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.

Recycled cardboard’s potential as building materials

Nov 17, 2021, 13:00 PM
Citywide joins RMIT researchers to test recycled cardboard as the next ‘building block’ of carbon-conscious cities.
Title : Recycled cardboard’s potential as building materials
Featured? : No
Item date : Nov 17, 2021, 13:00 PM

RESEARCHERS at RMIT University have reached out to the Innovation team at Citywide to join them in two pioneering projects that could see thousands of tonnes of waste cardboard gain a second life in the trusses and walls of commercial buildings.

The concept is so appealing to an increasingly carbon-conscious building industry that both projects have been selected among 10 initiatives to be awarded Recycling Victoria Research and Development Fund – Materials grants from the Victorian Government, through Sustainability Victoria.

Citywide will provide the waste cardboard as well as transport, logistical support and strategic advice to the projects, which involve creating a treated cardboard mixture to replace aggregates in the production of concrete panels, and testing ways to increase cardboard’s tensile strength as a replacement for timber trusses.

The first project, led by Professor Rebecca Gravina from RMIT and titled “Re-qualifying cardboard waste to develop light-weight precast concrete structures”, is being undertaken with construction consultants Enviromesh and has been awarded $200,000 in funding. The trusses project led by Dr Srikanth Venkatesan, is run with engineers from Intrax, and has been given $91,000.

Dr Srikanth ‘Sri’ Venkatesan, a senior lecturer at RMIT, believes the projects could hold the key to a whole new outlook for waste cardboard.

“A lot of people have done research in plastic and glass, but cardboard hasn’t really held the same attraction to researchers, despite its proven strength in many contexts,” says Sri. “We believe there are multiple ways to repurpose cardboard, and we’re really excited to see what we can do in the lab to make it stronger and more durable for high-volume structural uses.”

The successful grant applications were supported by Citywide’s Sustainability Manager Claire Bright open in new window icon and Innovation Manager Liam Crowley open in new window icon, who met Sri and his colleague, Professor Rebecca Gravina, when they were sourcing used coffee grounds – also as a potential replacement for sand in concrete.

“Concrete production is one of the most carbon-intensive processes in the world, so to find alternative source materials for low-carbon concrete would be a real boom for the construction industry,” says Liam.

“We’re thrilled that RMIT has reached out to us, as a university that’s clearly committed to developing practical products for sustainable construction. We know there are many ways that cardboard can be recycled, but if RMIT’s researchers can prove that it can replace timber in trusses and a percentage of aggregates in concrete, that would provide a really compelling contribution to our circular economy.”

Sri Venkatesan believes the cardboard research projects are just the tip of a very appealing iceberg.

“I’ve toured the recycling demonstration plants at Dynon Road and I know how committed Citywide are to helping the City of Melbourne and other councils become more responsible with their waste,” says Sri. “This commitment to the circular economy is so important for everyone these days, and it’s particularly important for our students and researchers, who’ll be leading the development of our cities in the future.

“I believe there’s great potential for Citywide, RMIT and the industry partners involved in these projects to develop longer-term relationships and explore other uses of cardboard and other recycled waste streams in sustainable construction methods.”

Stringent strength tests

For the concrete project, RMIT will crush and shred the baled cardboard and mix it with recycled plastic resin and other additives to form an aggregate that it will test as a replacement in the production of precast concrete wall panels for residential and commercial buildings. “By the end of 2023, we hope to develop an aggregate mix that will create lightweight panels that are strong and durable, affordable to produce, and provide good thermal and acoustic insulation”, explains Professor Rebecca Gravina.

Similarly, with the trusses project, RMIT researchers will reinforce the structural architecture of different types of cardboard and then invite Intrax to trial their load-bearing strength. “I imagine that we’ll have to trial our samples multiple times to find the best ways of strengthening them, and also study their fire resistance and moisture proofing to see which approach function most like timber,” says Sri.

“Both of these projects will need to tick off a long list of technical prerequisites, to make sure that they fully comply with Australian building codes and standards.”

The trusses project will be the first out of the blocks, with researchers hoping to have a working prototype – or even two or three options – by the end of 2022. “Intrax has great contacts with large-volume builders in the residential market,” says Sri, “and we’re also seeing signs of a long-term shortage of timber in the industry – so the need for sustainable timber alternatives is only going to grow.”

Announcing the R&D grants last month, Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said: “The projects funded by these grants will reduce waste through design innovation and create more value from our resources. Facilitating innovation projects like these will help to build our circular economy, and reach Victoria’s goal of reducing 80% of waste sent to landfill by 2030.”

For more details on Recycling Victoria’s R&D grants: https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/grants-funding-and-investment/funded-projects/recycling-and-reducing-waste/recycling-victoria-research-and-development-fund-materials-grants

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Media Contact:
Simon Mossman - Group Corporate Communications 
M 0427 307 216 
simon.mossman@citywide.com.au

 

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