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Corporate Responsibility

Responsible Business 

Hills is a company built on trust and responsible practices. Our customers, our suppliers and our shareholders expect us to operate ethically and responsibly. The Hills Code of Conduct details the principles and standards of personal and corporate behaviour to ensure our ongoing success. The Hills Code of Conduct (the Code) is supported internally by a number of policies which provide guidance on what is acceptable behaviour, requiring all Directors, managers and employees to maintain the highest standards of integrity and honesty.

The key points of the Code address the following:
  • Compliance with all laws, policies and procedures.
  • Dealing with third parties fairly and with integrity.
  • Our behaviour in the work environment.
  • Confidentiality and privacy.
  • Conflicts of interest.
  • The use of company assets.
  • Our responsibility to our shareholders as detailed in our Board Charter.
  • Environmental conduct of the business.
Any breaches of this Code are taken very seriously. The Code specifies that where a breach occurs, immediate and appropriate action will be taken. This may result in disciplinary action, termination of employment or legal action.
Hills adheres to responsible selection, functioning and governance of its Committees by its Board of Directors as set out in our Nomination Committee Charter, Remuneration Committee Charter and the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee Charter.



Values 

Our Company values are:

•     Heroic customer service that exceeds customer expectations.
•     Innovative approaches to products that provide solutions for people’s daily lives.
•     Leading change in our markets and teams that advance our mission and keep the business agile and dynamic. As leaders, we spend every dollar as if it is our own.
•     Learning that never stops seeding new ideas for our staff, customers and vendors.
•     Safe and considerate workplaces for all of our staff, and those who visit us.



Employees 

Hills recognises that the difference between a good business and a great one is people. This is why Hills is committed to attracting, developing and retaining the best possible talent who share our values and drive to make great.
Hills maintain an environment where equality, fairness and respect for each other, our customers, suppliers and shareholders is paramount. Our Workplace Diversity and Behaviour Policy underpins this objective.

Hills aim to meet our ongoing commitment to our people and diversity by:
  • Creating an environment where our people can achieve their career aspirations and balance their personal responsibilities.
  • Actively assisting our people to achieve their full potential.
  • Establishing Hills as an employer of choice.

Our Workplace Diversity and Behaviour Policy offers a number of working solutions so staff can balance personal and work commitments. Continued professional development is also extremely important to us. It’s why all of our staff have the opportunity to participate in a variety of learning and development activities, including participating in skills based, leadership and compliance training programs, traineeships, company funded tertiary studies, online learning and on the job training. Because our values are important to us, they also form part of our performance management system and our people are recognised for living our values.

The Board establishes a set of gender diversity objectives, with the aim to achieve these within two years.
The current structure shows that women account for:

 
Objective
%
Actual at 2017
%
Percentage of women on the Board 33 50
Percentage of women in executive positions 40 26.32
Percentage of women in the organisation 35 34.27


Hills is committed to further increases in these numbers in the year ahead.
All persons within the Hills Group have an obligation to maintain confidentiality of information and comply with the laws relating to insider trading as set out in our Securities Policy and Communication and Market Disclosure Policy.



Health and Safety 

Hills is committed to providing and maintaining a healthy, safe and supportive working environment.

We believe that a safe and clean workplace has central importance for the operation of a successful business. Likewise, we believe workplace injury and disease are preventable through the use of clear standards of work.

Hills maintain a Workplace Health & Safety Policy which outlines our WHS commitments and sets the broad goals for all workers and others in relation to understanding their rights and obligations regarding WHS; and accepting individual responsibility and accountability for working safely.

Our WHS Management System (WHSMS) consists of corporate policies, standards and guidelines put in place to support the objectives of the policy and formalise Hills’ commitment to continuous WHS improvement. Hills is committed to aligning this system with the requirements of AS/NZS4801 and conducting internal and external audits to assess compliance.

Hills regularly reports on WHS performance internally through a company-wide incident management system. Our primary goal for health and safety is to achieve Zero Harm.

