Suppliers and partners
The quality of relationships with our key suppliers and partners will determine our business outcomes. We aim to establish and maintain good relationships and to take a collaborative approach to resolve our differences.
We have taken our first step in systematically engaging with suppliers and partners on the issue of sustainable business practice, and have sought their view on how easy we are to do business with and our sustainability performance.
In April 2009, we asked 1520 suppliers to complete a survey to rate their satisfaction with our performance against our sustainability code and ‘being easy to do business with’. We received 216 responses. Some of the suppliers who responded asked us to follow up with them, which has encouraged conversations about sustainability. We also identified areas where we can work with our suppliers to encourage sustainability practices into the future.
The results indicated that overall our sustainability practices are perceived as strong, and that we are easy to do business with. See the results in table 16 and more detail in figure 19.
In June 2009, we invited 20 of our key suppliers and two of our partners to provide us with a self-assessment of their own sustainability performance against our sustainability principles. They were selected on the basis of having the biggest impact on our sustainability and expenditure and were spread across widely varying industry sectors.
We received 12 responses, 11 from suppliers and one from a partner. These showed a high degree of self-assessed sustainability which is shown in figure 20.
This two-way sustainability survey and its results will help open discussion about sustainability practices with all our suppliers and partners. We plan to continue the surveys on a regular basis.
One of our key partners is the CLP Group, with whom we own the joint venture Roaring 40s. During 2008/09, we agreed with this partner to the sale of Roaring 40s’ assets in Asia. This move has provided a solid capital base for capturing emerging renewable energy growth opportunities in Australia, after three years of extensive development in Asia. Roaring 40s continues to operate as a 50/50 joint venture.
We completed our formal partnership with Acciona, which was our joint venture partner for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Cathedral Rocks wind farm project. This project is now complete and has been transferred to the Roaring 40s’ portfolio. Our relationship with Acciona is positive and continues on an informal basis.
We have a joint venture with the South Australian Water Corporation - Lofty Ranges Power Pty Ltd - to operate and develop mini-hydro power stations in the South Australian water system.
Our relationship with this partner remains solid. We continued to explore ways to grow the revenue from the mini-hydro opportunities, with each partner contributing its particular skills in the operation and development of mini-hydros.
Hydro Tasmania also has relationships with many community and interest groups with whom we form a partnership to work on a project or find a solution to a shared issue. We refer to these groups and their issues throughout the report.
This year we established two more formal partnerships through memoranda of understanding to establish project partnerships for land and water sustainability management with NRM North and the Cradle Coast Authority. Our three-year formal partnership with Greening Australia continued for environmental projects.