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  • Businesses that looked beyond the election cycle are the big winners post-election

    16 Sep 2013 1:46 am

    As the dust settles on another election, for some Australian businesses, governments – along with their policies – will come and go, but those that have taken an approach of resilience and look beyond the election cycle have their business strategies intact.

    Typically election cycles and the period post-elections are marked by poor market performance and consumer confidence, “Uncertainty created by the election has certainly not helped support business action and this is probably not going to be addressed immediately after,” comments Rupert Posner, CEO for Good Environmental Choice Australia and Advisory Board member for the Australian Sustainability Conference.

    Many businesses within the sustainability sector have seen both strategic and financial benefits of an approach of resilience that not only successfully navigates disruptions, such as election cycles, but can also create long-term value.

    Highlighting the importance of this approach is a recent study showing that:

    • Over 90 per cent of businesses were committing to sustainability and environmental policies and the same number had a dedicated environmental team
    • The number of organisations that had completed energy efficiency and reduction plans to make their business more resilient and profitable was over 80 per cent

    “From the discussions that we have with businesses within the sector, there is no doubt that if companies fully understand and address sustainability issues from a long-term perspective they will enjoy economic and business benefits irrespective of the vagaries of elections and government policies,” said Posner.

    “This is, of course, not to diminish the importance of well thought out government policy and working with both sides of government to see business action supported.”

    Additionally, staying focused and not being swayed by the electoral topic of the moment has been an opportunity for many businesses with a sustainability or resilience-led agenda commented Posner, “Discussions of carbon gained a little traction towards the very end of the election but all-in-all we mostly saw climate change dropped from the headlines.”

    “In the meantime, on the ground we can see many companies taking a greater interest in broader sustainability issues and increasingly understanding some of the long-term benefits they can reap by improving their own sustainability, and there is no sign of that abating.”

    Knowing how and when to implement policies and strategies of sustainability or resilience to see your business progress during disruption will be key themes of discussion for the upcoming Australian Sustainability Conference held in Melbourne 9/10 October.

    Former member of Victorian Government The Hon. Tom Roper will discuss the importance of improving resilience to climate change and the role of governments and business in a session titled, Adapt – Adaptability.

    Understanding the implications to business and international, regional & national policy developments related to carbon will be explored by Head of Sustainability from ANZ, Catherine Bremner and Manager Environmental Policy from Toyota, Nick Carter in the Carbon in Store panel session.

    The Australian Sustainability Conference acknowledges that there is a lot to be learnt from this election and also of potential policy outcomes following the election, and the program offers business an opportunity to learn a best-practice approach from others.

    “In many situations what is good for your business will still be good for your business, irrespective of the approach taken by government,” commented Posner

    “The trick is not to wait for others to tell you what to do – understand the issues, look for the opportunities and act, and there will be benefits.” concluded Posner.

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