The Race To Net Zero

It seems that we are being bombarded by bad climate news more and more with no end in sight. Despite the efforts of individual countries and international organisations, we are still failing to stop the growth of emissions globally. With an increase in average global temperatures and the unquestionable need for deeper and faster emission cuts, it is time for the private sector to also step up and take action in this space.

Not only is sustainable business beneficial to the environment, but studies have shown that for businesses it can lead to long-term financial success, thanks in large to the “Sustainable Consumer”. The B2C nature of sales puts retailers in a unique position compared to other industries.

Consumers are willing to pay more for sustainably sourced and/or produced products, and this willingness to pay more is even greater among Millennials and parents. And as Generation Z is entering the workforce, studies show a preference for sustainable goods. When we look at behaviour around sustainability at a generational level, Gen Z and Millennials are much more likely to favour sustainable lifestyle choices. They are also more likely to share information about products that are good for the planet with their friends and peers. In a study conducted by EY, it was found that Gen Z represents over 20% of the population in New Zealand and will be the most significant consumer segment in terms of spend in coming years. In addition, the study showed that around 90% of New Zealanders are engaged to some degree on the topic of sustainability. Now that consumers have spoken, What does this mean for retailers?

How can retailers capitalise on the momentum of renewable energy?

Each step in the value chain, from sourcing to manufacturing to packaging to waste management, impacts the environment. This is why it’s critically important for retailers to consider the circularity of their operations.

The good news is, according to research by Greenspace, the retail sector is well ahead of other industries with a number of retail giants (Woolworths / Count Down, Aldi and Bunnings) already committing to 100% renewable energy. This is a great step forward and will no doubt prompt other retails giants to follow suit.

Demand for onsite renewable energy sources

Solar panels are becoming an increasingly common sight on rooftops and retail spaces as more landlords and owner-occupiers get on board with the idea of onsite renewable energy.

Green leases

Increasing in popularity are “Green Leases” – a lease between the landlord and tenant which aims to ensure that the ongoing use and operation of the building minimises environmental impacts.

With this type of contract, the tenant and building owner look at ways to jointly lower energy use. This can often result in a financial win for both parties.

It’s no surprise that landlords and investors are realising that onsite energy provision is a sound move. Here’s why;

  • Financial benefits of being self sufficient for both the landlord and retailer
  • Potential for additional income from excess energy produced
  • Future proof your asset and stay ahead of the curve
  • Securing onsite renewable energy supply could help existing buildings compete for the best tenants.

This demand for sustainable business solutions is evident across all levels of retail and commercial assets, this includes a shift whereby the preference for landlord and tenants would be to engage contractors and subcontractors who have adopted renewable energy and sustainability practises within their business operations as well.

For RCR Infrastructure, our commitment to sustainability is evident in the structured delivery of our services, which are routinely checked and managed. Through our planning and practice, we ensure the protection of the environment by keeping environmental harm to a minimum in a sustainable, economically rewarding and technically viable way.

Get in touch with our team today and already you will have taken a step in improving your business sustainability efforts.

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