2015-16
STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS
PROVIDE EXEMPLARY SERVICE
Our philosophy
Our customers
Yarra Valley Water is a customer service organisation.
Yarra Valley Water services approximately 30% of the
We provide the most essential of essential services that
Victorian population. The population in the Yarra Valley
are crucial to the health and wellbeing of the community,
Water region is expected to grow by in excess of 500,000
and a fundamental part of everyday life. This responsibility
people (25%) by 2036.
drives us to put the customer and our community at the
centre of everything we do.
We serve a culturally diverse population with 28% of people
in our region speaking a language other than English compared
with the Victorian average of 23%. Ratings for health and
wellbeing in the community we serve are consistent with
Victorian averages, while 87% of our customers believe
there are good facilities and services in their area.
MITCHELL
SHIRE COUNCIL
WHITTLESEA
CITY COUNCIL
MURRINDINDI
SHIRE COUNCIL
MURRINDINDI
SHIRE COUNCIL
HUME
OUTER NORTH
CITY COUNCIL
NULLUMBIK
CITY COUNCIL
MORELAND
DAREBIN
CITY COUNCIL
CITY COUNCIL
BANYULE
CITY COUNCIL
YARRA RANGES
YARRA RANGES
SHIRE COUNCIL
SHIRE COUNCIL
INNER NORTH
OUTER EAST
MANNINGHAM
CITY COUNCIL
MITCHAM ROAD
OFFICE
MELBOURNE
MAROONDAH
BOROONDARA
WHITEHORSE
CITYCOUNCIL
CITY COUNCIL
CITY COUNCIL
INNER EAST
STONNINGTON
CENTRAL EAST
CITY COUNCIL
MONASH
PORT PHILLIP
CITY COUNCIL
CARDINIA
SHIRE COUNCIL
N
OUTER NORTH
OUTER EAST
Top country of birth (excl. Aust)
Italy, UK, India
Top country of birth (excl. Aust)
UK, NZ, Netherlands
Access to internet at home
76%
Access to internet at home
79%
Speaks LOTE at home
34%
Speaks LOTE at home
6%
Top 3 languages
Turkish, Arabic, Italian
Top 3 languages
Italian, German, Dutch
INNER NORTH
CENTRAL EAST
Top country of birth (excl. Aust)
Italy, UK, India
Top country of birth (excl. Aust)
China, UK, Malaysia
Access to internet at home
72%
Access to internet at home
79%
Speaks LOTE at home
33%
Speaks LOTE at home
33%
Top 3 languages
Italian, Greek, Arabic
Top 3 languages
Mandarin, Cantonese, Greek
INNER EAST
Top country of birth (excl. Aust)
UK, China, NZ
Access to internet at home
81%
Speaks LOTE at home
23%
Top 3 languages
Mandarin, Greek, Cantonese
6
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16

 

Year in review
Complaints
Customer research
Our complaints per 1,000 customers, registered by the
Energy and Water Ombudsman at 30 June 2016, was 0.52
We have continued to undertake extensive research
and for the second consecutive year was the lowest of the
with customers and stakeholders to ensure our service
metropolitan water businesses.
aligns with what is valued - high quality drinking water
and reliable water and sanitation services at a fair price.
Customer-centric digital business
Following events of recent years, such as extreme drought
Meeting our 2020 Strategy commitments means transforming
and subsequent price increases associated with new water
Yarra Valley Water into a customer-centric digital business -
supplies, overall customer satisfaction levels have improved
one in which our digital services are organised for and
and remain strong at 88%.
around our customers, stakeholders and community.
Our new Digital Strategy answers the question: How
Overall customer satisfaction
should Yarra Valley Water evolve and adapt to thrive
(% result describes those who said the service met
in an increasingly digital world? It also defines the
or exceeded their expectations)
principles we will follow to complete this transformation.
2015-16
2014-15
Yarra Valley Online Water (launched in 2014-15) gives
our customers greater choice in how they interact with us.
Residential - Customer satisfaction
88%
86%
At 30 June 2016, 74,873 customers have registered and
Non-residential - Customer
86%
84%
160,828 transactions have been undertaken using the portal.
satisfaction
Along with other initiatives, the transactions processed via
self-service contributed to an 8% reduction in transaction
Residential - Satisfaction
90%
91%
calls to our call centre.
with service interactions
easyACCESS
Non-residential - Satisfaction
83%
84%
with service interactions
Our easyACCESS system streamlines and automates services
for solicitors, plumbers, builders and developers through
online processing and self-service. In 2015-16, we expanded
the service to the land development industry, offering direct
Activity-related customer satisfaction
access to land development applications. Approximately
Infrastructure faults
90%
90%
30% of developer customers are now using this system.
Telephone service
90%
92%
Outage map
In March 2016, we launched a publicly accessible interactive
faults and planned works map available through the Yarra
Valley Water website.
Integrated contact centre
This year we began a major upgrade of our existing customer
contact management systems. The project will see the rollout
of a modern technology platform for an integrated contact
centre service that enables staff to manage all types of
customer interaction more efficiently. We are also updating
our processes, practices, reporting and training to maximise
the benefits of this new technology.
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
7

