Australian SME leaders say climate action needed for global competitiveness

The Executive Connection’s recent survey shows 76% of business leaders surveyed said climate initiatives such as emissions trading schemes are important for Australia’s future global business competitiveness, with 19% going even further to say climate action was ‘extremely important.’

CEOs and business owners from across Australia were surveyed for The Executive Connection’s (TEC’s) quarterly Confidence Index between 14 and 17 July 2014.

In contrast, just 24% of respondents felt climate initiatives were not important at all to future global competitiveness. Respondents with a $100 million+ turnover and those from Victoria placed the most importance on climate initiatives, with 38% and 30%, respectively, answering that they were ‘extremely important’.

Stephanie Christopher, the recently appointed CEO of The Executive Connection said:

“In light of the government’s rhetoric that the repeal of the carbon price was a win for the economy, it is interesting that there is such a strong finding of business leaders asserting that climate initiatives are important for Australia’s business competitiveness globally.

“Small and medium businesses represent the engine room of the Australian economy and these leaders are ideally placed to comment on the impact of government policy on business confidence and operation. These results show that many Australian businesses want climate action and consider it beneficial for global competitiveness,” she said.

“If the government wants to work with businesses to bolster the Australian economy, it would do well to listen to the insights and experience of these business leaders.

“The survey also found that business optimism remains strong for the sixth consecutive quarter, with 74% of respondents expecting to see an increase in sales revenue – up from 51% in November 2012,” Ms Christopher said.

“Expectations of profitability also improved this quarter, with 64% expecting theirs to improve over the next 12 months compared to 62% last quarter, and 58% the previous.

“These findings reflect continued business optimism about operating within Australia’s economy,” Ms Christopher said.