How does sustainability influence consumers' behaviours? In this article we explore how environmental responsibility impacts on the purchase of goods and services and how solar energy can become a pathway towards profitability and a sustainable future.
In the last decade, sustainability has become increasingly important in consumers' minds. Conscious consumers look for products and services that improve their wellbeing while being environmentally responsible. Sustainability can be more than a sales strategy, it has the potential to become a risk management tool to make businesses more robust toward the challenges in years to come, as explained by Miriam Bentley for Inside Retail.
According to the Australian Retail Outlook 2020, retail consumers have shifted the way they shop, where sustainability and ethical retailing have become central values when they choose where to buy. The pressure on retailers to remain relevant in the eyes of the consumer have never been stronger. Even though purchase decisions are still predominantly driven by a price-performance analysis, an increasing global awareness on environmental issues is present in Australia.
A similar scenario can be seen in the food industry. Georgie Aley, Director of Food & Agribusiness for KPMG Australia is convinced that food has a unique position to optimise environmental sustainability worldwide. In order to feed the world sustainably, more food needs to be produced with fewer resources.
Australia has an exciting position in this scenario, farmers across the country are considered some of the most innovative and environmentally responsive farmers in the world. They have a history of adapting their business strategies to meet the changing consumer demand. Therefore, they have a key role to play in the transition of Australian agriculture towards a more sustainable approach.
The Role of Solar Energy
There are three main reasons why the uptake of solar energy can become a pathway for businesses to show consumers they are sustainable.
First of all, from the moment the system is turned on, businesses reduce their carbon emissions.
Secondly, it provides savings from the start. It is an environmentally responsible pathway toward cost reduction.
Finally, it gives companies reliable energy supply. Solar energy is a great fit for businesses and schools around the country who operate during daylight hours, reducing their dependence on the electricity grid.
Solar PPAs as the Key to Sustainability
Solar Power Purchase Agreements (Solar PPAs) are one of different ways to access clean solar energy. This option becomes particularly relevant in the commercial and industrial sector. Businesses have a higher energy consumption, which leads to higher necessary investments to access solar systems.
Solar PPAs enable businesses to uptake solar energy with no upfront cost. From the moment the system is installed on their premises, they will automatically start reducing both their carbon emissions and their electricity bills. As explained above, consumer trends suggest that they will consider businesses with sustainable production and low environmental impact when choosing a product. Therefore, having a solar system on your roof will continue to become more important in staying competitive from the customer’s point of view.
Through Solar PPAs, not only are businesses able to enjoy the financial benefits of clean renewable energy, but they become more appealing in the eye of consumers. Moreover, they are also able to play an important role in building a sustainable future.
Bentley M. 2020, Sustainable is the new ticket to play. Inside Retail, viewed 17 June 2020. <https://insideretail.com.au/news/sustainable-is-the-new-ticket-to-play-202002>
KPMG, Australian Retail Outlook 2020. KPMG Website, viewed 18 June 2020 <https://home.kpmg/au/en/home/insights/2020/02/australian-retail-outlook-2020.html>
Aley G. 2020, The Australian food, planet, health challenge. KPMG, viewed 19 June 2020. <https://home.kpmg/au/en/home/insights/2019/07/australian-food-planet-health-challenge.html>