A trial communication project was undertaken to test communication materials and gain stakeholder input.  This trial helped to identify the best communication methods, key messages to ensure co-worker uptake and targets for that message.  Data was collected on the age and sex of co-workers, employment history, access to internal communication and language (many co-workers speak English as a second language).

Target Policies: 

The target audiences were identified as:

 

  • Co-workers. 
  • Site management - vital to drive the program at a local level.
  • The local community – this partnership was important to ensure harvested water was used to address a local need.
  • The broader community – public awareness to raise the profile and environmental credentials of Amcor, and to encourage other companies to follow Amcor’s water conservation lead.

Communication Strategy: 

Given the strong co-worker focus, the project required a communication plan that encouraged Amcor co-workers to participate in the program and produce outcomes for themselves, the community and the Company. 

 

A multi-faceted communication approach was identified as the best way to raise initial awareness, share information and seek engagement, particularly with the community.

 

The approach of harvesting rain water from the expansive roofs at Amcor’s manufacturing sites and giving this water to the local community to address a local need was designed to provide avenues for co-worker involvement in water conservation efforts.

 
In addition, it provided an opportunity for co-workers to engage with the community in which they lived and worked in a collaborative process to develop a partnership and distribute the collected water.

Implementation: 

The following activities were undertaken at five manufacturing sites across Victoria.

 

  • On site central point for communication materials – established to display general information about the project to engage co-workers. The noticeboard was big enough to fit a range of posters and information about the project.  (Poster examples are included in Appendix A.) 
  • Posters – were selected as a key communication tool for a workforce where many spoke English as a second language.
  • Management meetings –tool box meetings informed co-workers of the project.  These meetings are a vital part of the site’s everyday communication.  It was important to highlight the water giving project at these meetings to demonstrate site management’s endorsement, raise the profile of the project and offer an opportunity for q and as.  Communication materials included Powerpoint slides and a DVD.  The meetings demonstrated site management support, raised the profile of the program and provided the opportunity for questions and answers. (See examples in Appendix A for powerpoint slides.)
  • Project launch – all co-workers attended a launch. Certificates of appreciation were exchanged between Amcor and the local organisation and the winner of the ‘Think Tank’ competition was announced.  A number of launches on each Amcor site were required to ensure all shifts were covered. 
  • Incentives – a ‘Think Tank’ promotion was implemented to encourage co-worker participation.  A water tank and water saving hamper were offered as prizes to reinforce the water conservation message at co-workers’ homes.
  • Water engagement pack (to take the conservation message home) – included a brochure outlining the water giving project, water saving ideas for home and government rebate details, a shower timer, drink bottle, a Bluescope Water tank discount offer and an Amcor reuseable bag.  (A photo of the pack is in Appendix A.)
  • Showerhead exchange program – enabled co-workers to swap old showerheads for three-star water saving models.  The program helped to raise awareness about water conservation and provide another avenue for co-worker engagement following the official launch. 
  • Feedback and ongoing engagement – all ‘Think Tank’ suggestions were reproduced on a poster, a progressive tally of water harvested was displayed at the central focal point and articles were published in Accent (global co-worker magazine).  The magazine is distributed to co-workers at 214 sites around the world, raising the profile of the water giving activity and reinforcing Amcor’s global commitment to water conservation and the communities in which it operates. (See Think Tank poster and Accent article in Appendix A.)

Site-specific brochures for use by the Amcor site and the local partner were prepared and distributed to external stakeholders.

 

Media releases were prepared and distributed for each site.  (See examples in Appendix A.)

Large signs recognising the commitment to the water giving project were erected at the entrance to each site, specifically highlighting the benefit to the community through the partnership.

Results: 

The expected outcomes of this project were threefold:

 

  • Harvest and distribute rain water for a locally identified community need.
  • Engage co-workers around water conservation.
  • Establish local partnerships of mutual benefit to Amcor and the community.

Through partnerships negotiated with the local communities, the collected water is supporting vital community assets, including sporting ovals and public amenities.

 

Nearly six million litres of water will be collected from the roofs of Amcor’s five manufacturing plants in Victoria over a full 12-month period. 

 

The Cities of Kingston, Knox, Darebin and Maribyrnong are all benefiting from the CSR program, as are South East Water, Yarra Valley Water, City West Water and the Werribee Open Range Zoo. 

 

The project is ongoing.  Agreements have been finalised to provide water for a two-year period.  Water is continuing to be collected from the roofs of Amcor sites and provided to the local partner.  Additional sites across Australia will implement the project in the future.

 

Brochures prepared for each site for internal and external Amcor and community partner stakeholders were well received.  They were widely distributed by both Amcor and its relevant partner.  (See example in Appendix A.)

 

Given the newsworthiness of the initiative, local media coverage was strong.  About 25 articles were published in local press.  Local radio also covered the project.

 

A co-worker survey undertaken eight weeks after the launch revealed:

 

  • 94 per cent of co-workers thought it was a good idea to collect water from the roof at that site for use by a local partner.
  • 67 per cent talked to someone outside of work about the project.
  • 78 per cent said they were pleased to work for Amcor because of the water giving project.
  • 80 per cent read the water savings material provided.
  • 61 per cent used the shower timer.
  • 41 per cent said they had tried to reduce their water use at home.
  • 86 per cent said they had noticed the posters.

Evaluation: 

The involvement of co-workers was at the core of the program’s success.  Based on the feedback received during the survey, co-worked engagement was high, as was their support for the initiative.

 

Nearly six million litres of water will be collected from the roofs of Amcor’s five manufacturing plants in Victoria over a full 12-month period.  A further six million litres of water is being saved through the use of shower timers and three-star efficient showerheads.

 

The Cities of Kingston, Knox, Darebin and Maribyrnong are all benefiting, as are South East Water, Yarra Valley Water and Werribee Open Range Zoo. 

 

Based on these numbers, the communities in which Amcor operates are benefiting. 

Amcor and its co-workers have also established strong relationships / partnerships with these organisations through the delivery of tangible benefits to the communities.