- The spill over effect of the issues in one dimension affects the other two areas due to the close interdependency between the three S’s, ‘saving, social and surrounding’ elements of sustainability.
- The Technology amidst Covid-19 fabricated the three aspects like never before, which prompts the close dynamics between technological implementation and sustainability drivers.
- Australian approach while focusing on its context- could utilise the lessons from the incidents in the US (Protests), Russia (Oil Spills) and New Zealand (Green Jobs Investment).
Flames choking peace of the US streets and banners demonstrating infuriation in the time when the world is waging a deadly war against coronavirus makes many of us reflect on the budding apocalyptic situation. You might be avidly supporting the “Black Lives Matter’ protests, or you might be feeling apprehensive about the violence that erupted, yet there is no denying that the emergence of such scenario amid pandemic has raised questions regarding the future growth of the world.
The imminent concerns which earlier were primarily centric to financial situations have widened, highlighting the chasms in other aspects that together define ‘Sustainability’. Australian sustainability that would be built on the back of- ‘Savings, Society and Surroundings’ as the country make efficacious efforts to emerge out of a pandemic-induced crisis.
Australia has made headway towards economic reinforcement with relaxations in the restrictions and people once again getting back to a routine. The global impetus echoed in several Australian cities were many silent protesters gathered to show solidarity with the movement. However, at the same time, a large crowd at a place increases the risk of infection as social-distancing regulations which have become the heart of recovery were breached.
Similar worries have been evident in the past that indicate the rising chaos in the country concerning the environmental scenario and social growth along with the doubts on brimming financial crunch. The three components together could only forge Wholesome sustainability in the Australian landscape.
Savings: The Spotlight in the current times
The success and prosperity in the forthcoming times are closely associated with the economic recovery and the reboot of the business operations to the pre-Covid level. The government, businesses and the people in Australia circled the wagons through the approaches that are centric to maintaining financial health.
Reserve Bank of Australia floored interest rate along with the quantitative easing and stimulus packages for increasing the liquidity conditions across the country as people gear to safeguard their investment during the crisis. It has, however massively increased the federal deficits creating a financial worry for the country. A tug of war between the investor’s saving ideologies and the RBA’s quantitative easing has been unleashed while both the businesses and consumers resort to saving plans.
Many companies with the view to make capital provisions have curtailed their expenditure. The dividend cuts and the reduction in the fees of directors were primarily seen as a significant trend following the financial crunch.
Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC)
Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC) saw its Statutory net profit decline by 62% to $1,190 for first half FY20 compared to the previous corresponding period. The bank deferred the interim dividend decision and would not be paying a dividend in June 2020.
Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN)
Meanwhile, Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) continues to extend the flight cancellations. The group’s cost-saving reaction through employee stand-downs, hold on the expenditure related to capital and revised supplier’s repayment helped the company to maintain sufficient liquidity conditions.
Other companies also responded similarly to avoid the cash losses as they eye the future long-term potential.
Society: Taking Across the Developments
The social health concerns amidst the crisis remained at the peak as the nation keenly awaited the improvement in the situation. The focus has grown on the mental health of the people while many go through anxieties and worries. Moreover, the job losses have further culminated social conundrum in the Covid-19 scenario.
People during unprecedented times amidst the range of strict lockdown measures hindering their daily routine registered mental stress as they constantly stayed vigilant regarding the infection. Companies future not only saw the inclusion of the financial and business concerns, but the employee and society considerations were witnessed mainly in the action plan.
Afterpay Limited (ASX: APT)
The new culture is suggestive of dependability of the innovative trend’s adoption for nurturing sustainability and long-term growth prospects. The current scenario has fostered an overall transformation in a social way of functioning through the inclusion of tech regime. While work from home relied on cloud-based services and virtual meetings, the usage of online deliveries became the standard norm.
The collective inclination of the people towards the adoption of latest tech-support has conspicuously made it as the social dimension. The ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ provider, Afterpay Limited (ASX: APT) reached a significant benchmark of 5 million active customers in the US. Covid-19 has led the customers to focus on their finances while they shy away from massive interests’ payments. It seems to work in favour of the BNPL players that provide an interest-free instalment payment system.
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)
Focus on social justice, and Aboriginal cultural reverence have stimulated in the country. Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) faced backlashes after it blasted the Aboriginal rock shelters, which includes Juukan Gorge 1 and 2. under Section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act. The company received ministerial consent and all legal approvals for detonations a few years back. The large-scale questions raised due to this recent activity has been on the concurrent approval process.
Surroundings: Background to Prosperity
As the world grapples with the health crisis, the state of emergency in the Arctic due to the Russian oil spills further exasperated the environmental issues. Meanwhile, the scare of Bushfire in Australia which also destroyed habitats of thousands of species pose the biggest question on the effectiveness of the Environmental protection laws
The people experiencing the apocalyptic situation up close in a matter of months seem to realise the havoc nature can play. The concerns surrounding climate change, extreme weather events have surfaced distinctly to highlight the ultimate enigma.
Vmoto Limited (ASX: VMT)
The manufacturer and distributor of electric scooters, Vmoto Limited (ASX: VMT), saw considerable growth in the B2B delivery market with the massive e-commerce adoption. The share purchase plan of the company for raising $1 million was oversubscribed, with a total $3.95 million confirmed received.
New Zealand’s budget allocating NZD 1.1 billion for the nature-related jobs provide simultaneous opportunity to boost economic development while ensuring environmental emphasis and allowing communities development opportunities. Australia, which has already made headway towards the financial reboot would also need constant efforts in a similar direction.
Meanwhile, unprecedented events like coronavirus, bushfire, economic crisis, and social upheaval have demonstrated the country eyeing for sustainable growth needs to balance all its wheels at it moves to achieve wholesome progress.