Corporate Social Responsibility

Citywide has a proud history of providing services and support to the communities in which we operate and where our employees live, work and play. Through our Corporate Social Responsibility Program, we are committed to providing shared value for our host communities, our customers and our business. Our approach to corporate & social responsibility is framed by four key issues of concern to our customers and their community constituents:

 

– Education, Training and Jobs

– Environment & Sustainability

– Homelessness, Social Justice and Well-being

– Youth Opportunities

 

We are proud to support and partner with community organisations that are addressing such critical social issues. As a services company, we pride ourselves on maintaining and enhancing community assets and being actively involved in local communities; engaging with them to make positive social changes.

 

CW – CSR Diagram

Partnerships

Through our Community Engagement Framework, we partner with selected social enterprises, charities and not-for-profits who share our corporate values and who are strategically placed to help solve the key issues of concern to our customers.  Click through to view  our current partner social procurement and community organisations  (opens in new window).

 

Employee Volunteering

At Citywide, our staff proactively contribute over and above the day job to the wellbeing of their local communities and other social concerns further afield. This support varies from community to community and is demonstrated in a variety of ways, including the provision of paid leave for staff to volunteer with a community concern.

 

Financial Support & Matched Funding

Citywide proudly supports selected not-for-profits, charities and social enterprises with in-kind pro bono services, products and support. We also provide financial support to several partners to support them in meeting their strategic objectives, including matching funding from individual staff fundraising efforts.

 

Diversity & Inclusion

Having a social licence to operate is integral to our shared value approach with the community and all our stakeholders, with the common goal of fostering greater social cohesion. This supports our commitment to promoting diversity, equality and inclusion across our company without discrimination and we actively seek to create employment opportunities for the economically disadvantaged, disabled, CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities and indigenous interests.

This policy covers all operational and administrative offices and sites of Citywide and subsidiaries such as Technigro. It also takes into account the company’s capabilities and capacity to resource (staff, financial; operational; equipment, etc.).

 

Responsible Sourcing

Citywide and its subsidiaries including Technigro are committed to responsible sourcing practices.

We regularly review our operations and supply chains with the aim of ensuring that we, our suppliers and third-party business partners operate without infringing human rights. We do not tolerate any form of modern slavery practices including child or forced labour. Access our Modern Slavery Statement here (click to download). 

To help us achieve our aim, if you become aware of any related concerns, we encourage you to let us know by contacting us through this website (click through to Contact page).

 

Sustainability

Our goal is to minimise our environmental footprint and to inspire and equip our people with ‘world’s best’ sustainability standards to effectively manage the environmental aspects of our operations, whilst ensuring continuous improvement and zero harm to the environment and communities in which we work.

We use a market leading environmental data management platform to manage and monitor energy usage and costs across all of our operations. The data allows us to monitor our carbon generation and provides us with information to evaluate initiatives developed and implemented to reduce our carbon footprint.

We are also a foundation partner in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP). Through this program - led by our parent the City of Melbourne Council - we will purchase renewable energy through a wind farm being constructed for the MREP in regional Victoria.

Planting a new spirit of collaboration in Knox

Jul 12, 2021, 00:04 AM
Knox City Council, like many Melbourne municipalities, collaborates with its residents on the selection of trees for their suburban streets.
Title : Planting a new spirit of collaboration in Knox
Featured? : No
Item date : Jul 11, 2021, 14:00 PM

IT'S ONE of the toughest balances to strike in the world of urban infrastructure: how many trees and which species should we plant in our residential streets?  Everyone knows how critical tree canopy is for providing shade and cooling, and mitigating against the effects of a warming climate. But anyone who’s lived in a city also knows that trees drop leaves in our drains, stain car roofs, crack footpaths, and push their roots deep into our sewage and water pipes.

The City of Knox, like a growing number of Melbourne councils, has been looking at different ways of giving residents a say in the selection of trees for their suburban streets.

For several years, Knox Council has operated a simple online forum through which it informs residents which trees are going to be replaced in their street, and then gives them a vote on potential species to replace them. The process not only helps ensure that new plantings please the locals, but that they suit the location and soil conditions, support the local ecosystem and wildlife – and don’t wreck the footpaths.

“Trees are such an emotive issue that you really need a system that gives everyone a voice,” says Trent McGowan, who has led Citywide’s work with Knox Council since the company secured its first contract in 2015.

“More and more Melbourne councils are realising this these days, and Knox was one of the early adopters of an online system that provides a fair and democratic basis for selecting our trees. You’re never going to make everyone happy – but this is about the closest you will get!”

Citywide has been the principal contractor on Knox’s tree-planting program since 2016, and has just secured a six-year renewal of their contract which will take them through to 2027.

It’s a particular source of pride to Trent, who has built up such a trusting relationship with Knox, that the local capital projects officer Ryan Ferguson often engages him in helping to select the best seed stocks and saplings, as well as resolving some of the conflicts that residents have with local trees.

Trust between teams

McGowan has been at Citywide for eight years, and has led the trees team servicing Knox for the past four. Like many in the trees business, he’s come to develop a deep level of trust for his four-member team, so if ever there’s ever an emergency – a tree down, a time-pressing planting schedule – he knows he can leave the day-to-day work to them.

With a tight planting schedule between May and August, and an almost continuous program of tree assessment and replacement informed by everything from local infrastructure plans to the latest climate science, there’s never a quiet day for the Citywide crew.

Every year, over 2,500 new trees are planted across Knox, each of which has to be watered, mulched, measured and monitored every month for the first two years of its life – after which its care is handed over to the council.

Outside planting season, the Citywide team has to do regular pruning and ‘reactive works’ on trees that may pose a danger to people or property, as well as attending to trees that have been pulled up or damaged by vandals.

“It’s non-stop work, basically,” says Trent. “But having a really dedicated and knowledgeable team and a great bunch of colleagues at Knox who are really approachable and easy to work with, makes it so much easier.”

The shift to natives

In keeping with the growing preference for native species on our sidewalks, Knox Council mostly recommends indigenous flowering trees to residents, such as sugar gums and other Eucalypts, Banksias, Lophostemons and Angophoras.

“The shift to natives is mainly because of climate change and the need to select suitable trees for the future,” explains Trent. “These past few years we’ve really seen this trend accelerating. Knox are very strong on this, and we really value their support for this movement.”

So has Trent noticed any changes in the local environment himself?

“I’ve noticed that certain species like maples are becoming harder to establish, and are struggling more in the Australian climate,” he says.

“The clay soils in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs can be really challenging, and tough for establishing new trees. There are places where it’s difficult to gauge the moisture content and how much watering will be required. In some places it can be too wet even in the summer – and you start losing your trees to rot.”

But Trent says his team’s close relationship with their council counterparts makes challenges like this much easier to face.

“We always discuss the nature of the soil in each site, the drainage and likely moisture retention, when we’re looking at trees that will suit a particular location. Plus, the amount of pruning that will be needed, weed management, mulching – we talk about a lot of stuff!”

Partnerships may not always make things perfect, but they certainly increase the likelihood of a productive outcome.

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Media Contact:
Simon Mossman - Group Corporate Communications 
M 0427 307 216 
simon.mossman@citywide.com.au
Content type :
  • News
Content category :
  • Asset Management
  • Arborist
  • Sustainability
  • Tree Services
  • Urban Forester
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