Staggering New Research Uncovers: Businesses Relying on Climate Inaction May Not Survive

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Business leaders in Australia are currently under increasing pressure to take action towards environmental sustainability.

A recent study by Bain & Company shows that leaders in various sectors in Australia expect sustainability to cause significant changes in their industries. Around 90% of these leaders plan to prioritise sustainability while working to improve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance.

All the interviewed business leaders agreed that not taking action on sustainability could lead to risks for their businesses. For two-thirds of them, this was their main reason for taking action. 

On the other hand, one-third of leaders believed that sustainability presented significant opportunities to create value.

Fiona Thompson, Suncorp Group’s Executive of People, Culture & Advocacy, prioritises managing the company’s ESG strategy. Over time, the company’s outlook on ESG has evolved from being considered a strategic risk to a crucial aspect that applies to all Suncorp teams.

“ESG is now considered capable of providing growth and new opportunities for our organisation,” Thompson explains.

“Our approach to achieving a fully embedded Net Zero Transition Plan involves understanding the changing needs of our stakeholders, defining a clear purpose to guide our strategy, and creating business plans to reach our goals. By following this mindset, we believe we will succeed.”

The report by Bain & Company emphasises that most business leaders believe that ignoring sustainability can be risky for their companies. For instance, banks are more selective in financing projects and providing loans to those meeting their sustainability goals. 

Additionally, shareholders are becoming more vocal in requesting a concrete plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Therefore, businesses that fail to consider sustainability may not be able to compete in the future.

“Sustainability is not a nice-to-have but rather a must-have if companies want to stay competitive,” Thompson concludes. “It is clear that an effective ESG strategy should now be at the core of every business’s strategy for long-term success.”

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