 

2015-16
STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS
PROVIDE EXEMPLARY SERVICE
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community
Vulnerable customers
Customer satisfaction with our Language Other Than English
Affordability of water remains a growing challenge across
(LOTE) program continues to be very high. Approximately
Victoria. Recent studies identify that 42% of Melbourne
94% of all customers surveyed said that our LOTE service
households are particularly vulnerable to financial hardship.
was better than any other similar service they use. Over
We are striving to increase all of our customers’ knowledge
the last financial year we took more than 15,000 calls in
of the help available, particularly for those experiencing
Mandarin, Arabic, Greek and Cantonese. We have twelve
difficulty paying for essential water and sewerage services.
multi-lingual customer service officers providing a
Overall, 79% of our financially vulnerable customers rated
dedicated service for this customer segment.
their relationship and Yarra Valley Water service as better,
or much better, than other utilities.
With more than a quarter of our customers born overseas,
Yarra Valley Water is focused on the service and support
Choose Tap
we provide to our Cultural and Linguistically Diverse
(CALD) community. We have continued our strong focus on
In 2015-16, we continued to promote the benefits of
supporting CALD customers through ongoing consultation and
tap water as a positive alternative to bottled water
collaboration with our community partners. We expanded the
and other beverages through our Choose Tap community
development of our CALD communications, including print,
outreach program.
online and a series of animations. We develop these targeted
communications based on direct feedback from customers
One in five customers recalled the Be Smart, Choose
and advocate groups, and translate them into multiple
Tap campaign. Of these, 20% started using their own
languages as well as plain English.
refillable water bottle, 19% consumed more water
than before and 15% stopped buying bottled water.
8
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16

 

We have a specific program for children, encouraging
The increase in sewer service interruptions in 2015-16
them to drink water instead of sugary drinks. In 2015-16
compared with 2014-15 shown in the table above was
this program:
due to a longer and drier than usual summer peak period.
reached 17,926 children aged 3-5 years old and
In 2015-16, we worked to maintain reliability in water
9,297 primary school aged children;
and sanitation services by replacing 48 kilometres of water
pipes and 43 kilometres of sewer pipes that had reached
distributed 1,273 posters to Early Learning Centres,
the end of their service life.
educating kids on the importance of keeping hydrated; and
Maintaining the integrity of recycled water systems
distributed more than 3,250 Big Books About Water
to primary schools.
In October 2015, a cross-connection between the drinking
water and recycled water supplies was discovered at Mt
Service reliability
Ridley College, Craigieburn. Our recycled water is treated
to an extremely high standard and an independent health
Drinking water quality
assessment confirmed there were no reported instances
of illness as a result of the cross-connection.
Nothing is more important than providing our customers
with safe drinking water. Melburnians enjoy some of the
In response to this incident, we have undertaken an
best drinking water in Australia - its colour, smell and
extensive review of our policies and procedures regarding
taste are the envy of many other capitals.
the construction, operation and ongoing inspection of
recycled water infrastructure. We have identified and
This year we received 2.9 complaints for every 1,000
are implementing a number of improvements.
customers, compared with our record low result of
2.6 per 1,000 in 2014-15. The long-term trend in terms
of water quality complaints shows a steady reduction
in complaints. Water quality complaints this year
Sustainable Development Goals:
are 15% below the average for the last 5 years.
Customer research shows that 91% of customers are
satisfied with the overall quality of drinking water provided.
Water and sewer interruptions
2015-16
2014-15
Sewer service interruptions
12.1
10.8
per 1,000 customers
Water service interruptions
0.19
0.20
per 1,000 customers
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
9

 

 

 

