Despite the best efforts – and blood oaths – of Tony Abbott, a new survey has found that just under three-quarters of Australian businesses think that the carbon price, in one form or another, is here to stay. And to back this sentiment, the survey also found that 85 per cent of businesses directly impacted already have carbon reduction strategies in place.
The second annual ‘Australian Low-Carbon Readiness Barometer’ from the Economist Intelligence Unit – a survey of 136 senior executives in Australia across a broad mix of industries, released today and commissioned by GE – has found that more than two-thirds of all Australian firms have some sort of carbon reduction strategy in place, and almost a third (29 per cent) have modeled the impact on their business operations.
“Business is getting on with the job of reducing their energy usage and therefore reducing their emissions,” said Steve Sargent, President and CEO of GE Australia and New Zealand.
“Now it is about action rather than policy. It is encouraging to see that the companies that are directly affected by carbon pricing are taking action. The big opportunity for business is in improved productivity from lower energy usage and innovation aimed at cost reduction and growth.”
The survey found that, of the firms set to be directly affected by carbon pricing, some 85 per cent have a carbon-reduction strategy in place, with a further 6 per cent in the process of developing one. Of the firms which will be indirectly affected by carbon pricing, however, only 10 per cent have conducted such modeling.
And while a majority of executives surveyed believe a carbon price is here to stay, most half believe a better scheme will eventually replace the current model, with almost two-thirds believing $A23 per tonne price is too high, and around 10 per cent saying it is too low.
Of the companies directly impacted, more than half have set up dedicated roles or teams to identify greater energy efficiency measures internally. Around 30 per cent have hired external consultants to help identify opportunities.
“The results demonstrate that an imminent price on carbon is working to change behaviour and drive action,” said Ben Waters, Director of GE ecomagination in Australia and New Zealand.
“This is the new business reality; doing more with less will be important this century. As with all new trends, business will react and adapt in different stages, however it is encouraging to see that starting to happen.”