We look at more than our financial performance when we measure our achievements. We care just as much about the social, environmental and economic impacts we create in the community.
We try to work in ways that give lasting benefits to the communities that we operate in. Our aim is to create positive social, environmental and economic outcomes as our business grows. We change our approach for each community to make sure we deliver the best outcomes.
Our corporate citizenship program, called Energy for Life, is just one way we’re working towards a better future for the Australian community.
Established in 2003, Energy for Life gives our employees the opportunity to get behind the causes they are passionate about, through employee giving, volunteering and fundraising.
AGL also aspires to make a genuine difference to the causes we are dedicated to, through our partnerships with community organisations.
From FY19, Energy for Life is supporting two key initiatives:
- A partnership with The Smith Family to support their national flagship peer-reading program student2student. The strategic alignment between AGL’s work in social and economic inclusion and The Smith Family’s work in breaking the cycle of poverty through improving educational outcomes for young people, makes this initiative the perfect match for AGL.
- The Powering our Community Solar Fund. Under this new initiative, AGL employees are able to nominate local community groups to receive an AGL-donated and installed solar system. An employee-based committee selects the most worthy entries, based upon their contribution to social and economic inclusion. By directing funds to this initiative, AGL will be able to maximise local community engagement and encourage employee support for local community organisations.
The Smith Family is a national, independent charity supporting young Australians in need to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves.
Our partnership with The Smith Family
AGL has embarked on a six-year partnership with The Smith Family to support their national flagship peer-reading program student2student which has a national footprint of 1,500 participants from disadvantaged backgrounds across Australia.
We share The Smith Family's belief that education has the power to transform lives and break the cycle of disadvantage, and as such, we're proud to partner with The Smith Family to support this national flagship program.
The reading gap in primary school between the lowest socio-economic students (SES) and the highest SES is equivalent to almost three years of schooling*. Poor readers are less motivated to read, so they read less and continue to fall even further behind. An increase in reading age and reading ability frequently correlates to an improvement in educational achievement.
Evidence indicates that one of the best ways to support students who have reading difficulties is for the help to come from others near their own age. The student2student program pairs students who are behind in their reading age with trained Buddies (typically high school students) who work with them to improve their reading skills.
Partnering in research
We're also proud to support The Smith Family with further research and longitudinal tracking to help build a better picture of where the Learning for Life program recipients end up in their journey into the workforce or further education.
This will assist The Smith Family in measuring the outcomes of the Learning for Life program - a priority we both share in developing and implementing effective, evidence-based programs.
Community support - employee volunteering
Our employees are passionate about being active in the community. Be it providing support to residents in an aged care facility, undertaking habitat protection or conservation work or providing food for people facing homelessness - AGL employees are always ready to lend a helping hand.
To encourage community volunteering, we give our employees one paid workday a year to donate their time and skills to a community group or cause of their choice.
You can find out our target for employee volunteering participation in our annual Sustainability Report. In FY18, 20% of the workforce recorded a volunteering leave day and we are proud that this represented over 5,000 hours of community work by our people.
Volunteering not only delivers genuine social outcomes for the communities our people belong to, it also helps improve our work environment as it fosters important teamwork and leadership skills.
In FY18, AGL partnered with GoodCompany to provide our people with an online platform (Power to Give) whereby they have access to donate and fundraise for over 400 charities. This gives our people more choice to donate to charities that matter to them.
What’s more, Energy for Life matches all payroll donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000 per employee per year, doubling our employee's donations!
AGL employees also have a proud track record of fundraising for charity. In FY2018 alone, AGL employees raised nearly $41,000 (including Energy for Life matching donations) through AGL events. The new Power to Give platform enables our employees to create their own fundraising pages and Energy for Life will match fundraising pages up to $1,000 per fundraising page.
* Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2011, Review of school funding final report