Expectations of business have changed – at all levels

Sustainability issues have risen to the top of the agenda for companies and investors. Climate change and nature loss are now viewed as a financial risk to individual companies as well as the global economy.2 In addition, consumers are making buying decisions that reflect their rising environmental awareness and concern.

In 2021, the Global Sustainability Study found that 50% of consumers ranked sustainability as a top five value driver. The younger the respondent, the more important sustainability was to them.3 One year later in 2022, an international survey by IBM found that consumers' actions were beginning to match their intent. While a previous IBM survey reported that one-third of respondents had paid more for sustainable products or services within the past year,4 that figure lifted to 49% in the 2022 survey.5

Data such as this shows why forward-thinking businesses should be preparing for sustainable practices to be the norm – not the exception.

The framework for a clean and green business

The business world is now looking at sustainability issues more broadly, focusing on more than reducing greenhouse gases.6 Essentially, the more circular the economy, the more sustainable it is.

Circular economy business models and practices seek to maximise the value of the energy, materials and other resources they use and minimise the number of new resources they extract and consume.

The three principles of a circular economy are:

  1. eliminate waste and pollution
  2. circulate products and materials (at their highest value) for as long as possible
  3. regenerate nature.7

Your clients may also be interested in aiming for Climate Active certification, which is awarded to Australian entities or products that have credibly reached net zero emissions.8

Clients with more established sustainability goals may be interested in investigating the paradigm shift from a compensation model (such as offset schemes) to a nature repair market.

The Australian Government recently released a draft bill to that aims to achieve nature positive outcomes by preserving and improving biodiversity, driven by corporate nature-disclosure, science-based targets for nature, and carbon credits with co-benefits.9

How Commbank can assist your clients

CommBank recognises the range of challenges that face businesses across differing sectors by expanding our range of sustainable solutions. We offer funding solutions that can be used for businesses ranging from retail, health care, waste management and agriculture through to social infrastructure, commercial property, or natural resources.

Brokers can work with CommBank to tailor a suitable solution for business customers committed to delivering improved environmental or social outcomes, with our green loans and sustainable solutions. This includes:

  • The Agri Green Loan** offers discounted finance for eligible new environmental projects on your clients' farms, and for all other industries the Business Green Loan is the appropriate financing solution for customers looking to reduce their emissions, build climate change resilience and utilise our natural resources.
  • Green vehicle and equipment finance with discounts of up to 1% p.a.* (100 basis points) off the standard rate.