As sustainability enters the corporate mainstream, demand for sustainability consulting services is rising. This trend is expected to continue as sustainability priorities rank among the top most likely growth areas of client demand for consultants, with climate change constituting a key area of this demand. According to the Management Consultancies Association, the top ten areas that consultants are being asked to help with are the following:
- Identifying climate risks. These include physical risks from extreme climate events, which could damage assets, disrupt operations and value chains; climate risks to financial stability; and liability risks from climate-related lawsuits.
- Carbon footprinting and mitigating emissions, including organisational and value chain emissions.
- Developing resilience to adverse consequences of climate change, such as more frequent water shortages, floods and freeze/thaw cycles.
- Improving business model sustainability.
- Helping organisations understand environmental regulation and incentives.
- Reviewing relevant new green initiatives.
- Developing sustainable products to tap new markets.
- Identifying sustainable investment opportunities.
- Researching how climate change initiatives will impact the future and businesses.
- Optimising energy efficiency, generation and distribution.
A significant portion of the sustainability consulting market is made up of large multinationals responding to regulatory requirements in Europe. However, the market could expand dramatically if the US Securities and Exchange commission were to require public companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions.
By Gala Anania, Climate Evangelist at myFootprint