Business purpose

The time is now: How Australian businesses can address climate change and sustainability for long-term success

- July 7, 2023 2 MIN READ
Environmental and sustainability considerations for business

Climate change and sustainability have become increasingly important issues for businesses in recent years. This is due in part to the growing recognition of human activity’s impact on the environment, as well as the increasing demands of consumers for more sustainable products and practices, writes Ashley Olsson, founder of sustainability advisory firm, Evolveable Consulting.

Many businesses need to be made aware of their significant dependency on nature and finite resources, which presents a chronic risk that needs to be managed to ensure the long-term sustainability of their operations.

As natural resources become scarcer and climate change intensifies, businesses must understand and address these dependencies to protect their operations from disruption and negative impacts on their bottom line.

The impacts of climate change are already being felt across Australia, and businesses must act now to mitigate them and protect their long-term operations.

The pressure is on

With increased sustainability regulation, governments and organisations are placing more significant pressure via contracts on their supply chain participants (including small and medium-sized businesses) to act. Over the coming 24 months, we can expect further environmental regulatory requirements with soon-to-be-mandated climate and nature-based related disclosures that will impact small and medium businesses across supply chains.

If your business does promote your product or service as being green or sustainable, be sure to have the evidence to back it up to avoid any claims of greenwashing.

Sustainability tips for all businesses

To address these challenges and seize opportunities, businesses in Australia need to take a proactive approach to integrate climate and sustainability considerations into their business processes.

There are a range of options available, depending on your business sector, that can help to improve your bottom line. These include:

  • Integrating sustainability aspects into your core business strategy; sustainability is not an add-on.
  • Leverage the various government funding opportunities such as energy efficiency grants (renewable energy, electric vehicles) available to support businesses in their sustainability transition.
  • Understand the carbon footprint of your products and services across your value chain.
  • Consider transitioning to more circular business models, where you provide a product as a service.
  • Assess sustainable procurement opportunities.

Businesses in Australia must take immediate action to address climate and sustainability issues to meet the growing expectations of clients, consumers, regulators, investors and employees.

By doing so, they can protect their operations, contribute to the urgent need to address climate change and gain a competitive advantage in a rapidly changing business landscape.


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