2015-16
STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS
ENABLE EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCE
Our philosophy
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT SURVEY
(AON HEWITT) RESULTS - FEBRUARY 2016
Workplace culture is a critical determinant of business
performance. Over the last decade, Yarra Valley Water
has invested in developing a strong, vibrant workplace
culture and high levels of engagement, as well as
developing leadership capabilities of staff.
To track our workplace culture progress and develop targeted
improvement strategies we use a number of internationally
recognised benchmarking tools including:
the Aon Hewitt Employee Engagement Survey, which
provides insights on the perceived effectiveness of
workplace practices and is a key indicator of staff
engagement levels
the Human Synergistics 360 degree feedback tool (LSI),
which measures managers’ overall effectiveness

 

the Human Synergistics Organisational Culture Inventory
(OCI), which measures an organisation’s culture through
determining the expected behaviours within the organisation.
Year in review
In June 2015, Yarra Valley Water achieved a world-class

 

OCI result. This survey was not conducted in 2015-16
and the next measure-up will be in 2017.

 

Engagement
Developing our people
In February, we completed the Aon Hewitt Employee
Yarra Valley Water continues to invest in building the
Engagement Survey and achieved an overall engagement score
capability of our employees to deliver on our 2020 Strategy.
of 80% with a participation rate of 93.9%. When we undertook
The Leadership 2020 Program aims to strengthen both
the survey in 2014, our engagement score was 78% - well above
core behavioural and leadership capabilities in our people
the Australia and New Zealand average score of 57%.
managers. In 2015-16 we delivered programs including
“Difference-making conversations” and “Develop and Coach”.
The engagement score is based on responses to six questions
A personal development and wellbeing program for all
within three categories: Say, Stay and Strive. Each category
staff called “Thrive” was also delivered.
increased from the 2014 result:
Say: from 84.5% to 85.5%
Capability Framework
Stay: from 71.5% to 74.5%
The Yarra Valley Water Capability Framework describes
the critical capabilities that will enable us to achieve our
Strive: from 68.5% to 74.5%
2020 Strategic Commitments, and in particular, the
A significant increase in the Strive score indicates employees’
Extraordinary Performance commitment. In 2015-16,
willingness to ‘go the extra mile’.
we embedded the Capability Framework into every job
across the organisation, integrating the framework and
The results (in the following chart) show that 43% of staff
job capability profiles into our online Human Resources
are now ‘highly engaged’, representing a 15% improvement
system and people related processes.
from 2014 and placing Yarra Valley Water in the middle
of the top quartile of all organisations using this survey.
10
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
Diversity
Women at Yarra Valley Water
The diversity of our people is fundamental to extraordinary
Ensuring women’s full and effective participation and
performance. As an employer, we recognise our responsibility
equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-
to create an inclusive workplace and ensure equality and fair
making in political, economic and public life is a clear
treatment across the business.
societal expectation, and one of the targets within the
UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. As of the beginning
In 2014-15, the Board approved Yarra Valley Water’s
of March 2016, the proportion of women in leadership
Diversity Strategy - a roadmap to implementing the
positions at Yarra Valley Water is as follows:
programs, practices, measures and targets we need
to attract and retain a diverse workforce.
% Female
The Yarra Valley Water 2015-2018 Diversity Strategy
Directors
50%
articulates our commitment over the next three years
to ensure we implement programs, practices, measures
Senior leaders and people managers
38%
and targets that attract and retain a diverse workforce.
Overall workforce
48%
This year, we focused on gender equity and management
training, as well as a review of policies, processes
and practices.
Gender equality is a key priority in our diversity strategy.
In October 2015, we undertook a staff Diversity Census,
To ensure that we achieve gender balance, in 2015-16
to gain a better understanding of the make-up of the
we implemented a review of our recruitment policies
current Yarra Valley Water workforce. More than 80%
and processes, with a particular focus on ways to improve
of the workforce completed the survey. We will use the
applicant diversity, training our people managers to avoid
census data to ensure our people, processes, programs
unconscious bias, and examining our Code of Conduct
and benefits accurately reflect the needs of our workforce.
and supporting policies to ensure they support diversity
and inclusiveness.
Diversity Census key outcomes:
29% of respondents are born overseas with 10%
arriving in Australia in the last five years
14% of respondents are single, followed by 22%
in a relationship/defacto, 63% married and 1%
AT YARRA VALLEY WATER,
identified as widowed
38% OF MANAGERS ARE WOMEN
Just under 4% of respondents identified as
COMPARED TO 18.9% IN THE
non-heterosexual
ELECTRICITY, GAS, WATER AND
Four staff identified as Aboriginal or Torres
Straight Islanders (approximately 1%)
WASTE SERVICES SECTOR.
60% of the workforce have one or more children
Our workforce was a match for the diversity
Sustainable Development Goals:
of our customers (based on available data for
our area of operations).
To help increase diversity on our Executive Team,
we created a new “General Manager Intern” rotation
role, which has provided opportunities for developing
next-in-line management.
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
11

