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Sustainable Business Practices: The Influence On Corporate Business Brokerage

Garry Stephensen

Article Author: Garry Stephensen
Position: Managing Director
Read time: 5 mins

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Do Green Investments = A Better Future?

In today's rapidly changing world, how important is sustainability and environmental responsibility? Are these just buzz words used in the service of virtue signaling? Or is there a case to be made here that sustainable business practices are good for both business growth and the environment.  On an increasing basis, we see Australian businesses striving to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This article explores the influence of sustainable business practices on corporate business brokerage within Australia.

Sustainable Business Practices and their Influence on Corporate Business Brokerage

The Rise of Sustainable Business Practices in Australia

Australia has witnessed a substantial shift in recent years towards sustainable business practices. With growing concerns about climate change, resource depletion, and social equity, companies across various sectors are embracing sustainability as a core business strategy. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of businesses implementing environmental management practices increased by 56% between 2016 and 2022, showcasing the rapid growth of sustainability-focused initiatives in the country.

Sustainability-focused initiatives in Australia encompass a wide range of practices aimed at reducing environmental impact, promoting social responsibility, and ensuring long-term economic viability.

These initiatives typically include:

  1. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: Improving energy efficiency is a crucial aspect of sustainability. Australian businesses are increasingly adopting energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lighting, smart building management systems, and energy-efficient appliances, to reduce their carbon footprint. Moreover, the transition to renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydro power is a key focus area. Many companies are investing in on-site renewable energy generation and exploring power purchase agreements with renewable energy providers.

  2. Waste Reduction and Recycling Sustainable waste management practices are gaining traction across Australian businesses. Initiatives include implementing recycling programs, reducing packaging waste, promoting circular economy principles, and utilizing innovative technologies for waste treatment and recycling. Companies are also adopting sustainable procurement practices, choosing suppliers that prioritize environmentally friendly materials and packaging. The city of Adelaide has seen the fast growth in this sector during 2022.

  3. Water Conservation: Australia is known for its water scarcity challenges, making water conservation a critical sustainability issue. Businesses are implementing water-efficient technologies, such as low-flow fixtures and water-efficient irrigation systems, to minimize water consumption. This is especially the case in Sydney and Melbourne.  Businesses that use water recycling and rainwater harvesting systems proactively reduce their reliance on freshwater sources, reducing the overall strain on the country's natural resources.

  4. Sustainable Supply Chains: Many companies are recognizing the importance of sustainable supply chains and are working towards reducing their environmental impact throughout the entire value chain. This includes partnering with suppliers who adhere to sustainability principles, implementing responsible sourcing practices, and ensuring transparency in the supply chain. Savvy businesses are also prioritizing local sourcing to minimize transportation-related emissions.

  5. Social Responsibility and Diversity: Sustainable business practices extend beyond environmental considerations to encompass social responsibility. Companies are increasingly focusing on issues such as diversity, inclusion, and fair labour practices. This includes promoting gender equality, implementing policies to address discrimination and harassment, and supporting local communities through philanthropic initiatives and volunteer programs.

  6. Reporting and Disclosure: Transparency and accountability are key elements of sustainable business practices. Many companies in Australia are voluntarily disclosing their sustainability performance through various reporting frameworks, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). These reports provide stakeholders with a comprehensive view of a company's environmental, social, and governance performance.

  7. Collaboration and Partnerships: Sustainability challenges are complex and require collaboration across sectors. Many businesses in Australia are engaging in partnerships and industry collaborations to drive collective action. Collaborative initiatives often focus on knowledge sharing, research and development, and joint advocacy for policy changes that support sustainable business practices. 

By embracing these sustainability-focused initiatives, businesses in Australia can not only reduce their environmental impact but also enhance their long-term competitiveness, attract socially responsible investors, and contribute to the overall well-being of society and the planet.

As seen in the Financial Review and the Courier Mail.

Impact on Corporate Business Brokerage

The influence of sustainable business practices on corporate business brokerage cannot be underestimated. The integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions has become a key consideration for both investors and corporate entities. Research by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) reveals that the total value of assets under management applying responsible investment strategies in Australia reached AUD 1.15 trillion in 2022, a staggering 71% increase from the previous year.

Sustainable Business Practices and their Influence on Corporate Business Brokerage

Green Investments and the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy

Green investments, specifically those aimed at mitigating climate change and transitioning to a low-carbon economy, have gained significant traction in recent years. Australia, with its vast renewable energy potential, has become an attractive destination for green investments. In fact, the Clean Energy Council reports that Australia's clean energy sector attracted AUD 20.9 billion in investment in 2021 alone, a 14% increase compared to the previous year.

Renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar farms, have not only contributed to Australia's clean energy capacity but have also fueled job creation and economic growth. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) estimates that the renewable energy sector will support over 50,000 direct jobs by 2025. This presents a unique opportunity for corporate business brokerage to facilitate investments in renewable energy projects, leading to a greener and more sustainable future.

Emergence of Sustainable Startups

Sustainable startups and innovative companies are driving change in the Australian business landscape. These enterprises, focused on creating products and services with minimal environmental impact, are attracting both investors and consumers who prioritize sustainability. The Startup Muster Annual Report 2021 revealed that 70% of Australian startups surveyed have a social or environmental mission, highlighting the strong connection between sustainability and entrepreneurship.

Corporate business brokers such as Lloyds, play a vital role in supporting the growth of sustainable startups. By connecting investors with these innovative ventures, brokerage firms can foster a thriving ecosystem of sustainable businesses. Data from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) indicates that investments in sustainable startups have been on the rise, with a 37% increase in capital raised by sustainable startups in 2021.

View our track record of business sales.

The Business Case for Sustainability

Sustainable business practices not only contribute to a better future but also make good financial sense. Numerous studies have shown that companies integrating sustainability into their business strategies outperform their non-sustainable peers. A research study by the University of Oxford found that companies with strong sustainability practices have better stock market performance and lower cost of capital. 

Correlation is not necessarily causation, nether-the-less, sustainable business practices enhance brand reputation and stakeholder trust. In turn, this can lead to increased customer loyalty and a competitive edge in the market.  

Business Broker - Garry Stephensen

Managing Director
Business Broker - Karen Dado

Director NSW
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Lloyds Corporate Partner - Mergers & Acquisition Specialist
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Director Victoria
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Research Director and Corporate Broker
Business Broker - Rudolf (Rudy) J Weber

Lloyds Corporate Brokers - Foundation Director

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