The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Home / case studies / Case study: How Sydney Airport is promoting the safety and security of airport users

Case study: How Sydney Airport is promoting the safety and security of airport users

As Australia’s primary gateway, handling over 40% of all international and 44% of all domestic and regional passengers within Australia – and an essential part of the global transport network, connecting Sydney to 44 international, 22 interstate and 22 regional destinations –, promoting the safety and security of airport users is a key priority for Sydney Airport  Tweet This!.

This case study is based on the 2014 Sustainability Report by Sydney Airport published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate that CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly is achieved by identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders and by measuring, managing and changing.

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From providing essential security infrastructure and a comprehensive safety management system to protecting the airspace, ensuring Sydney Airport is a safe and secure operating environment is a top priority. After measuring and setting targets, Sydney Airport took action to implement a security management system, provide “security with service”, undertake emergency planning – Sydney Airport maintains an Airport Emergency Plan (AEP) in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation and Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations and standards –, introduce a revised Safety Management System (SMS) and, also, protect passengers and airline staff on board aircraft from the safety risk posed by wildlife strikes.

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2014 Sustainability Report Sydney Airport identified a range of material issues, such as transparency and communication, aviation and climate change impacts, managing noise impacts on nearby communities, employee engagement, development and wellbeing. Among these, as Australia’s primary gateway, handling over 40% of all international and 44% of all domestic and regional passengers within Australia, promoting the safety and security of airport users stands out as a key material issue for Sydney Airport.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Sydney Airport engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Passengers

 

·         Customer Satisfaction Survey

·         Airport Council International (ACI) Customer Quality of Service Survey

·         Posters around the terminal

·         Airport Ambassadors

·         Lost property service

·         Direct feedback via email, website, social media and phone

·         Competitions requesting ideas on improvement

·         Access to app to directly report cleaning or maintenance issues to the duty teams

·         Multi-lingual app and website

Airlines

 

·         Airline Operators Committee T1

·         Airline Operators Committee T2

·         Aeronautical Capital Investment Consultative Group

·         Airline satisfaction surveys

·         Joint Passenger Facilitation Meetings

·         Common User Terminal Equipment User Board

·         Airport Emergency Committee

·         Day-to-day communications as part of relationship and operational management

Employees

 

 

·         Staff Engagement Survey

·         Consultative groups

·         Day-to-day communications as part of operational management

·         WHS Staff Committee

·         Staff newsletter

·         Exit surveys

·         Staff briefings

·         Service Star program

·         Performance reviews

·         All staff bulletins and emails

Community and local

government

 

·         Sydney Airport Community Forum

·         Planning Coordination Forum

·         Community updates in local newspapers

·         Stalls at local community events

·         Letterbox flyers

·         Local council briefings

·         Informal engagement through community sponsorship programs and other initiatives

Border agencies

 

 

·         Day-to-day communications as part of operational management

·         Planning and facilitation management review

·         Border agency operational and customer focus area review

·         Strategic airport management

Airport service providers (incl. tenants and suppliers) ·         Communication briefings

·         Consultative groups

·         Day-to-day communications as part of operational management

Investors

 

·         Annual General Meeting

·         Results announcements

·         Regular briefings for institutional investors and ratings agencies

·         Investor roadshows covering Australia, Asia, Europe and North America

·         ASX releases

·         Traffic announcements

·         Institutional and Retail investor events

Tourism bodies ·         Regular meetings as part of collaborative efforts to attract airlines to Sydney

·         Participation in and partnerships with business and tourism events in Sydney

·         Overseas delegations

Industry

associations

·         Attendance at meetings, conferences, functions and events

·         Briefings on specific topics (where current or relevant)

NSW Government

and agencies

 

·         Regular meetings with relevant agencies, e.g. Emergency Services, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and Destination NSW

·         Briefings for Members of Parliament and/or Members of Legislative Council on topics of interest

·         Operations, major events and incidents

Australian Government and agencies

 

·         Regular meetings with Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

·         Briefings for MPs and/or Senators on topics of interest

·         Day-to-day communications as part of operational management

·         Airservices Australia

·         Emergency Management Australia

Media ·         Briefings to media groups

·         Airport tours

·         Dedicated media releases

·         Liaison in response to specific requests

·         On-call media phone

Regulators ·         Regular engagement with Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

·         Civil Aviation Safety Authority

·         Regular meetings with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development – Office of Transport Security

·         Work Cover (incident reports and investigations)

·         Airport Coordination Australia

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

The issues and related performance information included in Sydney Airport’s 2014 Sustainability Report were determined through a materiality process that was guided by the AA1000 Accountability Principles Standard (2008) and the GRI Reporting Principles of stakeholder inclusiveness, sustainability context, materiality and completeness. The process involved:

  • Interviews with representatives of each of Sydney Airport’s key stakeholder groups to understand their views of Sydney Airport’s sustainability performance and the issues of highest interest or concern to them;
  • Research and analysis by Sydney Airport’s sustainability consultants, Banarra, to identify and prioritize the sustainability issues of greatest importance to Sydney Airport’s stakeholders and greatest relevance to Sydney Airport’s operations;
  • A workshop involving Sydney Airport’s CEO and Executive Leadership Team to review and validate the issues identified through the materiality analysis and then rank these issues according to four criteria:
    • The relationship between the issue and Sydney Airport (i.e. the boundary of the issue)
    • The level of control Sydney Airport has over management of the issue;
    • The likelihood of the issue affecting the decisions and actions of Sydney Airport’s stakeholders; and
    • The significance of potential impacts related to the issue on people, the environment and the economy.
  • Using the workshop outcomes to guide the report structure and the nature and extent of reporting for each issue; and
  • Mapping each material issue against the GRI aspects and disclosures to select those of greatest relevance for inclusion within the report.