 

2015-16
STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS
WE MAKE EVERY CENT COUNT
Our philosophy
Year in review
We have an important role to play in sustaining Victoria’s
In 2015-16, we delivered significant efficiency initiatives
productivity. Melburnians do not get to choose their water
that reduced expenditure by approximately $20 million
supplier − this is determined by their location. We therefore
compared with our Water Plan.
have a responsibility to ensure that our services are delivered
as efficiently as possible. In doing this, we strive to reduce
We delivered these savings through a range of initiatives
pressure on household budgets. For business customers,
including business process improvements, exploiting the
it means ensuring that the cost of water and sanitation
functionality of new business systems and a critical review
services does not impact on their competitiveness.
of all expenditure, including the deferral or elimination
of some activities. These initiatives focus on the delivery
We continue to advocate for and participate in industry
of service outcomes at a lower cost, therefore capturing
benchmarking to create an environment to stimulate
real productivity gains across the business.
innovation and increase productivity, both for ourselves
and across the broader sector. We are also working in
We designed our new debt collection strategy to reduce
collaboration with the water industry to identify potential
the age and amount of outstanding debt, as well as reduce
savings through shared innovations and joint procurement.
the value of bad debt write offs. The new strategy helps
prevent customers from falling into deeper debt cycles,
Because most of our investment decisions are long-term,
which is consistent with our early intervention philosophy.
we have an obligation to make financial decisions that
The partnership arrangement with our mercantile agencies
optimise community value and inter-generational equity.
focuses on softer debt collection for very early aged overdue
debt. This new strategy is continuing to reduce the level
We manage our finances responsibly to strike a balance
of bad debts from $4.0M in 2013-14 to $4.5M in 2015-16.
between meeting our customers’ needs and ensuring
appropriate returns to the State Government. We pay a
During the first quarter of 2015-16, we applied a $100
return to the Government in the form of an annual dividend
credit adjustment on residential customer bills with usage
paid from operating profits, income tax equivalent payments,
charges. This was achieved through a range of initiatives
and a Financial Accommodation Levy, which is designed
including major productivity savings by Yarra Valley Water.
to ensure competitive neutrality, and an Environmental
The Government Water Rebate will continue to be applied
Contribution. The Government uses these funds to deliver
annually for the next two years, finishing in 2017-18. This
other benefits to Victorians.
rebate to customers will be delivered without compromising
customer service levels and will assist in taking pressure
We strive to operate at optimal efficiency by improving our
off customer bills.
business processes, eliminating waste and managing risks.
We are focused on delivering better outcomes for the same
Agile and lean delivery techniques for new systems and
cost or the same outcomes at a lower cost. Our capital
processes have reduced costs and delivered business value
infrastructure planning meets community needs through
sooner. Agility has enabled us to respond rapidly to changing
‘just in time’ investment and uses innovative design and
business priorities, driven enterprise collaboration and
solutions to avoid future costs.
engagement in technology delivery.
Sustainable
Development Goals:
12
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16

 

2015-16
STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS
WE ARE SAFE
Our philosophy
The strong results in our safety culture index survey
for 2014 and 2016 have been reflected in significant
Workplace safety and wellbeing is a fundamental
improvement in our SIFR performance in 2014-15
consideration in everything we do. This encompasses
and sustained SIFR performance in 2015-16.
physical and mental health and wellbeing. To successfully
fulfil our 2020 Strategy commitment ‘We Are Safe’,
Our injury frequency rate at 30 June 2016 was 3.9,
we must deliver the following outcomes:
representing a small increase from 2015 (3.3), but
a very large reduction of 63.2% in the SIFR from
Safety exists as each person’s responsibility.
2014, when our result was 10.6.
We make our workplaces safe.
Other key initiatives in 2015-16 include:
We carry out our work without harming ourselves or others.
running a series of initiatives to improve safety literacy,
increase employee engagement and promote awareness
Measuring our safety performance
of safety issues
We measure our safety performance using the Significant
commencing work to advance our safety due diligence
Injury Frequency Rate (SIFR). SIFR is the number of
framework through alignment of information in reporting
significant injuries (lost time injuries and medical treatment
structures to enable our people to effectively discharge
injuries) per million hours worked.
their safety responsibilities
We benchmark our safety culture using the Global Safety
concentrating on improving understanding of our
Index (GSI) Safety Culture Index (SCI).
high-risk areas
Year in review
continuing to build our safety management system,
with a focus on consistent work processes and safety
We have focused on three key pillars - promoting a safety
literacy across the organisation
and wellbeing culture, providing appropriate systems and
governance and ensuring a safe workplace.
transforming the way our people interact with
contractors to ensure that the level of management
During 2015-16, this has resulted in our safety culture
that we apply to contractors is appropriate to the
index results improving from 72.4 in 2014 to 76.5 in 2016.
nature of the work undertaken
Our safety culture index result has improved by more than
80% since we first measured this in 2012 when our result
expanding the way our people work to achieve extraordinary
was 39.2.
safety by retaining corporate knowledge through formalised
safe work procedures.
The diagram opposite shows Yarra Valley Water exceeded the
aspirational benchmark of 80 in four of the nine safety culture
index dimensions (management commitment, safety as a
priority, supportive environment and personal priorities).
We also achieved improvements across each of the other
five survey dimensions.
14
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16

