According to a new survey, half of all Australian SMEs are willing to take action on climate change to become more sustainable, even if it has a negative impact on their finances in the short term.
A survey conducted by AFS, a specialist market research company, and sustainability advisory and assurance firm Net Balance, found that of the 800 businesses surveyed, 51 percent were willing to take action on climate change even if it had a negative impact on their financial performance in the short term.
From this, 46 percent said change would come at a cost, 31 percent expect to achieve an increase in sales, with 37 realising an overall improvement in margins.
According to AFS executive chairman Drew Le Grand, many SMEs are now pursuing sustainability options.
“A quarter of SMEs believe that sustainability is a selling proposition for them, a tangible opportunity to differentiate from their competitors,” he said.
Net Balance director Terence Jeyaretnam said over the past 12 months, more than two thirds of the businesses surveyed had taken steps to become more sustainably competitive, stemming from customer, government and stakeholder pressure.
“Competitors, government, customers and suppliers as well as employees, family and friends are all influencers when it comes to transforming SMEs into more sustainable businesses,” he said.
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