Survey sheds light on sustainability

GOING green is more about the economic gains than the environmental benefits, a recent survey has shown.

BDO Kendalls and Effective Governance have released the 2009 Corporate and Environmental Sustainability Survey that shows becoming sustainable is more about increased efficiency and competitive advantage than environmental protection.

Partner Dylan Byrne says 83.5 per cent of respondents see developing a unique value proposition as the main motivator for adopting sustainable practices, with 77 per cent choosing competitive advantage as a key driver.

“Interestingly, financial and social motivations rated more highly than environmental factors when it came to organisations becoming more sustainable,” says Byrne.

“Ultimately, making financial gains from sustainability initiatives by translating them into a competitive advantage such as a unique value proposition or increased efficiencies are the key drivers.”

The level of sustainability also equates to how the community views organisations as well, with 94 per cent of respondents recognising enhanced reputation with all stakeholders is a key driver.

Another major issue is the expectations of clients to go green, with 93 per cent agreeing this is a major factor.

But 56 per cent were unaware of government funds available for sustainability initiatives and 59 per cent cited a lack of a clear vision or objectives as key barriers.

“From an environmental perspective, organisations are primarily concerned with reducing energy consumption and waste, with social drivers such as improving their standing with stakeholders also being financially motivated,” says Byrne.

Effective Governance senior adviser Shad Sears, says organisations are motivated by pressing financial concerns so justifying expenses to develop a business case for sustainability can be difficult.

He says surveys into motivations for going green are very important as Queensland has the highest level of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, accounting for 30 per cent of Australia’s total.

“By analysing organisations’ motives and barriers to improve their environmental, social and governance performance, programs can be developed to enhance their sustainability and provide financial justifications for it,” he says.

Enjoyed this article?

Don't miss out on the knowledge and insights to be gained from our daily news and features.

Subscribe today to unlock unlimited access to in-depth business coverage, expert analysis, and exclusive content across all devices.

Support independent journalism and stay informed with stories that matter to you.

Subscribe now and get 50% off your first year!

Four time-saving tips for automating your investment portfolio
Partner Content
In today's fast-paced investment landscape, time is a valuable commodity. Fortunately, w...
Etoro
Advertisement

Related Stories

“Not our desired outcome”: Telix withdraws from $300m Nasdaq IPO

“Not our desired outcome”: Telix withdraws from $300m Nasdaq IPO

Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX: TLX), one of the nation’s largest...

CommBank joins new ‘intelligence loop’ to combat SMS phishing scams

CommBank joins new ‘intelligence loop’ to combat SMS phishing scams

In an effort to reduce the number of SMS phishing scam victims...

Stralis Aircraft secures funding to make commercial hydrogen planes a reality

Stralis Aircraft secures funding to make commercial hydrogen planes a reality

Brisbane-based Stralis Aircraft has become one step closer to its a...

A year after the PwC scandal, the furore is gone – as well as the appetite for structural change

A year after the PwC scandal, the furore is gone – as well as the appetite for structural change

It was a scandal that rocked the shaky foundations of Australia&rsq...