 

Health and wellbeing
Sustainable
Our health and wellbeing program features multiple initiatives
Development Goals:
and activities to help our people make positive lifestyle
changes that support a safe and healthy approach at work
and at home. These include health checks, an active social
club, fitness groups, staff support officers and regular
information seminars focusing on mental and physical health.
A key component of our approach to health and wellbeing
in 2015-16 was our highly successful Thrive program.
Introduced in 2015, Thrive was designed to help staff
become more aware of the ideas, attitudes and everyday
actions that can lead to greater personal fulfilment.
YARRA VALLEY WATER
SAFETY CULTURE INDEX 2012-16
A. Management
Committee
100
I. Work
Environment
80
B. Communication
60
40
H. Personal
20
C. Safety as
Appreciation
a Priority
of Risk
0
D. Safety
G. Personal
Rules and
Priorities
Procedures
2016
2014
2012
F. Involvement
E. Supportive
Benchmark
Environment
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
15

 

2015-16
STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS
WE WORK IN HARMONY
WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
Our philosophy
offsets when the offsets generated by our Showerhead
Exchange Program run out. This strategy is dynamic and
The long-term wellbeing of our community and the strength
heavily influenced by external factors such as energy prices,
of the economy is dependent on the environment. We are
changes in technology and Government policy.
committed to ensuring that our environmental impact never
exceeds the carrying capacity of nature and work to give
We continue to invest in our existing assets to achieve
back more than we take by looking for opportunities to
efficiencies in energy use and therefore our greenhouse
deliver restorative outcomes. In doing so, we aim to work,
gas emissions. In 2015-16, we completed an upgrade
with others, across the whole of the water cycle to provide
at Craigieburn Sewage Treatment Plant, which included
fully integrated and resilient water systems.
replacing the aeration diffusers - this delivered an improved
efficiency. We also implemented electrical sub-metering
We recognise that Yarra Valley Water’s activities have an
of processes within our treatment plants, which will allow
impact on the environment, and have identified our key
us to measure and benchmark sub-processes to allow
impacts. We are working continuously to lessen these
future optimisation.
impacts and have been focused on:
Waste-to-energy facility
being greenhouse gas neutral
In 2015-16, we commenced construction of an innovative
protecting and enhancing waterways
waste-to-energy facility at our Aurora Sewage Treatment
Plant site in Melbourne’s north. This innovative facility uses
reducing the water we extract from rivers
a bacteria-based process to convert organic waste into bio-
for consumption by customers.
gas, which is then used to generate clean, green, sustainable
A fundamental priority is to ensure that our water and
energy. We estimate that when operating at full capacity
wastewater services are resilient to climate change, drought
the plant will produce the equivalent of 25% of Yarra Valley
and population growth. We are proactively engaging with
Water’s total power consumption. This energy will fully
these challenges and developing robust strategies so that
power the facility and the adjacent treatment plant, while
we can continue to ensure the resilience of our systems.
the surplus (enough to power around 1,500 homes) can
be exported to the electricity grid as renewable energy.
Income from the facility will completely cover its
Towards a restorative environmental approach
construction and maintenance costs and the profits
will be used to keep customers’ water bills down.
Through 2015-16, we further strengthened our environmental
commitment by adopting a restorative environmental
Most importantly, the plant will reduce greenhouse gas
approach. The approach recognises that as a planet we
emissions and recycle approximately 33,000 tons of organic
have now gone beyond the carrying capacity of nature.
waste every year - waste that would otherwise end up
in landfill.
Our restorative commitment goes beyond a reactive measure
of harm prevention towards a proactive model where we
The first facility of its type linked to a sewage treatment plant
aim to do ‘more good, rather than less bad’, making sure
in Australia, our waste-to-energy facility will redefine the role
our environmental assets remain in the positive. We are
that a water utility can play in managing a city’s waste.
not seeking to be restorative at the expense of any other
value we deliver to our customers. On the contrary -
we believe these values exist in harmony. In 2015-16
Healthy waterways
we have committed to being energy neutral by 2025.
In order to protect and enhance waterways, we set a self-
We expect to save money in doing this, which ultimately
imposed limit of 87 tons of nitrogen discharged per year, which
means lower bills for our customers.
represents our contribution to sustainable levels in Port Phillip
Bay. Through investing in upgrades at our sewage treatment
Year in review
plants to reduce nutrient discharges and by maximising the
use of recycled water to avoid discharge to waterways, we
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
have continued to ensure that we do not exceed this limit.
We are committed to continuing to be a carbon-neutral
Nutrient discharges are not the only pressure on our
organisation. To date, we have achieved this through the use
waterways, and our focus has shifted to managing
of offsets generated by our Showerhead Exchange Program.
our impacts on the overall health of the waterways
During 2015-16, we developed a strategy to remain neutral
that we discharge to.
at the lowest community cost, by purchasing international
16
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16

