OCS Australia – Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Award winner

OCS Australia has won the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Award at the Work Health and Safety Foundation (WHS) Awards 2023.

Gareth Marriott, OCS Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, says that looking after people, whether that be their health and safety at work, or embracing and celebrating their diversity, is a priority at OCS.

“Winning the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Award makes me extremely proud. Proud of the work we do, and most importantly proud of the people we work with.”

OCS Australia is committed to celebrating diversity and values the contributions that its 700+ colleagues, from 50 different nations, cultures and ethnic backgrounds put in every day.

“This achievement is more than just a mark of distinction; it’s a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace. This accolade underscores the breadth and depth of our dedication not only to diversity and inclusion but also to the health and safety of our employees.

There were 12 other award categories and over 120 submissions at the WHS Awards, of which OCS Australia were finalists in three of them. These included the Innovation in WHS Award (Product), WHS Management System Award, and Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Award.

“Ensuring our team members get home safely every day will always be our priority,” Marriott says. “It’s rewarding to have our dedication in this space acknowledged, but we understand that there’s always room for growth. We’re excited to continue our journey of learning and improvement.”

Midcity expanding into Victoria

Midcity, OCS Australia’s specialist insurance building repairs and commercial building and maintenance business, recently expanded into Victoria to better serve its customer base. .

Leading the expansion are Cara Grambeau (State Manager) and David Jones (State Construction Manager). The pair, based in Melbourne, will be using their considerable experience and knowledge to bring Midcity’s specialised building services to the metro area and wider Victoria.

OCS Australia Managing director, Gareth Marriott, says he has no doubt that Midcity’s expansion and ability to provide specialist services at a high standard will result in great customer outcomes in the region.

“It’s been an exciting time; these two experienced professionals are a great asset to the team and I’m looking forward to seeing how we can really shift the dial for our Victoria-based customers.”

Insurance repair work can be comprehensive, and restoring a property requires a team of highly skilled tradespeople. That’s why Midcity has hand-picked an expert subcontractor team of electricians, engineers, painters, plasterers, plumbers, roofers and specialist heritage craftsmen (and women) with a proven track record of successful project outcomes, and a reputation for quality and superior service.

The commercial building and maintenance side of the business includes highly qualified and experienced estimators and project managers, all with extensive experience successfully delivering large-scale and intricate commercial projects.

Marriott says it’s only a few months in and the team have already made considerable progress in Melbourne. “Watch this space,” he says.

Collaboration and determination key to sustainable outcomes

Despite the distractions of the COVID-19 pandemic, flooding, global uncertainty, and labour constraints, OCS Australia has gone from strength to strength, taking steps towards creating a better future for generations to come.

The initiatives and partnerships we have committed to are shared in our 2022 OCS Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Sustainability Report, released this week.

OCS ANZ Managing Director, Gareth Marriott, says having a sound sustainability framework is more valuable than ever.

“Our framework puts our people, customers, and communities at the centre of all that we do. Alongside providing exceptional facilities management services, we aim to make a positive social and environmental impact every day.”

Gareth says one thing that has stood out for him in 2022 is the focus on partnerships.

“We have really focused on partnering with our customers, industry experts and supply partners to achieve our respective climate action and sustainability goals.

“We have seen a rise in innovative and collaborative solutions to everyday problems and increased opportunities for our team members to take on new responsibilities.

“We’re also proud to partner with Toitū Envirocare, and in New Zealand, the Sustainable Business Council and the Climate Leader Coalition – all three help our Australian business to also stay abreast of current challenges and opportunities.”

Carbon reduction has been under the microscope for OCS in 2022, and we enlisted Toitū Envirocare to help us generate new science-based carbon reduction targets.

“Climate change presents environmental, social, and economic crises on a whole new level. For nearly two millennia, humans have been carbonising the planet, and we must act to decarbonise.

“Over the last 50 years climate-induced weather events, such as droughts, fires and floods, have cost Australian communities an estimated $120 billion. And that doesn’t reflect the human cost. Setting new science-based targets is a step in the right direction, however it’s a small drop in what’s required globally – we need to all work together now if we are to effect real change.”

