As the urgency around climate change looms large, businesses across Australia are turning to the virtual world to save the planet. The rise of digital and electrified technologies, from artificial intelligence to electric vehicles (EVs), is being hailed by many business leaders as a leading solution in the search for sustainable practices.
According to Schneider Electric’s newly released Sustainability Index, 2023 report, over three-quarters (78%) of decision-makers in corporate Australia believe that digital solutions play a key role in achieving sustainability goals.
While there have been some positive developments, the nation's progress in reducing emissions falls far short of the targets set to combat climate change. The Australian Office of Financial Management's November report revealed that emissions have only dropped by 21% since 2005, less than half of the required 43% reduction by 2030.
"Rapid and impactful solutions are needed to support businesses' energy transition," urged Carlos Urbano, Vice President, Industry for Pacific Zone at Schneider Electric. "Technologies ranging from digital twins to monitoring, visualisation, and automation provide the quickest wins to significantly understand and reduce emissions to help meet 2030 targets."
The report offers a range of findings based on a quantitative survey of more than 500 decision-makers across corporate Australia. Revealing that 82% of businesses believe that the benefits of adopting sustainable technology outweigh the costs. This notable increase from 75% in 2022 showcases the growing recognition that sustainability initiatives not only protect the planet but also contribute to long-term business success.
To propel sustainability efforts, 55% of businesses reported that they are ramping up investments in digital transformation compared to three years ago. Furthermore, 41% are prioritising automation, and 22% are embracing EVs. These investments demonstrate the commitment of Australian businesses to leverage digital and electrified technologies for a sustainable future.
“Businesses are actively investing in digital, starting with tools that help them understand their energy usage,” added Mr Urbano. “It is essential to move beyond outdated methods, such as relying on bills and spreadsheets, to sophisticated tools and technologies. With less than seven years remaining to make significant progress, it is crucial for businesses to embrace modern approaches to gain accurate insights into energy usage and carbon emissions,” he added.
Professional services stand out as frontrunners in embracing digital transformation, with 89% reporting that digital is playing a key role in achieving sustainability goals, followed by manufacturing (87%) and financial services (85%). Even at the other end of the spectrum, over half (55%) of respondents in food and beverage saw the benefits of digital technologies.
"Across industries, businesses have a pivotal role to play in addressing the climate crisis. We must act urgently and work together, adopting digital solutions, embracing electrified technologies, and transforming our operations to ensure a sustainable future," emphasised Mr Urbano.
Download the full Schneider Electric Sustainability Index, 2023 report here: Sustainability Index, 2023 for more information about the state of corporate Australia’s sustainability, electrification, and decarbonisation efforts.
78% of business leaders agree ‘Digital is playing a key role in achieving sustainability goals’
82% of respondents believe ‘the benefits outweigh the costs when it comes to adopting sustainable technology’ - an increase of 7% on 2022 findings
Businesses are ramping up investment in digital transformation (55%) and automation (41%) compared to three years ago
Professional services is the industry most likely to be investing more in digital transformation (69%)
About Schneider Electric
Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.
Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency.
We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centres, infrastructure and industries.
We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.