Coles donates record food volumes to vulnerable Australians

In a year when many Australians experienced severe hardship as a result of COVID-19, Coles donated record food volumes – equivalent to more than 35 million meals – to its community partners to help feed Australians in need.

The food donations were a key component of an unprecedented community contribution in FY21, as Coles worked with customers, team members and suppliers to contribute $143 million in support1to communities across Australia.

As revealed in Coles’ 2021 Sustainability Report released today, the $143 million in community support comprised more than $124.4 million from Coles in cash, in-kind support, management costs and time, and $18.6 million contributed by Coles’ customers, team members and suppliers from activities such as fundraising.

Coles’ in-kind support included more than 18 million kilograms in food donations – equivalent to over 35 million meals – from its supermarkets and distribution centres to national community partners SecondBite and Foodbank, to feed Australians facing tough times.

Coles has donated the equivalent of 185.2 million meals to people in need since forming partnerships with SecondBite in 2011 and Foodbank in 2003.

Achievements also outlined in the Coles 2021 Sustainability Report include:

  • 80.6% of solid waste diverted from landfill, compared with 76.7% in the previous year;
  • Committed to no more giveaways of plastic or recycled plastic collectible toys;
  • More than 1.6 billion pieces of soft plastic returned to our supermarkets since 2011 through a recycling partnership with REDcycle;
  • 2.2% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions compared to FY20;
  • Announced four renewable electricity agreements, bringing the total number of agreements in place to five – which will enable Coles to purchase more than 70% of the renewable electricity required by FY25, once the agreements commence;
  • Approximately 4% of Coles team members identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • Awarded Gold Employer status in the 2021 Australian Workplace Equality LGBTQ+ Inclusion Awards;
  • 87% of Coles Own Brand and Coles Own Liquor Brand primary packaging is now recyclable;
  • $4 million in grants from the Coles Nurture Fund announced in FY21 to fund innovation projects for small Australian food producers;
  • Broadest range of RSPCA Approved products of any major Australian supermarket;
  • 15.7% improvement in total recordable injury frequency rate compared to FY20;
  • 2,000 leaders completed safety leadership training and 80,000 team members completed safety refresher training;
  • Achieved our biggest year-on-year improvement in the percentage of women in leadership, reaching 36.5% in FY21, and “Excellence Award” in Australian Human Resource Awards 2021 for Best Graduate Development Program.
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