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Why sustainable small businesses are more likely to be competitive long-term

Queensland businesses are encouraged to act now to ensure they meet consumers’ and markets’ developing sustainability expectations to avoid being overlooked as the global economy shifts increasingly towards sustainable goods and services.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) Chief Commercial Officer Alex Zafiriadis said already businesses that could not prove they were sustainably focused were at risk of missing out on small and large scale spending.

It comes after the Federal Government is pushed to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 or else risk the nation’s economy being impacted through costs imposed on countries that fail to act on climate risk.

“For small local businesses focused on running day-to-day, a national and even global emphasis on climate risk can seem beyond our control but the reality is even small businesses will be expected to meet sustainability and carbon neutrality expectations to remain competitive long-term,” Mr Zafiriadis said.

“We know events like the 2032 Olympics will create billions in procurement opportunities for projects over the next 10 years and we’re expecting sustainable businesses which produce goods and services with low or offset carbon footprint will be more competitive.

“Even at a more local level, consumers are increasingly aware of their carbon footprint with trends towards favoring businesses which offer sustainable options, right down to every day purchases.

“If a café won’t accept a keep cup for example, it’s likely that customer will take their cup, and their money, elsewhere.”

Mr Zafiriadis said sustainable businesses typically leveraged a high quality reputation among the business community and their staff who already valued the impact they were able to make in working sustainably.

“Sustainable and carbon neutral businesses are ultimately making a positive impact on the social and economic environment we all depend on to do business,” Mr Zafiriadis said.

“Equally importantly however, it also means those businesses are more diversified, resilient and competitive through sustainability – which also presents significant day-to-day cost saving opportunities.”

Queensland businesses are able to investigate how they can save money on their water, energy and waste bills as well as reduce their carbon footprint through CCIQ’s free ecoBiz program, funded by the Queensland Government.

Business can develop an action plan with the help of an ecoBiz expert to save money and increase efficiencies towards becoming more sustainable.

More than 90% of businesses who have taken part in the program recorded an increase in productivity and savings.

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