Coles is a leading food, liquor and convenience retailer in Australia, with brands including Coles and Bi-Lo supermarkets, First Choice Liquor, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars, Spirit Hotels and Coles Express.

We employ more than 99,000 team members and operate more than 2,290 outlets nationally that handle more than 19 million customer transactions a week. Our revenue this year was $35.8 billion.

Material issues
  • Our business focuses on six key areas to improve our sustainability:
  • Training and development of our team.
  • Customer trust in our produce range, value and quality.
  • Water savings and energy efficiency of our stores.
  • Workplace safety
  • Supporting the local communities in which we operate.
  • Working with our suppliers to further develop strong sustainable relationships.


Our community 

This year, our community investment totalled $38.5 million from Coles and its customers. Redkite was announced as our charity of the year with a goal of raising $5 million by January 2014. Our food donations to Foodbank and SecondBite totalled over four million kilograms. More than 420 stores are now donating food via SecondBite to more than 900 community groups. We proudly received the Patron’s Award from the Governor General for our donations to Foodbank over the past 10 years.

Australian sourcing

More than 90 per cent of Coles brand food and drink products are Australian grown or manufactured. As part of our Australian First Sourcing Policy, we held ‘Meet the Buyer’ events in five states to attract new local producers, resulting in more than 110 new products stocked. We also returned to sourcing our Coles Brand canned pineapple from Australia, with 4,000 tonnes of pineapple now sourced from growers in Queensland. In addition, all Coles brand frozen vegetables are now sourced from Tasmania and more than 80 per cent of Coles tinned fruit is sourced from the Goulburn Valley in Victoria. For more information on Coles’ Australian sourcing, see the Responsible sourcing section of this website.

Health and wellbeing

During the year, we continued to make healthy food options available for our customers with the launch of ‘Coles Simply Less’ and no artificial additives and preservatives in all Coles bakery bread. We also met sodium reduction targets for Coles brand bread and breakfast cereals and made progress with processed meats and savoury pies.

Responsible liquor retailing and gambling

We continued to train our team on the responsible service of liquor and responsible gambling and work with government and regulators to support harm minimisation measures where required. Liquor promotions are developed in line with our Responsible Advertising and Promotion Guidelines. Our gambling operations and promotions are conducted in accordance with our Gambling Compliance Manual and our Responsible Gambling Initiatives. 

Ethical sourcing

We undertake risk assessments in our supply chain and assess our suppliers against internationally recognised standards for ethical sourcing. This year we identified and resolved three critical non-conformances in Thailand and Malaysia. Despite media attention on Coles in relation to factory and working conditions in Bangladesh, we had a very limited presence in Bangladesh and now only source from other partner countries.

Responsible sourcing

This year, we delivered on our commitment to improve animal welfare standards in egg and pork farming. We received the RSPCA Good Egg Award and our phase out of sow-stall produced pork was achieved earlier than forecast. We sourced certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) for Coles Simply Gluten Free Corn Chips, Ancient Grain Chips and Mixed Root Vegetable Chips and all palm oil used in mudcakes sold in New South Wales and Victoria is now CSPO. 


We continued to reduce our store energy consumption via voltage optimisation technology to reduce electricity usage and LED lighting technologies to replace older less efficient lights. In May 2013, we opened our first store (Hallam, Vic) designed using the Green Building Council of Australia Green Star Rating tool. We expanded our soft plastic packaging recycling program to 480 supermarkets nationally and recycled 162,880 tonnes of solid waste, improving our recycling rate from 60 per cent last year to 63 per cent this year. 


Capital works and new strategies to improve safety performance were implemented this year focusing on behavioural safety, manual handling injury prevention and site safety and security. Our safety performance, as measured by lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR), improved by 27 per cent, with a LTIFR of 9.5 compared to 13.0 last year. This year our total recordable injury frequency rate was 56.3, based on a broader definition than that used in previous years, to ensure consistency across the Group.