OCS is also proud to have achieved, for the third year, Toitū net carbonzero certification in line with ISO14064-1, reflecting our commitment to leaving our planet in a better state for future generations.

With a diverse team of over 4,000 people, made up of 89 cultures, OCS ANZ is making a conscious effort to ensure our operations are environmentally responsible and have a positive impact on the communities we serve.

You can view the report here.

OCS celebrates International Women’s Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day we recently caught up two members of our OCS Australia family – Erzelina Hyska and Adriana Freire. They share their career development advice and give us a little insight into their individual journeys with OCS and what they love about working here.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity, which is a statement that holds true for us at OCS. Driving the success of our women is not just something we say – it’s something we do.

 

  1. Erzelina Hyska

Erzelina Hyska started working for OCS as a cleaner in a Melbourne shopping centre in early 2020. Her potential was soon recognised by her team leader, who was quick to appoint her as shift supervisor.

After a break during COVID-19 Erzelina returned to OCS to take on a new and even more challenging role – Site Manager at a food manufacturing site. As Site Manager, Erzelina leads a team of twelve OCS cleaners operating in a demanding environment with strict food safety requirements.

Despite being judged by friends when she got into the cleaning industry, for Erzelina this was her happy place. And this passion and dedication has led her to where she is today, having taken several steps up the ladder within OCS. Go Erzelina!

We asked Erzelina about her experiences working at OCS.

Q. Tell us about your journey at OCS. In what role did you start and what are you doing at the moment?

A. I started working for OCS as a cleaner three years ago in a shopping centre in Melbourne. Soon after I took on the job, I was asked to take on a fulltime supervisor role where I was in charge of seven cleaners. After a short break due to COVID-19, I was contacted by my former manager who wanted to know if I was interested in a position as site manager. I certainly was! I now look after twelve workers who are responsible for making sure our customer’s site is absolutely spotless.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your work?

A. That would have to be my team. We are one. Everyone jumps in when needed and it’s amazing to know that you’re well looked after. Every day people check in on me to ask me how I’m doing and if I need any help. Apart from the OCS team, it’s great to have such a positive connection with our customer as well.

Q. What advice would you have for other women when it comes to career development?

A. Do what you love. Follow your dreams. When I started cleaning at quite a young age, my friends would judge me. Luckily, I didn’t care about what they thought. I’ve got two girls at home and I teach them to never be ashamed of what you do – if what you do, is what you enjoy.

Q. Are there any women who have inspired you in your life?

A. My mother is not only my biggest supporter, but also the one who has inspired me the most. She is such a strong woman and has always said to me ‘You can do it!’.

 

  1. Adriana Freire

Adriana Freire only recently started her journey with OCS when she came on board as the Site Manager for Westfield Mount Druitt in August last year.

Together with her team of around 30 people, she makes sure the whole shopping centre is sparkling clean. With more than 65,000 sqm of floor space and around 11,4 million annual customer visits that’s quite challenging. But as Adriana puts it: “life would be boring without challenges”.

Coming from Brazil 13 years ago and now working in a completely different field than her previous experience, Adriana has had her moments of insecurities. Her tips for overcoming that include: to have trust in yourself and gather people around you who are there for you. Also, always remember: “women are strong and powerful, we can do anything”. We couldn’t agree more, Adriana.

We asked Adriana about her experiences working at OCS.

Q. Tell us about what you do at OCS.

A. I started working as the Site Manager for Westfield Mount Druitt in August last year, so I’m still pretty fresh at OCS. Within my role, I manage a team of around 30 people and I’m the first point of contact for the customer. We work 24/7 in three shifts: mornings, afternoons and night shifts/weekends.

Together we make sure the whole shopping centre is sparkling clean. With more than 65,000 sqm of floor space and around 11.4 million customer visits annually, that’s quite challenging. But life would be boring without challenges.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your work?

