A skills shortage is posing a hurdle for the energy sustainability goals of Australian business.
A survey of more than 500 managers and decision makers across corporate Australia has found 76 per cent of businesses see sustainable transformation as providing a competitive edge.
But the Sustainability Index: Transforming Intention To Outcomes report also found that the majority of businesses are struggling with a lack of energy transition expertise and dedicated personnel to get their strategies in place.
The report, by global energy management company Schneider Electric, found that seven per cent of Australian businesses have publicly announced a commitment to reach net zero and over a third are recruiting external support to address their carbon emissions.
"Corporate Australia is committed to energy transition, but our research shows that without proper support and intelligence, a significant proportion are struggling to make an impact on their emissions," Schneider's Pacific Zone President Gareth O'Reilly said.
"Energy transition is inevitable for all businesses, what we need now is quick and effective outcomes. Key to this will be helping businesses understand their emissions and what to do to reduce them."
He said it was "make or break time" for businesses to address energy transition and sustainability skills.
Those who took part in the survey include major corporations, such as Woolworths, IBM, Toll, Coles, and the Commonwealth Bank.
Respondents belong to a wide range of industries, including construction, manufacturing, retail, financial and insurance services, health care and social services, and professional services.
The areas of emissions control for which they seek advice, include electricity, business travel, employee commuting, leased assets and franchises.