Across the entire Hills Group, our policy is to always:
  • Ensure that building upon the future of Hills does not threaten the wellbeing, health or safety of our people, our partners or our customers.
  • Put the health, wellbeing and safety of our people, our partners and our customers ahead of the protection of our equipment, facilities or products.
  • Ensure responsible enforcement and management of our health and safety standards by our management.
  • Foster involvement of all of our people in the ownership and implementation of our health and safety standards.
  • Establish and enforce measurable targets to reinforce in our people the desire for continuous vigilance and promote behaviours which focus on eliminating workplace injuries.
  • Comply with all relevant legislation.
  • Manage and resolve all work related injury and illnesses, to support our people and maximise their potential to return to work as quickly as practical.

All staff and contractors are required to comply with the requirements of the Hills WHSMS including all relevant Legislative Requirements relating to WHS. Hills will treat any and all breaches of our health and safety standards quickly and seriously. In the event of a breach, the responsible parties will face disciplinary action which may involve verbal and written warnings, and in more serious cases, termination of employment. In the event of a law being broken, the responsible parties will be personally liable.



Environment 

We recognise the long-term importance of building and maintaining our reputation as being environmentally responsible. We are committed to reducing the impact of our operations on the environment and playing a part in influencing consumers and the broader supply chain. Hills maintains an Environmental policy, which details its environmental commitments and sets the broad goals for all staff and contractors in relation to their interaction with the environment. An Environmental Management System (EMS) consisting of corporate standards and guidelines is in place to support the objectives of the policy and formalise Hills’ commitment to continual improvement in relation to the way its business impacts upon the environment. Hills is committed to aligning this system with the requirements of ISO 14001 and conducting internal and external audits to assess compliance. Hills is committed to monitoring and addressing environmental risks across all aspects of its operations.

This is achieved by:
  • Complying with all relevant environmental laws, regulations and standards.
  • Internal and external reporting of environmental performance.
  • Developing standards that minimise any adverse environmental impacts resulting from its operations, products and services.
  • Setting minimum environmental standards for our suppliers to comply with.
  • Providing advice to our customers on the responsible use of our products.



Australian Packaging Covenant 

The Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) is a co-regulatory initiative by Government and industry to reduce the environmental impact of packaging through improvements in design, recycling and product stewardship.
Hills became a signatory to the APC in 2010 and has developed a five year action plan which aims to achieve improvements in areas such as:
  • Packaging material reduction.
  • Utilisation of recycled materials.
  • Procurement of environmentally sustainable products and services.
  • Waste avoidance, recycling, and take back arrangements.
  • Setting targets and tracking performance.
  • Consumer education.

Following the annual reporting process completed in August 2013, Hills was ranked as the highest performing signatory in the Home and Hardwares (large company) category.


Investing in Innovation

Hills has a long history of supporting events and initiatives in the community. This commitment to build locally is further reinforced with our establishment of the Hills Innovation Centre, which incorporates both the Lance Hill Design Centre and the Hills D-Shop. A joint partnership between Hills and the South Australian State Government, the Hills Innovation Centre will focus on supporting local innovators in the delivery of the next generation of products to market.

For more information about the Innovation Centres, please click here.



White Ribbon Australia Partnership

Hills Limited is proud to join the global effort to end violence against women through its role as a Partner of White Ribbon Australia.

White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male led campaign to end men’s violence against women. It is an organisation that strives for a society where all women live in safety free from all forms of men's violence by making women's safety a man's issue too. 

The campaign works through primary prevention initiatives involving awareness raising and education, and programs with youth, schools, work places and across the broader community. Globally, White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. Originating in Canada in 1991, White Ribbon is now active in more than 60 countries. 
 
Hills is proud to sign onto the campaign to violence-proof our workplace by providing financial support for the White Ribbon Ambassador’s program and the important research the foundation carries out.

Hills staff across Australia will be taking part in fundraising activities throughout the year including White Ribbon Day events.