According to the United Nations Environment Program, the building and construction industry uses 40% of global raw materials and 40-50% of global energy, while also accounting for 40% of solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions. With construction making such an impact on the planet, many SMEs are looking to sustainable finance in order to make a positive difference.
Sustainable finance offers the opportunity for an improved bottom line while also safeguarding the future of the planet. A partnership between the federal government, lending institutions and building industry SMEs can help ensure that sustainable construction projects get a financing green light.
There are three main benefits of sustainable finance for SMEs.
1. Enjoy lower interest rates
Reduce your interest costs by choosing to purchase and finance eligible equipment and technology. The Australian Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) works with banks and other lenders to deliver discounted finance for clean energy and sustainable investments. The CEFC has invested almost $520 million in 12 Australian green bonds, supporting many first-time issuances from banks, universities, energy, property, retail and renewable projects
2. Save money on power and fuel bills
Savings as a result of sustainable finance don’t stop with the lower interest rates of the financing. By choosing best in class energy efficient equipment, building and construction SMEs can boost productivity and save a significant amount of money on their electricity, gas, petrol and diesel purchases.
3. Build a better reputation
Obtaining sustainable finance for your business has a much broader impact than it may initially seem. Not only does it help the planet, but it also improves your business reputation. These days, consumers are behaving much more eco-consciously, and by running a sustainable construction company you’re more likely to gain the business of people who want to use their purchasing power to better the planet.
Eligibility for sustainable finance
Building industry SMEs can qualify for sustainable finance in a variety of ways, including:
Purchasing electric or plug-in hybrid electric road vehicles
Using low-emission construction equipment which can demonstrate improved fuel efficiency
Additionally, companies can take advantage of sustainable finance by using building materials that are better for the environment, such as:
Rooftop and off-grid solar panels
Best in class energy efficient air conditioning
Upgrades to energy efficient lighting