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Review of Sustainability Report 2010. Doing the right thing for the long term from Lion Nathan Limited.
Lion Nathan National Foods: On the right track to doing the right thing
By Serena de Kretser (Net Balance) on November 03, 2011 at 3:04pm.
Lion Nathan National Foods (LNNF) is Australia’s largest food and beverage company, whose portfolio of businesses includes many of Australia and New Zealand’s favourite food and drink brands. Lion’s products include milk, juice, cheese, other dairy products, soy beverages, beer, wine and spirits. The company is a significant purchaser of agricultural goods and also an integral part of the retail, hospitality and tourism industries in Australia and New Zealand.
The title of the report, Doing the Right Thing for the Long Term, aptly describes LNNF’s approach to producing this report and embedding sustainability into its core business practices. The report begins by giving a clear outline of its scope, the company’s approach to sustainability, the process for identifying material issues and stakeholders, significant issues impacting on the broader industry sector (such as sustainability in the dairy industry, and healthy eating and drinking) and sustainability targets. The ‘Targets’ section outlines quantitative group-wide targets covering areas such as water usage, energy consumption, injury rate and ISO14001 accreditation.
LNNF’s report is well structured and user-friendly. The report can be downloaded as a pdf but functions best as a web-based interactive report, with each section on a separate tab linked to additional pages. Sub-issues are listed in the table of contents and the GRI Index at the back, cross references where indicators have been reported on and the extent of reporting against them.
LNNF has not declared a GRI application level for this report, and the information has not been externally verified. This is understandable as it’s LNNFs first consolidated report , but to achieve best practice, LNNF should seek external assurance for future reports. LNNF’s effort at incorporating the GRI Guidelines and Framework and the description of the company’s sustainability approach and materiality assessment provide confidence that LNNF has taken into account the full range of issues at stake for a food and beverages company.
• It may be worth highlighting the most material (critical) issues in the introductory or materiality section of the document. Currently each issue is discussed equally, which makes it difficult to determine what the most pressing issues are likely to be. • Discuss negative performance in more detail and provided strategies to address performance shortcomings in future.
Serena de Kretser is Senior Associate at Net Balance, a sustainability advisory services firm with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and London. www.netbalance.com