Businesses wanting to stay ahead of their competitors should look to improve their sustainability credentials — and not just of the products they sell, a new report has claimed.
Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of Australian consumers are actively on the lookout for products and services that are sustainably sourced and delivered.
That is the finding of SME Pulse 2018: Strategies for Sustainable Growth, a joint study by American Express and Access Economics.
That sustainability involves not just the environment but people too, with demand surging for ethically-sourced products.
Such demand delivers an edge for smaller businesses over their larger competitors, where established supply chains offshore make it more difficult to source and deliver local, responsibly sourced and sustainable goods.
“With Australian shoppers increasingly basing spending decisions on how ethical they perceive a business to be, and the impact that business has on the environment and society in general, sustainable business practices are no longer a nice [thing] to have, they’re essential for any size of business competing today,” said Martin Seward, vice president of American Express Global Commercial Services.
“Our survey revealed that around two-thirds of SMEs (68 per cent) are concerned about intensifying competition from larger companies, so many are looking for ways to differentiate themselves and find a competitive edge.”
My Business previously spoke with three very different businesses whose core tenet is sustainability, and asked them to share their thoughts on whether the finances stack up and whether sustainability is more fad than future.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.