Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Regulations motivate climate action

Australian executives are increasing sustainability investment as climate action shifts from voluntary to mandatory, according to a new report.

Released today, Deloitte’s 2023 CxO Sustainability Report: Accelerating the Green Transition reveals that 78% of executives say a fast changing Australian regulatory environment motivated climate action in 2022.

“Australian business executives are starting to see the shift from voluntary action to mandated change,” says Head of Deloitte Access Economics Dr Pradeep Philip.

“The recent proposed change to the safeguard mechanism and emissions targets for big polluters show the regulatory environment is changing. This trend is likely to continue, marking the end of the age of voluntary action and the beginning of a new period of mandatory transition.”

Climate change features prominently as one of the top three issues facing executives, behind the economic outlook and the search for talent, with 68% of executives reporting that they have increased their investment in sustainability over the last year.

The report also reveals most Australian business leaders (79%) remain optimistic that economic growth can be achieved while also reaching climate change goals.

“While executives are united on some of the key benefits of climate action such as brand recognition, employee engagement and positively impacting a shared world crisis, only 31% cited investor returns as a key benefit of accelerated climate action,” says Dr Philip.

“Done right, rapid decarbonisation presents the single biggest growth opportunity for Australian business and we expect to see this recognition shift as fast movers take the benefit of stakeholder demand for action.”

Deloitte’s report offers several recommendations to help CxOs get started, including embedding climate goals into their overall business strategy and purpose, building trust by taking credible climate actions, empowering the board, encouraging stakeholder action, investing in today’s (and tomorrow’s) technologies, and collaborating to drive systems-level change.

To dive into the recommendations and learn more about Deloitte’s 2023 CxO Sustainability Report, please visit: deloitte.com/CxOReport.

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