What actions were taken by Sydney Airport to promote the safety and security of airport users?

In its 2014 Sustainability Report Sydney Airport set the following targets for promoting the safety and security of airport users, based on the company’s approach to materiality – on taking action on what matters, where it matters:

  • Implementing a security management system

Security management is carried out in accordance with the regulatory obligations specified in the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005. The security management system is described in Sydney Airport’s Transport Security Program (TSP). The program sets out in broad terms Sydney Airport’s security risk context, mitigation measures and emergency and contingency plans. Sydney Airport regularly reviews, updates and seeks approval from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development for changes to the program. Sydney Airport coordinates the management of aviation security with other parties, including Commonwealth agencies that have responsibilities for, or are connected with, aviation. An aviation industry participant security guide is provided to all industry participants located on Sydney Airport with an understanding of the security management system. Sydney Airport is focused on maintaining a strong security culture, investing in regular staff security awareness programs. Specific communications were issued in response to the increase in Australia’s National Terrorism Public Alert Level in September 2014 to ensure everyone working at Sydney Airport continued to maintain the highest security standards in order to protect passengers, staff, visitors and the airport itself. The security awareness program at Sydney Airport is supported by a national aviation security awareness strategy called Airport Watch. This community approach, similar in principle to Neighbourhood Watch programs, not only focuses on identifying suspicious activity, but resolving it on a real time response basis.

  • Providing “security with service”

Sydney Airport engages a government licensed and professionally qualified security service provider. Along with passenger and checked baggage screening, the main security functions that are undertaken by Sydney Airport’s security service provider include airport perimeter patrols, airside/terminal/landside foot patrols, gate access control and general CCTV security surveillance and alarm monitoring. “Security with service” is viewed as critical to the end-to-end passenger experience at Sydney Airport. Screening officers are trained in accordance with Sydney Airport’s Service Standards. In 2014, all passenger screening supervisors attended a Customer Service Recovery Training Program focusing on conflict resolution. Sydney Airport seeks to minimise the impact on passengers and staff without compromising safety and security or compliance with legislation. In the case of matters relating to security operations, personal information, including sensitive information, may be collected in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

  • Undertaking emergency planning

Sydney Airport recognises the importance of broader community confidence in the airport’s plans for responding to emergencies and in the capabilities and readiness of emergency staff, airlines and other service providers to implement these plans. Sydney Airport maintains an Airport Emergency Plan (AEP) in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation and Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations and standards. The AEP is accessible to all airlines that operate at Sydney Airport as well as state and federal emergency services. It addresses events such as natural disasters and critical systems failures, as well as casualty issues. Any disruptions or emergency events could also significantly affect service quality at the airport and these disruptions are minimized through a policy and procedure for coordinating the response with airlines, Airservices Australia and state and federal agencies where required.

  • Introducing a revised Safety Management System (SMS)

In 2014, Sydney Airport implemented a revised Safety Management System (SMS), which sets out, in broad terms, Sydney Airport’s safety risk framework. The SMS has 10 key safety elements that cover the health and safety of all passengers, visitors and airport staff:

  • Commitment to safety;
  • Strategic planning and continuous improvement;
  • Consultation and communication;
  • Risk management;
  • Contractor management;
  • Emergency management;
  • Incidence reporting and investigation;
  • Learning and development;
  • Information management; and
  • Performance review.

The SMS recognises the importance of having a robust and holistic safety management system which incorporates and integrates Sydney Airport’s approach to Aviation and Work Health and Safety, while being dynamic enough to cater for future changes in the operating environment. The SMS was designed to meet the requirements of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1998, Civil Aviation Safety Authority Advisory Circular 139.16 and the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations 2011. It is reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure continuous improvement.

  • Protecting passengers and airline staff on board aircraft from the safety risk posed by wildlife strikes

Wildlife strikes can pose a significant risk to the safety of passengers and airline staff on board aircraft and managing these risks is a key priority for Sydney Airport. The Wildlife Management Program is developed in conjunction with a contracted ornithologist under the Wildlife Services Contract. The Airfield Operations Manager is responsible for delivering the wildlife management plan and the ornithologist works closely with the airfield operations team, providing expert advice and undertaking active and passive wildlife management. Regular management reports which contain short or long term recommendations are provided to the Airfield Operations Manager. In 2014, there were 58 confirmed wildlife strikes out of a total of 327,190 aircraft movements, representing a strike rate of 1.77 per 10,000 aircraft movements.

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicator addressed in this case is: G4-PR1: Percentage of significant product and service categories for which health and safety impacts are assessed for improvement and the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 416-1 Assessment of the health and safety impacts of product and service categories

 

References:

 

1) This case study is based on published information by Sydney Airport, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

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