Whether it’s a personal ambition, a call from consumers or a call from within, businesses are increasingly looking at ways to operate more sustainably and reduce their impact on the environment.
For consumers, the call is strong to consider their individual buying decisions and the flow-on impact they have on the environment. Many believe brands bear just as much responsibility as governments when it comes to driving positive change, and consumers are seeing their own purchase power as a small but tangible “vote” towards greener choices.
A recent consumer study by Ernst and Young found that 24% of Australians are willing to pay a premium for more sustainable goods and services. The latest edition of the EY Future Consumer Index also found that 71% of Australians believe brands have a responsibility to make a positive change in the world, while 78% believe the behaviour of a company is just as important as what it sells.
So with consumers increasingly choosing brands that have environmentally sustainable practices or values, what is the opportunity for businesses to tap into this eco-awareness to grow their market share?
Less greenwashing, more green action
People are reflecting on more than simply price and product when making purchase decisions; with so much information available, they want to know if the values of the businesses they interact with align with their own values.
Businesses must do more than simply state their commitment to embracing sustainability. They must then tangibly back this up with transparent strategies and clear actions to reassure consumers of their direction.
Consumers are wary of vague pledges and “greenwashing”, and as a result, businesses must be prepared to demonstrate a genuine commitment to environmentally sustainable practices.
For this reason, private investment in renewable energy is soaring in Australia. One example is renewable energy company Zero Emissions Developments (ZED), which is currently seeking $30 million in funding for a manufacturing plant in Queensland to build longer-lasting, greener, and more affordable solar and Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries. Another is in New South Wales, which has pledged to make the state a “renewable energy superpower”, mandating construction of 12GW of clean energy and 2GW of storage over the next decade, a move that is expected to unlock $32bn in private investment.
The RBA also confirms that renewable energy investment has increased significantly in Australia in recent years, contributing to an ongoing trend away from traditional fossil fuel sources and towards renewables in the energy generation mix.
Many businesses already see the value of embracing an environmentally-friendly approach, with ESG Enterprise ranking the top 50 Australian businesses in regards to sustainability. Amidst this growing demand for businesses to go green, Make it Cheaper can help businesses big and small to work towards their sustainability goals.
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