Whilst it may be expected that the coronavirus crisis has businesses downgrading sustainability targets, surprising data shows the reverse.
The CommBank’s latest survey of almost 900 Australian businesses reveals that before the pandemic, 23% already had a sustainability policy in place with a further 29% intending to implement one.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, many businesses have doubled down on their goal of enhancing sustainability, with most saying that the pandemic had not changed their pre-existing focus. In fact, for 17% of businesses in the survey, sustainability has become a higher priority because of the new economic conditions.
Now more than ever, sustainability and the environment is a step in the right direction. Beyond social responsibility and reputation, our research has identified why sustainability practices are still important during these tough times. We’ve also offered some useful tips on how energy efficiency can optimise your business operations.
The need for greater efficiency
According to the survey, four in ten businesses saw this time as an opportunity to improve business efficiency by transitioning to more energy-efficient plant, equipment, and vehicles. Of these, half had already begun the process and the rest were planning this transition. In fact, energy efficiency had emerged as a key area of focus in the coming year for 62% of businesses – a rise of almost 10% since 2019. More surprisingly, the transition to greater energyefficiency is being led by sectors which saw the most significant declines in revenue from coronavirus, including construction (24%) and retail and hospitality (23%).
The survey results also confirmed that coronavirus has affected businesses differently, depending on their size and sector. While many businesses suffered revenue losses, others had made gains and were seeking opportunities to expand. These expanding businesses appeared to be building energy efficiency into their operations as they grew.
Increasing the energy efficiency of equipment
How much of a focus is increasing the energy efficiency of your plant and equipment in FY21?