Origin Energy has been recognised with the Silver Award in the 2020 Workplace Giving Excellence Awards (‘awards’) in the “Best Employer Response to a Crisis” category.  

This latest award follows Origin’s number one ranking as Australia’s Best Workplace to Give Back in 2020, which was awarded just last month.

The Workplace Giving Excellence Awards are run by Workplace Giving Australia (WGA) and celebrate excellence, social impact and leadership through recognition of the outstanding programs of more than 60 organisations.

The Origin Energy Foundation developed a number of innovative programs and initiatives to respond to the uncertainty of 2020, resulting in the number of employees donating via payroll increase by 46 percent, contrary to trends seen across the broader community. Employee participation in Origin’s volunteering program – despite having to adapt to a virtual model in light of social distancing measures and school closures – equalled its highest ever at over 42 percent.

Origin Energy CEO Frank Calabria said, “Above all else, I am incredibly proud of how our people not only continued to support, but increased their commitment to helping those in need this year, particularly during such difficult and uncertain times.

“Giving has always been embedded in Origin’s culture but we have really seen genuine evidence of that during this pandemic. Participation reached across our whole organisation with everyone from senior leaders to retail staff getting involved. It makes me even more proud that the Origin Energy Foundation has been recognised in this way in its 10th anniversary year,” Mr Calabria said.  

With the cancellation of face-to-face volunteering in mid-March at the exact time when the need for services delivered by community partners increased, the Foundation immediately developed creative and innovative ways for Origin’s purpose-driven employees to continue to provide support.

“Watching the Foundation swiftly evolve to develop socially-distanced ways for our people to continue to give their time and skills to support the community, even while working remotely, has been one of my proudest moments this year. Well done to everyone at Origin and our Foundation for this recognition of the great work you do every day,” Mr Calabria said. 

Origin Energy Foundation – Volunteering in 2020 included:

  • Origin parents, grappling with home schooling, volunteered alongside their children to assemble 1,500 individual SolarBuddy solar lights for children living in energy poverty. Volunteer registrations for the program tripled the initial target.
  • To help support those in the community suffering from social isolation, Origin volunteers made calls to the elderly, unwell, and those affected by economic uncertainty with the Australian Red Cross. This was the first time such a program has been delivered outside of a physical call centre, using corporate volunteers. Meanwhile, Origin’s senior leaders mentored their counterparts at Red Cross, fostering exchange of ideas and expertise.
  • Origin volunteers recorded their favourite children’s stories for Indigenous students at the Gawura School, so they could continue the joy of reading while others shared their career journeys with Year 8 students in western Sydney.
  • In regional areas, exemption was granted so Meals on Wheels volunteer deliveries could continue.

There was no shortage of willing volunteers, and Origin’s program maintained record participation of over 42 percent. Throughout the pandemic, Origin’s employees have enthusiastically embraced opportunities to get involved and continue to donate their time and money to the community.

In the “Best Employer Response to a Crisis” category, Origin was awarded Silver alongside ANZ (Gold), Australian Unity and King & Wood Mallesons.

Two of the Origin Energy Foundation’s community partners were also recognised in the awards:

  • The Smith Family (Gold Award – Best Charity Workplace Giving Refresh)
  • Australian Red Cross (Silver Award – Best Innovation, for the COVID Connect program)

The Origin Energy Foundation is a philanthropic foundation established by Origin in 2010 with a focus on education as a pathway to a brighter future.



Michelle Zahra

Mobile: +61 412 375 101