Businesses are cashing in on sustainability, according to new survey

Schneider Electric

Monday, 08 November, 2021

Businesses are cashing in on sustainability, according to new survey

Protecting the planet is profitable, according to a new survey of 500 decision-makers in some of Australia’s largest companies.

The research conducted by Schneider Electric shows that the majority (63%) of businesses believe that sustainable transformation provides a competitive edge.

Additionally, over three-quarters (77%) of business leaders believe that sustainable products and services have become an expectation for consumers and investors. And 60% report that investors and financial institutions are becoming increasingly focused on a company’s sustainability strategy.

These trends are likely to increase: a recent complementary study on the future of energy by KPMG revealed that a majority of industry leaders believe that by 2030 a law will have been passed requiring companies to meet specific ESG (environment, social and governance) targets.

In response to this shift in stakeholder priorities, many are moving to accelerate their sustainable transformation. Nine in 10 respondents to the Schneider Electric survey said they believed their organisations should accelerate their sustainable transformation.

Nearly 40% of respondents had a sustainability roadmap in place and another 30% are discussing one. More than a third have increased their investment in sustainability over the past three years.

The majority of businesses surveyed are implementing renewable energy, 64% are discussing or have begun purchasing renewable energy and the same percentage are considering or installing solar, while 43% are discussing or installing microgrids.

Schneider Electric’s Pacific Zone President and Managing Director Gareth O’Reilly said: “Our study shows that 90% of Australian organisations understand and support the need for a greener and more responsible approach to energy. Climate change has become a defining factor in the long-term prospects of many businesses and the next 10 years will be critical to their future growth.

“Across the Pacific region we’re seeing a growing number of businesses wanting to integrate alternative energy management systems into their corporate strategy, with many exploring the use of microgrids and solar on an industrial scale to help provide a more competitive advantage.

“At Schneider Electric, we see electrification and digitisation as inseparable and critical parts of the fight against climate change. A successful corporate sustainability strategy needs to be designed and implemented end to end to accelerate the delivery of concrete results across the business.

“The good news is that today’s digital technologies can help us make decisions smarter, faster and more precisely — all of which is ultimately better for the planet.”

Almost three-quarters (72%) of organisations that took part in the survey believe that Australia must commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Coles was one of the brands that participated in the study. Chief Sustainability, Property and Export Office, Thinus Keeve commented: “Under the Together to Zero focus area in Coles’ Sustainability Strategy, we have set a target of net zero emissions by 2050, as part of our ambition to become Australia’s most sustainable supermarket.

“Net zero emissions by 2050 is an ambition that aligns with the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming and will guide Coles’ ongoing work to drive sustainability in all parts of our business.

“We know this isn’t something we can do on our own and we will need to work with our team, customers, suppliers and communities to make a meaningful difference and reach our targets.

“As a significant step towards our net zero ambition, we have contracts in place with renewable energy providers that will allow the entire Coles Group to be powered by 100% renewable electricity by the end of FY25.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Arthon

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