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Australia outranks global peers in sustainable practices

International Business Report

Australia outranks its global peers in recognising the cost benefits of sustainable practices making positive impacts to long term growth strategies, according to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR).

New figures from the IBR, a survey of 2,500 companies in 34 economies revealed emerging markets are more focused on the sustainability of their operations compared with peers in developed markets, with Australia as the only exception.

  • Australia topped the rankings globally with 75% focused on looking for more sustainable sources when it comes to assessing raw materials.
  • Australia ranked top four globally with 68% focusing on seeking greener energies, despite the fact Australia is the only developed country to repeal a carbon tax

The global report places emphasis on shifting the sustainability debate away from short-term costs, by framing the issues to the business community as longer term sustainable economic growth potential.

“As businesses leaders recognise the cost of inaction versus the benefits of taking action, they begin to reap long term rewards in growth strategies. The survey highlights that leaders, especially Australian business leaders are moving away from the perception that sustainability is a cost and burden of supporting the common good,” said Phillip Rundle, Partner Grant Thornton Australia.

Australian businesses are looking at using more sustainable energy efficient resources and raw materials to significantly reduce costs.

If sustainability is to move from being seen as common good to a specific cost/benefit analysis in the minds of business leaders, then the link with long term growth needs to be articulated.

“Investment in technological advances in alternative more sustainable raw materials and renewable energies can have a huge impact on future cost reductions and efficiencies,” said Mr Rundle.

Download Sustainability: changing the debate in emerging markets at


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  • 2014 Best managed international firm: MPF Awards For Management Excellence (Grant Thornton International)
  • 2013 Advisory Team of the Year: Thomson Reuters (Grant Thornton Australia)
  • 2013 Global Firm of the Year: British Accountancy Awards (Grant Thornton UK)
  • 2013 Network of the Year: International Accounting Bulletin (Grant Thornton International)