 

An outcomes-based approach to waterways
Efficient water use
We are strengthening our existing partnerships to improve
Despite the easing of water restrictions, per capita water
liveability outcomes in Melbourne. Along with Melbourne
consumption remained low at 168 litres per day, which
Water and relevant local councils, we have committed
is well below pre-drought levels.
approximately $25 million over the period from 2013 to 2018
to prevent wastewater overflows into the Merri Creek.
Leak detection
We have partnered with Melbourne Water, the Department
We have an active leak detection program, which allows
of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and local
us to reduce the amount of avoidable loss of precious water
councils to develop an outcomes-based approach for waterway
resources as well as saving money for our customers.
investment. This approach aims to identify the outcomes that
This program comprises a range of proactive and reactive
we are trying to achieve (including waterway health, amenity
measures including improved flow monitoring systems,
and biodiversity) and then to determine which investments are
analysis of aggregate billing data, and advanced analytics
required to deliver them at the lowest cost to the community.
software that detects bursts and leaks which may not
necessarily be visible to the public.
During 2015-16, we tested this approach with a pilot study
focused on the Merri Creek. The study found that the main
In 2015-16, our leak detection programs prevented over
threats to the waterway’s health come from polluted urban
three gigalitres (equivalent to 1,200 Olympic swimming pools)
runoff rather than wastewater overflows and, therefore, the
of water from being lost from our water supply system.
currently planned expenditure would not deliver the desired
outcomes. We have developed an action plan to target these
Collaborating for the best whole-of-water-cycle
key threats, delivering agreed outcomes for the waterway
outcomes in the Northern Growth Corridor
at a lower community cost.
In 2010, the Victorian Government extended metropolitan
Community sewerage
Melbourne’s northern urban growth boundary to include
an additional 16,300 hectares between Craigieburn and
We remain focused on providing modern sanitation services to
Wallan. This development area will see 100,000 new
properties with poorly performing septic tanks that cause pollution
residential homes and up to 1,050 hectares of employment
in our local waterways. Many homes in Melbourne were built before
land in the future.
sewerage infrastructure was available. As a result, more than
13,000 homes in the northern and eastern suburbs use septic tank
To ensure the Northern Growth Corridor’s waterways are
systems to manage their domestic wastewater. Many of these
protected as development continues, we are collaborating
systems do not meet current environmental standards.
with Melbourne Water, local councils and DELWP to develop
effective water management practices. This includes
Our ongoing community sewerage program provides sewerage
integrated planning around the role that recycled stormwater
servicing solutions to the properties that are not able to meet
can play in augmenting the region’s water supply.
the standards and present a potential risk to public health and
local waterways. The program is being rolled out in areas posing
For additional information on our environmental performance
the greatest environmental risk first, and we are reviewing this
and outcomes we have delivered, see the Additional
to ensure that our prioritisation process uses the best available
Information section from page 91.
data. Construction of the North Warrandyte sewerage system
is almost complete and construction of the Donvale sewerage
system has commenced.
Sustainable Development Goals:
In 2015-16, we connected 123 of these properties to
our services and there are many more new services
currently under construction.
Park Orchards
We are undertaking a community sewerage trial in Park
Orchards for properties with septic tanks or small on-site
treatment plants. Rather than installing traditional piped
