OCS Report Sets Cleaning Sector Benchmark

New Zealand's largest hygiene, facilities management and cleaning company, OCS has released its first sustainability report as it strives to become the most sustainable business in the New Zealand cleaning sector by 2020.


As one of the biggest private employers in New Zealand, OCS is committed to ensuring its operating model minimises the impact it has on the environment, its communities, and staff and their families.

"This is the beginning of a journey and the report has been designed to provide a public benchmark of where the company stands today, so that improvement going forward can be measured," OCS managing director Gareth Marriott says.

"Sustainable development is an ongoing process and we give it the same level of focus and importance as our financial objectives. The long term sustainability of our business is important for future generations," Mr Marriott says

The Sustainable Business Council provided feedback and guidance to OCS, as it prepared its first sustainability report, and executive director Abbie Reynolds says she's thrilled to see OCS New Zealand making the report part of its annual practice.

"It's great to see OCS introducing a local sustainability report, in addition to their global report. It's part of a clear trend of increasing sustainability reporting in New Zealand," Ms Reynolds says.

"We only expect that to grow once the New Zealand Stock Exchange introduces its non-financial disclosure guidelines, which we expect will strongly encourage listed businesses to report on social, environmental and corporate governance matters."

Mr Marriott says the report looks at its sustainability objectives with staff, the environment and the community.

For staff the report outlines a plan which seeks, among other objectives, to encourage high levels of management competency by coaching, mentoring and training, as well as a clear focus promoting a sustainable and safer workplace for frontline staff.

"OCS will continue to be efficient in the use of natural resources, reducing carbon monoxide emissions, and reducing impacts on flora and fauna from our operations."

Some of this is already underway, with a $10,000 donation to the Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre and a commitment to transition the OCS and Cannon vehicle fleet to include a 30% mix of hybrid/electric vehicles by the end of 2019.

A 2016 initiative includes a joint venture between OCS, Auckland Airport and the Ministry of Primary Industries, working in collaboration with Air New Zealand, to recycle nearly 700kg of waste per day.

OCS also supports the Salvation Army through payroll giving, along with $15,000 worth of financial donations and hundreds of non-perishable food and household items to the Salvation Army and its foodbanks in 2016.

OCS employs over 4000 people in New Zealand with 23 branches nationwide. Its parent company has 87,000 staff in 50 countries.

Please click here to view our 2016 Sustainability Report.


Training big part of OCS vision

Training people properly is one of the most important, yet overlooked, aspects of many businesses today.

At OCS, we believe training plays a crucial role in our organisational success and the work we do for our clients.

We invest in and nurture talent, and encourage collaborative teamwork so we are equipped and focused to meet our clients' expectations and objectives.

While training has to be comprehensive and specific, it also has to be measureable and meet the needs of clients and workers.

In our business those clients are extremely varied and diverse, from shopping malls to airports, and government agencies like NZ Police.

In association with our national suppliers, we have established considerable training, support and control procedures to meet these diverse requirements.

Our cleaners are comprehensively trained using our custom designed Excellence in Cleaning Programme based on NZQA standards.  The 18 modules cover all relevant aspects of the cleaning role, and address topics including personal presentation, site security, emergency procedures, career development and basic skills training.

But our training programmes are not just for the frontline. We have a range of leadership and management training programmes, designed to equip staff with the skills required to become effective supervisors and operational managers.

We've found the benefits from a good training programme are numerous, from building employee self-esteem, to being upskilled to improve promotion prospects and delivering an outstanding service.

Future looks bright for OCS scholarship recipient

Providing a hand up to Lesieli Iketau to help her achieve her dream of receiving a tertiary education is starting to pay dividends.

The seventh of nine children, Lesieli was the first in her family to attend university thanks to a scholarship from OCS New Zealand, together with First Foundation.

Awarded in 2014, the scholarship provides financial assistance towards tertiary fees, one-on-one mentoring and paid work experience with OCS.

The unique partnership between OCS and First Foundation means the scholar must have family working at OCS. Lesieli is the daughter of OCS Auckland LynnMall cleaner, Kasanita Fahiua, and niece of OCS Auckland contract manager, Malia Thomas.

"I will never forget the day I found out I was receiving the scholarship – I was psyched and my mum was over the moon," says Lesieli.

"I come from a family of nine and no one before me has gone to university. However, I was determined to go, scholarship or not, I was going to get there."

Fast forward three years, Lesieli is in her third year of studying a conjoint Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law at the University of Auckland.

"I wanted to study law because I wanted the challenge. I'm not sure if I'll stand in the courtroom but I know with this degree, I have opened up the door to many possibilities."

For the past three summers, Lesieli has also been gaining work experience at OCS where she has worked across a spectrum of roles and been given varied responsibilities.

"Lesieli is hard working, devoted and diligent, with a strong focus towards her future," says Cannon Hygiene national sales co-ordinator, Shalini Dixit.

"The time she has spent within the sales and marketing team means she has an idea of what to expect in future work places, giving her an insight into time management, team work and adaptability."

Lesieli's enthusiasm for learning and determination to achieve the goals she sets herself has been reiterated by OCS Cannon services manager, Jessica Wake.

"Her willingness to help, her motivation and her methodical approach to work, is something to admire.

"Lesieli is like a new woman compared to when we first met in 2014.

"She has gone from shy, both in demeanor and engagement with others, to confident, articulate, happy, motivated and driven."

Included in Lesieli's scholarship is one-on-one mentoring with a mentor who specialises in her aspiring field of work; law.

Cathryn Barber, a young lawyer and partner at Chapman Tripp, has been mentoring Lesieli for almost three years and says the scholarship has opened a world of opportunities.

"Not only has Lesieli been able to gain insight into what a law firm environment is like, but her work experience at OCS has exposed her to a range of new environments and pushed her to do things she didn't think she could do.

"I have loved watching her grow and develop," says Cathryn.

As Lesieli enters her third year at university she can't thank OCS and Cathryn Barber enough for the time they have invested in her.

"Everything this scholarship has provided me with so far has been above and beyond what I could have ever expected.

"I believe that education is key, and now that my dream of receiving a tertiary education is coming true, I can set myself up for a better future."



OCS toilets star in 'Got to go' list

Cleanliness, character and convenience - it turns out that's what we look for in a public loo.

Six OCS serviced toilets in Cheviot, Geraldine, Gordonton, Matamata, Picton and Piopio feature in the list of 14 in this months' AA Traveller favourite public toilets survey.

There was an even split of three in the North Island and three in the South Island, with all of the North Island toilets located in the Waikato region.

AA Traveller says of the 2000 survey responses they received, members stated cleanliness was the most important thing when it came to public toilets.

Survey respondents also said fresh cut flowers, the existence of toilet paper and soap (as opposed to none), art, architecture, music and even attendants, also make for a memorable pit-stop.

OCS Managing Director Gareth Marriott said, "To have so many toilets in the list says a lot about the care and pride OCS staff take when it comes to their work."

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