Consumers and business leaders alike are using technology to help them become more sustainable, according to new research.
Findings from Mastercard show, 61 percent of consumers and 72 percent of business leaders are using technology to help assist in their sustainability efforts.
The majority of consumers who make efforts to track their carbon footprint or sustainable behaviour do so via technology such as apps or wearables (84 percent). Twenty five percent said they would purchase more products and services from brands that allowed them to track their carbon consumption.
The research also shows nearly three quarters of business leaders are considering adopting new technologies such as data analytics and automation to increase their sustainable practices.
According to Mastercard research, 45 percent are considering implementing data analytics, 42 percent are considering automation and 32 percent considering blockchain.
Richard Wormald, Division President, Mastercard Australasia said in the digital age, businesses and consumers alike can leverage technology to track and manage carbon and other emissions across the value chain.
“From sourcing materials and manufacturing to final distribution and personal consumption. Mastercard is committed to using technology and its global network to inspire and enable collective action that fosters a more sustainable digital economy,” he said.
Australian small businesses are actively trying to be more sustainable with 70 percent of SMEs exploring how to operate more sustainably and taking steps to improve their practices within the next year.
The research noted 17 percent of SMEs do not know where to start on their sustainability journey but 77 percent are looking to support community-led initiatives such as tree planting collectives, local clean up days and recycling programs.
Implementing sustainable business practices is considered by many business leaders to be the next significant challenge faced by Australian organisations in the years ahead, with 76 percent identifying sustainability as critical for success in their industry.
Consumers are also making conscious steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle with 81 percent of Australian consumers claiming they already actively seek to reduce their carbon footprint, 48 percent stated they would actively avoid shopping at a business that did not source its products sustainably.
From those surveyed, 13 percent said they would only purchase from sustainable businesses by 2024. The findings highlight the risk faced by organisations that do not prioritise climate and environmental practices in 2022.
The risk of business inaction on climate extends to potential employees, 51 percent of Australians currently either actively looking or considering new employment opportunities in 2022 and 43 percent say they would not work for an employer who did not have an active sustainability plan in place.
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."
“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,” he said.