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Why your boss is now much more likely to be worried about climate change


The focus on dealing with the pandemic has not eased concerns about the looming threat of climate change with a survey showing that 74 per cent of Australian executives think the world is at a tipping point.

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And in a world where money talks, modelling done by Deloittes for the Business Council of Australia showed that climate change could cost the economy $3.4 trillion within 50 years, but rapid action could generate $890 billion and 200,000 jobs over the same period.

The level of concern is higher than just eight months ago when it was 54 per cent, according to Deloitte, which did the survey of 2000 executives across 21 countries, including Australia.

Almost all of the Australian executives surveyed said their business had already been impacted by climate change. They cited the regulatory impacts, the costs of mitigation, social pressure and resource scarcity.

There was also a higher level of concern in Australia than elsewhere and they also expressed concern over increased bushfires, powerful storms, severe flooding and drought.

But they also believed there was still time to act and agreed that with immediate actions the worst could be avoided.

Deloittte global chief executive Punit Renjen said the battle against climate change isn’t a choice.

“It’s billions of dollars,” he said.

He said bold leaders were needed while there was time to limit the damage.

“It’s time to prove we are up to the challenge,” he said.

Meanwhile, new research by Mastercard found 76 per cent of Australian organisations say sustainability is critical for success in their industry.

At the same time, 81 per cent of Australian consumers claim they are already actively seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Almost half said they would actively avoid shopping at a business that did not source its products sustainably. One in 10 went as far as saying they would only purchase from sustainable businesses by 2024.

Mastercard division president Australasia Richard Wormald said the research reinforces that implementing sustainable business practices must be a key agenda item for 2022 and beyond, alongside the need for leaders to take collective action against climate change.

“Tackling the global climate crisis isn’t possible without everyone’s involvement, no matter how big or small their footprint is, and Australians are looking to organisations to step up and do their part in protecting the planet,” he said.

“Taking collective action provides an opportunity to reduce overheads and time-consuming administration for SMEs while contributing to a greater output and result for the environment.”




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