Meet the Australian company on a mission to disrupt the climate action space by making getting greener an economic win for businesses big and small.
As the climate crisis continues to escalate, sustainability is a hot topic for Australian consumers. But for businesses trying to balance the scales in today’s economy, prioritising the planet is not always at the top of the list.
This is particularly true for the 2.5 million small businesses in Australia which account for roughly one-third of Australia’s GDP, but are often already operating on a knife’s edge. According to 2022 ABS data, around 43 per cent of small businesses failed to make a profit, and even for those that do make it out of the red, over 93 per cent of these businesses turnover less than $2 million per annum.
So when it comes to them choosing between profitability and planet, what’s the solution?
That’s the $423 billion-dollar question that Australian start-up and certified B Corp, Greener, has set out to address. Greener believes reducing emissions can be simple and economical for businesses. Better yet, they say doing so can actually improve the bottom line, and help businesses attract more consumers and clients.
Turning cost pressures into opportunities
While the climate conversation to-date has been largely focused on emissions reduction, carbon taxes, and what government and big business should do, Greener founders Tom Ferrier and Neil McVeigh have been creating a new solution to support small businesses.
“Considering SMBs are facing huge cost pressures and are responsible for nearly 40 per cent of the country’s emissions, we’ve worked with the brightest minds to find a way to help solve these two problems, at the same time,” said Ferrier.
Greener for Business provides a free and easy to use platform backed by years of research and consultation with leading sustainability experts that helps cash-strapped businesses improve their bottom line while taking climate action.
It provides simple step-by-step advice for businesses across their entire operation, covering energy, waste, shipping and packaging; and is underpinned with exclusive offers that help businesses save money at the same time.
“The small to medium sector doesn’t get the attention it deserves, so we’ve set out to digitise solutions that are typically reserved for the big end of town, to make it easy for SMBs to take meaningful action,” Ferrier said.
“The best bit however, is that by aggregating the scale the sector presents, we are securing exclusive offers from leading suppliers. This is allowing us to provide big business prices to small businesses, for products and services that help them reduce their emissions.”
The offering is supported by the simplicity of their message. By helping cash strapped businesses save money by going green, they’re confident they can help accelerate the net zero transition in Australia.
And if their claims are correct, they couldn’t come at a better time. Three-quarters of SMB owners take home less than the average wage, while at the same time extreme weather events are on the rise.
“We simply don’t have time to wait. The cost of living and climate crises are only getting worse. That’s why we have to make getting greener a financial opportunity for businesses,” said Ferrier
The secret to their proposition
The key, as Ferrier explains it, is their coalition approach.
Greener has brought together a string of big name partners who are not only providing exclusive offers to power the solution, but are also helping to scale its growth by bringing more SMBs into the platform.
By working with partners like Origin, NAB, Appliances Online, Sendle, Better Packaging Co and many more, Greener has secured distribution reach of nearly one million businesses. As Origin’s Small and Medium Business Retail General Manager, Jonathan Mattock highlights, partners want to build loyalty with their own customers, by offering solutions beyond their own products and services.
“It’s really important to us that we’re supporting our small business customers on their decarbonisation journey,” Mattock said
“Our partnership with Greener, means we’re giving customers better access to great value and a broader range of solutions outside of energy.”.
Greener’s model means that coalition partners benefit from tapping into a non-competitive ecosystem that allows them to share customers and attract new business from other partners.
The benefits to the broader community are also being recognised, with community and industry partners like the Australian Retailers Association and Mr Yum. Local councils are also engaged, including Ku-ring-gai, North Sydney, Willoughby, Yarra and Moonee Valley councils all jumping onboard.
“Greener for Business is a much-needed tool for our under-serviced small and medium business market which will better support our local communities to ensure they have access to the tools and resources they need to achieve success through sustainability,” said Amanda Choy, Program Coordinator at Better Business Partnership.
Delivering on savings
While Greener’s mission to save money and emissions at the same time can sound ambitious, early signs are positive.
Member offers like the one available via Origin means that businesses that join Greener for Business can sign up to products that support the transition to renewable energy.
According to SMBs that have already signed up to the platform, unlocking savings for their business has been as quick and easy as Greener promises.
Sydney-based bars like Since I Left You and Pocket Bar have both confirmed that they’re already estimated to save over $3,160 and $963 respectively on their annual power bill; and, based on their annual energy consumption, take the equivalent of 22 cars off the road in emissions combined.
For Nicholas Given, Principal at Ray White Clayfield who’s estimated to save over $387 on their annual power bill, and reduce emissions by an estimated 7 tonnes per annum, signing up to Greener for Business was a no brainer.
“The whole signup process was so quick and easy for us. It’s nice to be a pioneer of it all, and we want to get the whole Ray White Group onto Greener for Business too,” he said.
Addressing consumer demand
Already challenging the perception that going green has to cost more for businesses, Greener has more plans in motion to rapidly scale their impact.
While stage one is about helping SMBs to decarbonise, they see that the motivation for most businesses lies in their ability to attract and retain customers.
Their Greener app, currently in beta, helps businesses connect with the 88 per cent of consumers wanting businesses to help them live more sustainably – a percentage that’s only increasing, according to Forbes.
With 65 per cent of users having shifted their spend to brands in the app that they haven’t shopped with before, Greener says it is proving that given the choice, consumers will vote with their wallets and support businesses whose values align with their own.
Overall, Greener’s ambition is to help every small and medium business in Australia halve emissions by 2030 and take the equivalent of 25 million cars off the road in emissions It says that by showing businesses how to take practical steps that improve their bottom line, it’s turning the focus of business sustainability into an economic imperative.