GE has been part of the Australian landscape since the 1890s. We provided the infrastructure for Brisbane’s tramway and installed the electric motors that still power Sydney’s Pyrmont Bridge.
In Australia and New Zealand we invest in infrastructure, skills and technologies to help build jobs, grow businesses and deliver customer value in Energy, Oil & Gas, Transportation, Aviation, Healthcare, Lighting and Financial Services.
With over 6,000 employees and 67% growth in industrial business in 2011, Australia & New Zealand is a growth region for GE. The global headquarters for GE Mining will soon be based out of Brisbane, Australia.
GE Volunteers contributed more than 16,000 hours to local communities in 2011. We have a long history of getting involved and making a difference in all aspects of our local communities.
The GE Women’s Network connects, supports and inspires employees. Women take leadership roles in managing the network, but all employees can join in and benefit.
Together we are creating a culture of health in our workplaces. HealthAhead is GE’s long-term commitment to the health and well-being of employees and their families. It includes healthier food option, smoke-free work sites, physical activity and gym subsidies, stress management courses, health education, flu vaccinations and more.
Engaging in volunteer activities is an important part of our leadership culture, and we take great pride in assisting the communities where we live and work. To facilitate our volunteering efforts, we’ve developed strategic partnerships with key Community Partners across Australia and New Zealand, who dedicate their efforts to supporting the environment, health, education and those in hardship.
In 2011, our people contributed 16,600+ hours to supporting our communities. Throughout the year, 3,655 GE employees participated in 685 events, including fund-raising to support victims of natural disasters, working bees at local schools, tree planting with councils, and rebuilding wildlife shelters. Through our Custom Fleet business, we donated a fleet car to support the work of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and a refrigerated truck to help OzHarvest to solve its daily challenge of collecting and redistributing food to those in need.
In November 2011, GE Healthcare brought more than 300 Australian business leaders and healthcare professionals together to raise $100,000 for the McGrath Foundation. The McGrath Foundation is dedicated to supporting women who are being treated for breast cancer and their families, by funding breast-care nurses. The Foundation has a strong commitment to supporting women in regional and rural Australia. As part of the gala event, a panel of leading cancer experts discussed the findings of the new GE Healthcare–sponsored report on breast cancer care in Australia written by the Economist Intelligence Unit. ‘Getting it all together; Connecting Australian breast cancer care’ summarizes all of the latest efforts to detect breast cancer and treat and support women who are living with the disease.
In October 2011, close to 1,000 GE employee across Australia and New Zealand hit the streets for a sponsored “pink walk” to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research on Pink Ribbon Day. GE employees walked en masse sporting pink T-shirts in seven locations, including Melbourne’s Yarra River, Sydney’s Opera House, Auckland’s harbour as well as sites in Brisbane, Adelaide, Parramatta and Rydalmere.
GE in Australia & New Zealand is committed to developing innovative solutions to environmental challenges and reducing our own impact on the environment through changed processes, recycling and reuse of materials.
In 2011, we recycled 150 tonnes of paper from 130 sites. This saved 1,800 trees, 580 cubic metres of landfill, 600,000 kWh of electricity, 400 barrels of oil, 4,500 litres of water and 350 tonnes of carbon emissions. We also extended our reuse processes to include old furniture, carpet, and stationery items and, where possible, the donation of items to charity. In 2011, this donated items consisted of more than 20,000 square metros of carpet, 1,600 pieces of office furniture, 5,000 fluorescent tubes, 1,500 light fittings and 400 toner cartridges.
In our Capital business, we continue to encourage customers to shift to online statements by expanding our online service center. We strongly believe that when everyone does his or her part, the road ahead becomes a lot more promising for all of us.
Rainwater runoff from rooftops is captured to water surrounding gardens. There has also been extensive tree planting, with a strong focus on drought-resistant plants. We’ve reduced water usage by 300,000 litres through rainwater recycling and water-usage-economy measures.
GE Real Estate worked with AusIndustry to invest in new and innovative technologies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This has resulted in reducing CO2 emissions by 7,316 tonnes per year across nine facilities in Australia.
Localising ecomagination in Australia & New Zealand
In Australia, we are committed to achieving the new 2015 ecomagination goals of reducing our local energy intensity by 50 percent, GHG emissions by 25 percent and water use by 25 percent.
As an organization, GE has a strong commitment to improving the energy efficiency of its operations and to reducing our company’s GHG emissions. This commitment is one of the four pledges of the global ecomagination program. In line with this commitment, our building on Tangihua Street, Auckland, in New Zealand, is a 4-star green-rated building that was designed and constructed using sustainable building principles, including:
- 50 percent recycled construction waste
- 60 percent recycled steel used in the construction
- Low-toxicity environmental paints
- Environmentally friendly carpet
- Wood sourced from sustainable forests
- High ceilings to maximize natural lighting
- Highly efficient filtration systems and
- Environmentally accredited insulation
GE Lighting products were installed, which use about 50 percent less energy than standard lighting. Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems were installed with timers and sensors for our air conditioning and lighting, to ensure that we’re only lighting or heating areas of the building that are in use.
As water is one of our most precious natural resources, we need to preserve it where possible. On Tangihua Street, the bathrooms feature dual-flush toilet systems to reduce the amount of water we use, as well as efficient showerheads.
Employee Health and Safety
The GE EHS team in GE in Australia & New Zealand successfully drove 100% EHS compliance across all our sites, with zero fines or penalties, and achieved all goals and objectives set for 2011. The team has made provisions to comply with new requirements for readiness of business in the case of natural disaster, in accordance with the new Model Work Health & Safety Act & Regulations issues in 2012.
At GE Australia & New Zealand we support Earth Hour, the world’s largest global climate change initiative, every year, and all building lights and nonessential power are switched off in major sites. In addition, we encourage employees to shut off their computers and any additional lights in their office and at home.
Diversity in Australia & New Zealand
Women make up about 42 percent of the GE workforce in Australia & New Zealand. Diversity is a priority in the region, and some of the key initiatives to support the diversity strategy include:
The GE Women’s Network in Australia & New Zealand provides a specific forum to engage with female employees. The local program incorporates best practices from across the global GE Network that are localized to suit the Australia & New Zealand environment.
In 2011, the GE Women’s Network in Australia & New Zealand facilitated 155 events across five hubs (VIC/TAS, NSW/ACT, QLD/NT, WA, New Zealand), and reached out to 3,600 employees (of which 2,200 were women) across multiple events.
- GE A&NZ has set itself a target for female invitations to assessment centers, for entry-level leadership programs
- External agencies who undertake advertising campaigns on behalf of GE for leadership programs have been advised that advertisements should be attractive to female candidates
- Inclusion of female-participant profiles and sign-ups on GE’s Facebook community and marketing materials
- Exploratory discussions with local universities to engage female students through mentoring initiatives
- Assessment center panels and steering committees to contain a female leader representative
GE supported Robogals in 2011, an international, student-run organization that introduces young women to engineering and technology. GE’s support included a Board presence, pro-bono public relations, Learning & Development support, and sponsorship of their annual awards hosted at the GE Burnley site in Melbourne.
Other GE Australia & New Zealand programs that support diversity
Workplace flexibility, parental-leave policies, GE Parents’ Toolkit (support to parents and impending parents), Staying in Touch with GE, Returning to Work at GE, and Planning for Childcare.