Australian Survey Highlights The Importance Of Sustainable Transformation

Around 500 corporate professionals take part in the survey with a majority of them believing that greener future is the key to progress
Staff Reporter | Australia | Facilities Management

A survey of over 500 decision-makers across corporate Australia has found that a vast majority believes that a greener future is critical to both business and national success. Key findings in Schneider Electric‘s Sustainability Index 2023 include a three-quarters (77 per cent) majority who believe sustainable transformation will deliver a competitive edge, and a more than two-thirds majority (69 per cent) who agree that Australia must achieve net zero to remain economically competitive.

“It’s clear that businesses recognise the strategic importance of sustainable transformation. With less than 80 months until 2030, the challenge for businesses now is to fulfil that strategic opportunity at pace,” said Schneider Electric Pacific Zone President, Gareth O’Reilly.

While businesses have been growing more aware of, and committed to, addressing Australia’s sustainability challenges, the survey finds that their implementation of decarbonisation strategies has been lacklustre.'

A mere 52 per cent of respondents have discussed or utilised a decarbonisation strategy in their businesses. In other words, about half of Australian companies have not committed to assisting the nation’s move to a zero-emissions future.

The survey shows how businesses struggle with energy challenges. Risks and costs incurred from energy supply and resource problems were highlighted as the most critical issues by 42 per cent of companies. As electricity prices continue to climb upward, only 32 per cent of companies are confident they can manage energy price volatility.Furthermore, 27 per cent of those surveyed articulated anxieties over the reliability of Australia’s power grid, demonstrating the necessity for a sustainable and robust energy infrastructure.

Notably, businesses expressed that they needed more resources to transition to sustainable energy, and that they needed more government incentives to do so. “To achieve the necessary emission reductions, it is essential that businesses set ambitious targets and map out the path to achieving them,” O’Reilly says. “Many of the steps companies can take to improve energy efficiency and introduce their own renewable energy supply will not only improve their bottom line, but also protect them from volatility in energy supplies and pricing.”

Reducing Scope 1,2,3 emissions

Although most companies have pledged some commitment to reducing their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, few have given consideration on Scope 3 emissions. 42 per cent of companies expected to reach zero Scope 1 emissions, direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Meanwhile, 37 per cent aimed to reach zero Scope 2 emissions, which refer to indirect emissions generated from purchased electricity, heating, and cooling used by the company.
Only 24 per cent of businesses wanted to reach zero Scope 3 emissions, which comprises all indirect emissions in the value chain, like those associated with procuring and using products and services. Zero Scope 3 emissions is the most difficult level to attain.

Tackling sustainability through demand

Underscoring the survey is the urgency for more action and the need to embrace digital solutions in achieving our sustainability goals, with 78 per cent of companies recognising that digital technology is vital in the race towards sustainability. “Corporate Australia is ready to fully embrace sustainability, but we need to support businesses in turning these intentions to outcomes,” said O’Reilly. “Organisations must embrace sustainable transformation, prioritise digitalisation, and implement robust decarbonisation strategies now.”

live Now