The Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VECCI) recently surveyed 91 Victorian businesses on their attitudes on working with the environment.
The impressive and interesting results, which show business see it in their interest to work towards being greener, were published on the Victorian Government and Business green collaboration website, Grow Me The Money.
• Employees are exerting the single greatest pressure to change. Four out of ten businesses say that their employees are demanding changes to improve environmental performance
• Social or community responsibility is the most important motivation to make changes in businesses with two thirds of businesses putting this slightly ahead of financial benefit (64%), environmental damage (53%)
customer demand (41%) and Government regulation (39%).
• Around half those surveyed say that current environmental issues have had an effect on their business. This is split between a positive and a negative effect.
• At least half of the respondents were unaware of their current water, waste and energy usage over the past six months
• Businesses have made a conscious effort to reduce water consumption, with more than half actively taking measures to reduce their usage. Half of Victoria’s businesses feel they are efficient or very efficient in their water usage but 40% say that more needs to be done.
• Overwhelmingly, 81% businesses believe that carbon emissions contribute to global warming. Two thirds believe that their business contributes to Australia’s level of carbon emissions and 4 out of 10 intend taking steps to reduce this in the next 12 months with most of these planning to take even shorter term action.
• Disturbingly over one third of businesses have no intention of action and 13% are unsure about doing anything.
• Over half of the businesses surveyed say they have made other changes in the past twelve months that will benefit the environment.
• Almost half those surveyed believe that making environmentally beneficial changes will save them money
• Business believes that households have been making the most significant progress in reducing the impact on the environment.
• About half the businesses surveyed have environmental policies compared with 82% with OHS policies and around 70% with equal opportunity and bullying policies.
• Water (38%) followed closely by electricity and waste are identified as the most important environmental issues facing their businesses. Electricity is the area where businesses feel they have the ability to make changes to reduce impact on the environment (water and waste follow closely)
• Seven out of ten businesses are undaunted at the idea of making environmental changes.
• Cost and time are the most important barriers to making change. Resources and knowledge have a lesser influence.
• Funding and financial incentives, legislation and a coordinated approach would help overcome these challenges.
Grow Me The Money is a free program for Victorian businesses interested in environmental sustainability, a collaboration between business, government, universities and environmental management experts to help all Victorian businesses take important steps towards eco-friendly ways of doing business.