sewerage we are investigating upgrading existing septic
systems. We have made no decisions about the feasibility
of this as a long-term solution. Our aim is to minimise
community costs and maximises environmental outcomes.
We expect the trial to run until 2019.
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
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2015-16
STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS
WE STAND FOR AN
EXCEPTIONAL WATER INDUSTRY
Our philosophy
Year in review
To maintain our community’s living standards into the future,
Over the last 12 months, we have:
the entire water sector needs to continually improve its
services, environmental performance and productivity.
Partnered with South East Water and City West Water
Our contribution is magnified by working closely with
to explore the potential of digital metering technology
others in the water sector - sharing knowledge, providing
in Melbourne.
leadership and learning from each other.
Commenced shared service agreements with Lower Murray
The Melbourne water industry’s comparative competition
Water to provide strategic human resources services
model means our services and cost outcomes are constantly
and support. This leverages our strong capabilities and
measured against other water utilities, which encourages
track record in building a high performance organisational
us to identify better ways of working and opportunities to
culture, and will lower overall industry costs by widespread
improve performance. We can then share these innovations
adoption of ready-made human resource solutions.
or improved practices with other utilities to lift the overall
Implemented our stakeholder engagement framework
performance of the sector.
to help us build strong and constructive relationships,
We understand that we are part of a natural cycle that does
effectively manage risks, leverage opportunities and ensure
not start or stop at the borders of our service area. Close
our Strategy remains relevant to the changing external
collaboration with other utilities, DELWP, councils, developers
environment. Our last stakeholder survey measure-up
and local communities is critical to improving outcomes from
showed that 93% of key stakeholders agreed that Yarra
whole-of-water-cycle management.
Valley Water had elevated industry performance during
2015-16.
To stand for an exceptional water industry, we must also
understand that we exist within larger systems at the local,
Embedded the Supplier Code of Conduct into our
national and global scale, and remain appropriately connected
procurement processes and carried out the first
and involved with others at each level.
assessment of our key suppliers against this Code.
Our 2020 Strategy commits us to enhancing water industry
Built on our hardship and vulnerable customer
performance, adopting best practices and innovations of
collaborations driving policy, programs and infrastructure
others, and actively working with others to achieve great
advancements that help corporate, government and
things for the community. In order to achieve these outcomes
community organisations to work together to give
we have focused on optimising the value that we deliver
vulnerable customers the support they need.
for our community, including collaboration with our key
Strengthened our commitment to sustainability
stakeholders and exploring innovative opportunities to
by signing up to the UN Global Compact, the world’s
deliver our services in the most sustainable way.
largest corporate sustainability initiative.
We believe that we can have a meaningful role in Melbourne’s
Joined the Global Compact Network Australia
liveability. We will do this by continuing to stand for an
and became a member of the national Environment
exceptional water industry, and beyond this, by working
Leadership Group Steering Committee.
with others outside the water sector to improve the health
of our community to create and sustain liveable cities;
and to encourage stronger community participation
and social inclusion.
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YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16

 

