Businesses value sustainability – NAB

SMEs are investing in greener options, report shows

Businesses value sustainability – NAB


By Mina Martin

One in five small and medium business owners are planning to improve the sustainability of their business over the next two years, according to the NAB Sustainability Insights Special Report.

The report, which surveyed more than 2,750 Australians across the country, also revealed that sustainability has become more important to one in four consumers, who said they would choose an alternative, more sustainable product, service, or brand, if available.

Julie Rynski, NAB executive for business metro, said the findings were in line with what she has been hearing directly from customers.

“There’s a growing recognition of the importance of sustainability not just for the top end of town, but also for smaller businesses in our cities and regions,” Rynski said. “Our customers increasingly want to address climate change and improve their business operations while reducing costs at the same time. Businesses are adapting to a lower growth environment while finding new ways of becoming more efficient, rather than passing on costs to customers who are juggling cost-of-living pressures.”

Rynski said the bank’s Agri Green loan and business finance for green equipment were both receiving significant increases in customer interest.

“We have seen very strong demand from our business banking customers for electric vehicles in particular, with annualised growth rates of +400% from FY22 to FY23,” Rynski said. “Uptake for NAB’s new Agri Green Loan is also strong. We’ve seen a 300% increase in pipeline activity since its launch back in December after a one-year pilot.”

The report also found that more than one in three consumers strongly believed businesses have a responsibility to operate sustainably. When asked specifically about climate change, around one in 10 SMEs strongly agreed that it represented a significant business risk.

When it came to what actions SMEs were planning to take in the next five years to cut carbon emissions, around one in five identified renewable energy or solar power, followed by vehicles (e.g., moving to greater use of hybrid, electric, or/and zero-emission vehicles).

Use the comment section below to tell us how you felt about this story. 

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!