Five innovative companies driving sustainability in Australia

14 September 2021 Consultancy.com.au 6 min. read
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Sustainability is fast becoming the lens through which big business decisions are made. The world’s biggest companies have gone to lengths to promote sustainability targets that will drive decarbonisation, and as the global home of renewable energy assets, Australia has a vested interest more than most in creating a more renewable future. 

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investors are intensifying the sustainability agenda by increasingly applying these non-financial factors to their material risks and growth opportunities analysis. This is driving increasing demand in the market for sustainable assets and adding to upward pressure on prices. 

As the recent IPCC special report sounds a call to action for almost all countries to raise their level of ambition when it comes to sustainability, we explore five companies that are leading the charge in Australia’s market. 

Five innovators driving sustainability in Australia

Accenture

Public cloud spend has increased since Covid-19 began – rising 17 percent to USD$266 billion in 2020, as companies recognise the benefit of the adaptability, innovation at scale and ability to navigate disruption that a cloud-first approach to business systems enables.

Accenture has been an inherent advocate, not just of cloud technology in Australia, but also in advising partners on how cloud computing can make a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of Australia’s corporate sector. Setting a benchmark, Accenture research shows that cloud deployments powered by renewable energy have the potential to deliver carbon emissions savings of 59 million tons of Co2 – the equivalent of 22 million cars. 

Delivering on this potential, the company is connecting the dots in the Australian corporate market between cloud servers and renewable energy assets, to bring ‘green cloud’ to the enterprise sector. Ultimately, this is presenting a pivotal opportunity for companies with twin goals of business transformation and increased sustainability to achieve their aspirations. 

WePower

Nikolaj Martyniuk and Kaspar Kaarlep are the innovators behind Australia’s first and only SaaS for renewable energy retail sales and management, and are among Australia’s 100 top innovators – driving sustainability and evolving Australia’s renewable energy landscape through their technology. 

WePower is the first in Australia to use public blockchain technology as an incorruptible, transparent and traceable digital ledger in the energy industry, simplifying the renewable energy procurement process. Using blockchain, the company is able to segment renewable energy off-takes into offerings smaller than ever before, dramatically reducing the cost threshold for direct renewable energy procurement and increasing accessibility to renewable energy for community of SMEs. 

WePower is also enabling businesses of all sizes to track any resource with a digital meter (energy, water, fuels, etc) in real-time to benchmark sustainability. This innovative approach answers any scrutiny around a business’ sustainability efforts, providing accurate and transparent sustainability reporting - an issue that has plagued the net zero pledges of the globe’s biggest companies. 

Flux Federation

Flux is a subsidiary of Meridian Energy, New Zealand’s largest renewable energy retailer. It currently supports more than 600,000 connections running through clients in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, including Powershop Australia. 

Flux designs and deploys future-proofed SaaS products for a changing energy ecosystem. Its solutions are disrupting the traditional, linear generator-retailer-consumer value chain, making entirely new business models possible. Flux believes smart software can accelerate fundamental change in the Australian energy industry by enabling retailers to speed up the transition to sustainable options. 

Flux’s FlexiBill – a sophisticated complex billing product that supports all meter categories and data types across all market segments, including commercial and industrial - has recently launched in Australia. The solution significantly drives sustainability by enabling retailers to bring to market new energy technologies, such as solar and home generation, battery storage, virtual power plants and future innovation like vehicle to grid charging for electric vehicles.

Energy companies have a key role to play in the uptake of new technologies, but they can only sell what they can bill. 

Doddle

Doddle is a global leader in digital fulfilment, helping businesses to digitise and diversify their delivery and returns processes. Doddle has partnered with Australia Post to create Australia’s largest Pick Up / Drop Off (PUDO) network in Australia, driving down emissions in the ‘last mile’ of ecommerce delivery.

The Australia Post Collect & Return network offers consumers the option of convenient locations like supermarkets, service stations, and pharmacies to pick up their parcel or drop off their return, while heading out to complete other errands or shopping trips. It allows Australia Post to deliver multiple ecommerce parcels to single locations, reducing the distance driven per parcel. That means reduced CO2 emissions per parcel, reduced air pollution and less congestion from delivery vehicles.

Increasing investment in PUDO from retailers across Australia will prove essential to Australia Post reaching its 15 percent emissions reduction target by June 2025, while also helping consumers support Australia’s journey to a sustainable future. 

Further reading: Meeting surging e-commerce demand with diversified fulfilment

Labrys

The Australian blockchain specialists are leading the charge in establishing Queensland as the next global innovation hub for blockchain technology. As technology that first emerged as the digital ledger to cryptocurrencies, Labrys have been integral in applying its benefits pan-industry, establishing it as tech innovation in its own right and easing long-standing industry issues. 

A significant issue as crypto demand grows, is the scrutiny of its social impact. In response, Labrys has partnered with businesses to advance sustainability through blockchain technology, devising innovations like automated donations to sustainability causes via smart contracts. Embedding this kind of sustainability into the push for decentralised processes is a significant step towards ensuring it’s a key part of how we live our future lives.