Embedded the UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2016, Yarra Valley Water was included in the Australian
in our Strategy by identifying opportunities for
Centre of Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR)
improvement, additional focus or engagement.
CSR Top 10 for the first time. This recognises those
organisations with the strongest corporate social
Expanded the Choose Tap campaign to include program
responsibility capabilities based on the ratings of their
partners from a range of health organisations to promote
employees against various criteria. This ranking is included
the benefits of drinking tap water in a healthy lifestyle.
within the ACCSR’s annual ‘State of CSR report’, which
We also continued to grow this successful program
is the largest ongoing research study of CSR capabilities,
with other Victorian, Australian and international water
practices and trends in Australian and New Zealand. This
businesses - 12 Australian water utilities have joined
year’s report, ‘Pathway to the Sustainable Development
the ‘Choose Tap Coalition’, and over 35 partners.
Goals’, focuses on how organisations are engaging with
the sustainable development goals. Yarra Valley Water’s
Worked with our partners in the water industry to raise
experience of mapping our activities to the sustainable
awareness of the impact that wet wipes and other non-
development goals was featured in a case study within
soluble waste products have on the sewerage system.
the report.
Continued our successful collaboration with local
Participated in two national research projects: resource
councils to help food businesses improve their trade
recovery from wastewater and understanding city-scale
waste management, which reduces sewer spills due
water-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
to fat blockages.
Partnered with the water industry’s Technology Appraisal
Commenced a Reconciliation Action Plan which will
Group and Intelligent Water Network to identify new
set out our commitments and actions to contribute
technologies for trial in our area.
to reconciliation in Australia.
Took part in an international research project focused
Shared our easyACCESS self-service system for property
on fostering innovation within water utilities with Welsh
development with other water businesses. Our unique use
Water (UK), Severn Trent Water (UK), Anglian Water (UK),
of FICO, the business rules engine behind easyACCESS,
Scottish Water (UK), Orange County (USA), Mayniland
was recognised internationally in 2015 winning the
Water (Philippines) and Vitens (The Netherlands).
prestigious FICO Decision Management Award in the
United States.
Worked with the World Health Organisation providing
training and capacity building around water safety in
Sustainable Development Goals:
countries such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Actively supported WaterAid, a charity that transforms the
lives of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people
by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
Launched our Innovation Collective, which will provide
a structure and process to facilitate the development of
breakthrough ideas across the business. In addition, a
social idea management tool called The Hub was launched
to encourage collaboration across the organisation.
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
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2015-16
STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS
CASE STUDY
Today our global population is large enough to cause adverse
In 2015-16, Yarra Valley Water took an important step
environmental impacts of global proportion. We face
forward by quantifying our impacts across the different
resource depletion, environmental degradation and climate
capitals. This is a global challenge, and we have used leading
change. These risks and impacts are not recorded on our
thinkers in this field − GIST Advisory and Trucost − to deliver
balance sheets or reported against. These impacts are
an integrated profit and loss report to capture the monetary
called externalities and are now large enough to be
valuation of our Natural, Social, Human and Financial Capital
significant. Although the costs are not accounted for,
externalities. Both companies advise organisations on
society does pay indirectly.
evaluating their performance to include externalities. GIST
Advisory was founded by Pavan Sukhdev, who is a leading
Current accounting methods, that 40 years ago could
thinker in this area and is a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador and
capture 90 per cent of a company’s value, now only capture
Chair of the Advisory Board for the global initiative TEEB
between 20 to 30 per cent of a company’s value. In addition
(The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity).
to describing and measuring Financial Capital1, we also need
to describe and measure Natural Capital2, Social Capital3
The initial company-level view, showing the positive and
and Human Capital4
if our accounts are to capture the
negative impacts across the capitals is captured in the
externalities associated with our activities and therefore
chart opposite. It is not a comprehensive account, as it
present the true value. This is consistent with integrated
has not been possible at this stage to include all programs
reporting which is an emerging approach to corporate
and factors, in particular for the natural and social capital
reporting that involves describing a company’s overall
elements. We believe that these initial results are a useful
value creation story.
start for this broader exploration of how we meaningfully
communicate our performance.
As a provider of an essential service that supports the
health and wellbeing of Melbourne, it is clear that the
We welcome feedback and input from our stakeholders on
value we generate for the community is much more than
how this can translate into our business and wider industry.
our financial contribution. In order to optimise our positive
impacts and minimise negative impacts, we need to be able
to measure, monitor and compare our performance across
all the capitals. This integrated approach challenges our
existing decision-making processes and requires us to develop
new ways of thinking and evaluating what we do. Some
call this moving from maximising corporate value towards
maximising stakeholder value.
Definitions of the Capitals:
1. Financial Capital is the pool of funds that is available to an organisation for use in the production of goods and services, and is obtained through financing,
such as debt, equity or grants, or generated through operations or investment.
2. Natural Capital is the world’s stock of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all livings things, that provide goods or services that
support the prosperity of an organisation.
3. Social Capital is the institutions and relationships established within and between communities, groups of stakeholders and other networks, and the
ability to share information, to enhance individual and collective wellbeing.
4. Human Capital relates to people’s competencies, capabilities and experience, and their motivations to innovate.
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YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16

 

VALUE GENERATED ACROSS OUR BUSINESS
NATURAL
SOCIAL
HUMAN
FINANCIAL
NATURAL CAPITAL
380
CAPITAL
CAPITAL
CAPITAL
CAPITAL
IN THE VALUE CHAIN
323
370
60
49
50
45.3
40
30
23
20
13
13
10
4.8
3.8
1.9
0.4
0.3
0
-1.9
-0.8
-10
-20
-16.7
-30
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
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