A. Building a relationship with our customer is something I’ve really enjoyed. And the fact that every day is a different day works well for me – I’d get tired of doing exactly the same day in, day out.

Also, I love working in a team and collaborating with people. In my view, you should lead by example, so I don’t  sit in my office much, I spend time with my people. I think that’s the most effective way to create a great team.

Q. What advice would you have for other women when it comes to career development?

A. Do everything you want. Sometimes women think they’re not capable of doing certain types of work, but I always say: you can do anything! Women are strong and powerful. So, I’d encourage everyone to follow their dreams.

I used to work at a bank back when I lived in Brazil, so I’m in a totally different field now. And yes, I have to admit that sometimes that has made me unsure, but you need to trust in yourself. Also, gather people around you who are there for you. My husband gives me great support, because he’s in a similar situation.

Q. Are there any women who have inspired you in your life?

A. I know it’s cliché, but my mum has been my main inspiration. She is such a strong woman. Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed or low, I call her and she reassures me that I’m on the right path. Also, when I look at her career and life it makes me so proud. She was the only woman working for one of the largest telecom companies in Brazil and she pushed through so many boundaries.

I have to say that my father inspires me a lot too. He works for the federal highway police and always wanted me to work in that field as well, because there were not many women in that field. Twenty years ago, most federal highway police were men – only 1 out of 100 were women. But I travelled the world instead. Luckily when I decided to move from Brazil to Australia, both my parents gave me all the support I needed.

Innovation and focus on sustainability key to sustained partnerships

OCS Australia is delighted to announce it has renewed its contract with global product and PPE supplier Bunzl, acknowledging the benefits of fostering collaborative partnerships with like-minded companies.

Bunzl has been OCS’ primary supplier of cleaning consumables and equipment, as well as PPE for their facilities management and cleaning teams since 2019. They’ve been instrumental in keeping Australia’s Covid-19 frontline work-ready.

Responding to evolving challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic has required OCS to act decisively and fluidly. They’ve had to keep their frontline team safe at all times while also working swiftly to keep Australia’s public spaces and places safe, clean and hygienic.

Bunzl has risen to the challenge, rapidly responding to shifting needs and supplying high-quality materials, while providing innovative solutions to everyday problems.

OCS Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Gareth Marriott, says the decision to extend the supplier agreement with Bunzl has been an easy one.

“We have cemented our partnership with a shared focus on sustainability, as well as a joint desire to innovate and create a better industry for everyone.

“Notably, our partnership has seen the Bunzl team thoroughly audit and ratify imported and local products and alter delivery activity to reduce carbon emissions.

“They have also worked closely with our teams to customize training of our team to ensure site hygiene and cleanliness, and personnel safety meet the highest standards.”

Mr Marriott says regular communication has ensured a continuous supply of stock and specialised products during the pandemic.

“The Bunzl team has developed a true understanding of the shifting needs and requirements of our customers.

“Our work with Bunzl truly reflects our Partnership Made Personal brand promise and we look forward to helping the relationship reach new heights in the future.”

Bunzl Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Lance Ward, says Bunzl is excited to continue its work with OCS.

“A shared purpose and similar core values have been the defining factors of this successful partnership with OCS.

“As a result, we have seen some real movement in achieving our sustainability targets and assisting our customers to do the same. We’ve been able to leverage the power of our global technologies and innovative systems to provide the most efficient results.”

OCS secures three-year contract renewal with Perth Airport

Perth Airport’s decade-long partnership with OCS Australia has seen the renewal of their cleaning contract for three more years, ensuring passengers will continue to enjoy the highest hygiene standards at one of Australia’s busiest airports.

OCS’ team of cleaners and sanitation workers have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and have worked diligently in the past two years to keep thousands of travellers coming through Perth Airport safe and hygienic.

OCS Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Gareth Marriott, says the contract renewal also provided an opportunity to value-add for Perth Airport.

“Our trusted partnership with Perth Airport over the past 10 years has given OCS the insights to ensure any issues are immediately addressed. The renewal of our contract also gave us the opportunity to incorporate maintenance services delivered by our building repair and maintenance business, Midcity, adding another layer to our services for Perth Airport.”

