Companies to reap bottom line benefits of sustainability investments

Posted by James Ferre on 26th October 2009

Companies can make considerable sums by greening their bottom-line an internationally respected de-carbonisation and sustainability expert told Australian businesses this week.Dr Martin Blake, a business guru and sustainability veteran of 25 years, whose visit from the UK is supported by Austrade, Industry & Investment NSW and CPA, said that implementing cutting edge carbon abatement models can deliver cost savings and attract further investment.

“Businesses that have adopted this approach are now reaping the financial rewards, proving that it isn’t just theory that a green agenda can deliver for your bottom line,” he explained. “Cutting edge carbon abatement methods have delivered not only reputational benefits but substantial cost and carbon savings for those companies that have been smart enough to implement one.”

“From every perspective, emitting carbon costs money – you buy the fuel that contains it, you pay tax on your emissions, and if you want to become carbon neutral you have to pay for carbon credits to offset your emissions,” Dr Blake added. “So it’s a simple case of avoiding paying for the same carbon three or four times by emitting as little as possible- it makes good business sense.”

Austrade Chief Economist Tim Harcourt said Australian businesses that embraced sustainable strategies, improved their bottom line.

Just as exporters have boosted growth and profitability by raising wages, occupational health and safety (OH & S), and good employment practices, businesses that adopt sustainable are also seeing a benefit to their balance sheet as well.

“Sustainable business approaches are what the community expects and what investors want, and whilst the efforts of some blue-chip corporates like Westpac and Lend Lease are well known, there are many others who can take a leaf out of their books and tap into the international opportunities afforded by this approach,” he maintained. “In fact, a recent study by A.T Kearney demonstrated that during the first six months of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) companies committed to sustainability outperformed industry averages by 15%.”

“This superior performance averages out to US$650 million ($A699 million) in protected market capitalisation per company.”