The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) shows that many New Zealand businesses would like to adopt cleantech principles but the economics just do not add up.
Eugene Sparrow, partner, Privately Held Business for Grant Thornton New Zealand, said:
“It’s a tough environment for many companies and until these businesses can see a cost saving they will be reluctant to adopt cleantech options. Many look upon green philosophies and cleantech principles as discretionary and something they will only adopt if there are clear economic advantages.
“Unfortunately our size is also against us. We are a country of small businesses without the scale to benefit from the adoption of some cleantech options. There is no doubt that these businesses are all mindful of being green and clean, but if it is going to cost, then it will have to wait,” he said.
Businesses have to be in the black to be green and they’re not going to invest in new technology if it doesn’t make economic sense.
I think there is another factor involved – a lack of good research which enables businesses to differentiate between products and practices which do make a positive difference and greenwash.
That said, there are some simple ways in which being greener can be good for the bottom line too. Fonterra has been working with dairy farmers to reduce energy consumption which has both environmental and financial benefits.
Apropos of greenwash, Green is good at the Fundy Post is a good read.