Sustainability at Elders
One of the key strategic priorities of Elders’ third Eight Point Plan (1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023) is developing and delivering an authentic and industry leading sustainability program which acknowledges and builds on the initiatives which Elders participates in and leads throughout rural and regional Australia, for and on behalf of the entire agriculture industry.
We believe that an authentic approach to sustainability drives profitability for our organisation and shareholders and builds a better business for our stakeholders to associate with, invest in and work in.
Download our 2020 sustainability report here:
Our approach to sustainability is driven by the following key principles:
Community Impact and Investment
Through assisting generations of Australian farmers over the course of more than 180 years in business, Elders recognises that our long-term sustainability depends on maintaining strong relationships with the communities in which we operate.
We support local communities through investment in local events and organisations and by maintaining a physical presence in the communities we serve.
Workplace Health and Safety
Elders is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe work environment. We strongly believe that nothing done in the course of our business is so important that it cannot be done safely, and that an effective safety culture is a critical and non-negotiable corporate objective.
Elders’ dedicated safety, risk and environment business partners deliver safety training and perform audits and incident investigations. We partner with AgSafe for added training and external auditing, and third parties for additional training on specific operational risks, such as chemical and livestock handling and driver safety. Recognising that mental health is also an important issue in our industry, we offer free, confidential counselling to our workers and their immediate family through our Employee Assistance Provider, which is accessible face-to-face and remotely.
The success of our business is reliant on us attracting, retaining and developing the best people in agriculture, and we have a number of programs and initiatives in place to support this.
Employee Attraction and Retention
We source talent by leveraging our network, through our graduate and training programs and through external advertising and recruiters. Our centralised human resources team ensures all proper documentation and processes are provided and followed when we onboard staff.
We also have several programs and initiatives in place to support role succession and new talent acquisition.
More information on how we manage and support our people is available on our website, Careers.
Diversity and Inclusion
We recognise that a diverse and inclusive workforce is critical to achieving our objective of attracting, retaining and leveraging talent. Our Diversity Policy (available in our Investor Centre) sets out the key elements of a diverse organisation and the value derived from embedding diversity throughout our business.
We recognise that diversity and inclusion incorporate much more than gender, however, given the significant gap in the representation of women in leadership positions across the agricultural industry, redressing gender imbalance is the current focus for our diversity program.
We recognise the importance of protecting the environment in sustaining agricultural productivity, and several of our operations are subject to State, Territory and local environmental legislation.
Key environmental issues for our business and for the Australian agriculture industry generally are: climate change, water availability, severe weather and waste management. Each of these topics are addressed in our Sustainability Report. We are progressively aligning our climate-related financial disclosures with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
An understanding we share with our growers is that the way that we treat animals affects our reputation and the relationships we have with our stakeholders, including our suppliers and customers.
Elders is committed to the humane and considerate treatment of livestock and maintaining the welfare of animals in its care.
This commitment is set out in our livestock handling and animal welfare policy. Our staff are also guided by industry standards and are required to comply with all local laws and regulations relating to handling animals.
Employees dealing with livestock as part of their roles receive livestock handling training and our operations at Killara Feedlot are regularly inspected and audited by management and external veterinary consultants to ensure we are caring for our animals in alignment with the standards and guidelines endorsed by the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association.
Digital & Technical Services
Ensuring we can provide our customers and clients with the goods and services they need is critical to our economic sustainability. In a constantly changing and challenging environment, this requires investment in and the delivery of digital and technical services.
Elders supports a number of agricultural technology providers and invests and participates in research, development and innovation through Titan Ag, Elders Plant Genetics and the Thomas Elder Institute. Information on developments and research is shared throughout our website (in particular Tech Services) and to our clients and the broader community through our network of agronomists, meeting with clients personally and demonstrating new technology on trial sites like the Struan Best Practice Farm in South Australia.
Over the next few years we will continue to progressively modernise our IT and data platforms to drive efficiency, improve experience and support deeper customer understanding.
Our One Elders Values are integral to the way we do business and set the behavioural expectations of all employees and Directors. We believe that positive behaviour drives Elders culture, which in turn contributes to our sustainable success and growth.
Our corporate governance framework seeks to inform and guide adherence to our values and our Board maintains regular engagement with senior management, to ensure that our values are aligned with what we do in practice.
Information regarding how our organisation is governed, including the structure and operation of our Board and governing committees is available in Sustainability Report. Additional information about how we manage material business risks is available in our 2020 Annual Report and our most important governance policies are available in our Investor Centre.
For more information about sustainability at Elders, please click below to contact us.