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Survey Finds PwC Has Strongest Brand in Sustainability Consulting

Financial audit firm PwC has the highest brand awareness as a provider of sustainability business consulting services in the UK, according to a recent survey.

Among buyers of sustainability consulting services, Accenture and McKinsey had the second and third highest levels of brand awareness respectively, says analyst firm Verdantix, which published its findings in the report, Green Quadrant Sustainability Business Consulting 2011.

The study also identified Accenture, ARUP and WSP Environment & Energy as consulting firms with strong specialist expertise as well as a significant level of positive market momentum.

Verdantix assessed fourteen consulting firms on seven service offerings: strategy development, responsible supply chain, sustainable business growth strategies, reporting and compliance, carbon markets, change management and sustainability-related due diligence.

The report says to succeed in the sustainability consulting market, practice leaders need to learn from the seven secrets of today’s market leaders. The secrets of success identified are:

  • Breadth of service offerings
  • Delivery of high profile projects
  • Transparency on sustainability performance
  • Longevity in the sustainability market
  • Depth of expertise in each domain
  • Investments in brand awareness
  • Long-term vision for energy and environmental trends

“Consultants in the UK need to inspire and engage executives at firms such as BT, Tesco and Unilever who already have sophisticated frameworks for managing risks and opportunities associated with energy, environment and social impacts,” says Verdantix Industry Analyst Ray Crowley, who wrote the report. “Only a handful of firms – Deloitte and PwC being the most prominent – have delivered broad, holistic, transformational engagements that help clients to execute a corporate-wide sustainability vision.

The survey also found that clients want their consultants to practice what they preach. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said it is important for consultants to achieve a high level of internal sustainability performance. Only expertise and cost are considered more important than a consulting firm’s ability to demonstrate their own commitments, and Verdantix predicts this purchase criterion will strengthen in the next 2 years.

Bart King is a PR consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.


Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also an associate editor for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_kingGoogle+

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