Perth Airport Chief Operating Officer Scott Woodward says, “It’s great to have a partner who is aligned to our values and focused on our people and the airport users. It has been a challenging two years and OCS has continued to support and add value across the Airport”.

The OCS Perth Airport International Terminal sanitising team were also named the OCS Australia & New Zealand 2021 Annual Stars for their expert care and attention, and for their work on one particularly complicated and specialised sanitizing treatment following a high-risk repatriation flight.

Gareth says OCS looks forward to this next phase in its partnership with Perth Airport.

“Above all, we want to acknowledge the exceptional work being done by our onsite teams who continue to create a five-star experience for every visitor, passenger and staff member who walks through Perth Airport’s doors.”

New General Manager for OCS Australia

International facilities management company, OCS Australia, welcomes Stephen Lockley to the role of General Manager Australia.

Steve is an experienced people leader with strategic management experience across both soft and hard services, including cleaning, integrated facilities management plus mechanical and electrical.

He has worked across multiple sectors, managing services in healthcare, manufacturing, retail, remote sites, corporate, government, utilities and education.

His recent senior management experience has included roles with Ventia in Australia and New Zealand, ISS in Asia, and Sodexo in Australia.

Gareth Marriott, Managing Director OCS Australia and New Zealand said the new role was testament to the company’s focus on growing the Australian arm of the global business.

“Australia is an important strategic market for OCS. We have been operating here since 1998, growing to more than 350 sites across the country while delivering the same quality service and family values that our founders set back in 1900.

“Steve brings with him strategic strengths to support and grow our market share across key sectors and assisting in driving our acquisition strategy. He has the depth of experience we need to continue to innovate, to excite our customers and deliver quality solutions.”

Steve Lockley said he’s excited about joining the OCS family and working with the Australian team.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the team and our many clients and working together to deliver quality solutions and great service.” Steve said that he believes that “there is currently a real opportunity in the market and having the support an international company will help to accelerate profitable growth across multiple business sectors”.

Steve joined OCS Australia on 24 January 2022.

Leading the way – OCS goes carbon neutral

OCS has achieved Toitū carbonzero certification across both its Australian and New Zealand businesses, becoming the first Australasian company of its type to receive this certification. The milestone was published in the company’s recent 2020 sustainability report.

Since 2017, OCS has worked closely with Toitū Envirocare to accurately measure its operational greenhouse gas emissions and put in place strategies to manage and reduce its carbon footprint each year, achieving Toitū carbonreduce certification in New Zealand for the last two years.

OCS Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Gareth Marriott, says “OCS Australia has been working with Toitū Envirocare to audit our Australian carbon emissions with the aim of bringing Australia into line with New Zealand, through achieving Toitū carbonreduce certification.

“We decided to fast-track our plans by taking the next step in our sustainability journey to become carbon neutral. Our goal is to ensure OCS is a business which is in harmony with our environment, setting an example for other facilities management services businesses around our region and the world.”

Carbon neutrality is an aspirational goal and OCS recognises that avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions in their entirety is almost impossible. Given this, they took the step to purchase verified carbon credits.

“Decarbonising our entire business to reach carbon neutral is a major step towards meeting our strategic business objective of being the most environmentally sustainable business in our sector by 2030.”

Sustainable Business Council (NZ) Executive Director, Mike Burrell, says “2020 was characterised by uncertainty and challenge, particularly for those trying to combat climate change and move from climate advocacy to action.

“This makes OCS’ many commitments in this space even more pleasing.

“Achieving Toitū carbonzero certification in both Australia and New Zealand is a major accomplishment and demonstrates OCS’ commitment to carbon reduction and the Paris Agreement.

“These actions help deliver a strong message to many others in the sector to follow suit.”

OCS’ sustainability programme is aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement’s 1.5-degree pathway and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Read the OCS Australia and New Zealand Sustainability Report 2020 here.