Asia-Pacific Companies Value Sustainability but Less Than Half Committed to Net-Zero

Vodafone Business has released the APAC edition of its annual global study, revealing that APAC businesses see a strong case for sustainability.

Additionally, the study also highlights that more needs to be done to account for climate change in business planning to meet net-zero targets with technology and collaboration playing a key role.

The annual global study, surveyed 3,101 businesses across 15 countries, including 748 businesses across the APAC region. The study found a gap between businesses’ view of sustainability and actual action being taken:

70% of APAC businesses view sustainability as a necessary or important strategic goal. 1 in 2 businesses in APAC (52%) agree that businesses should focus on preventing climate change.

However, less than a quarter (24%) of APAC businesses agree that they have a well-developed plan in place to tackle climate change.

Additionally, less than half (41%) say they are committed to moving towards net zero emissions, and only a third (35%) say they are taking action to offset their carbon impact.

Customer and Investor Demand

APAC businesses implementing sustainability practices into their business planning are realising significant business benefits from doing so. The study found 74% of businesses reporting higher profits this year, have a formal ESG program in place. This is significantly higher compared to firms that reported lower profits, where less than half (47%) said they have such programs in place.

This is largely due to increased customer and investor interest. Customer demand (50%) emerged as the top factor driving APAC businesses to view ESG as a key competitive differentiator.

More than half (58%) also say that customers and clients are becoming more demanding of the companies they buy from to practice environmental sustainability.

Whilst the majority of APAC businesses believe that there is strong customer demand for sustainability, only about a third (34%) say customers are willing to pay more for environmentally sustainable products and services. This points to how customers expect companies to adopt sustainable practices, without translating into higher costs for them.

Investor demand is also a key driver, with 58% of large enterprises in APAC reporting that their investors are focusing on sustainable businesses.

“While there is recognition across APAC on the importance of environmental sustainability, there is a clear opportunity for businesses to take more concrete actions, particularly driven by customers and investor demand,” said Bhupinder Singh, President, Asia Pacific & Middle East, at Vodafone Business.

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