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Bain & Company, BCG, And Deloitte’s Move Highlights The Need For Business-Wide Climate Skills Development

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Bain & Company, BCG, And Deloitte’s Move Highlights The Need For Business-Wide Climate Skills Development

In only the last week, two large consulting companies announced partnerships with academia to extend ESG and climate skills across their entire company. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) announced a partnership with Cambridge Judge Business School and Columbia Climate School, to provide specialized training for its 25,000 staff members. Similarly, Bain & Company said they would partner with 12 universities (including Imperial College London, Melbourne Business School, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology) to train all of their consultants in ESG. Deloitte announced a similar move for its 300,000+ employees a year ago. 

What’s driving the trend? Consultancies, in particular, need to demonstrate to the market that they are anticipating climate risk and the ramifications on business and investment strategies, and aware of emerging regulations such as the EU’s CSR Directive and the SEC climate-disclosure rule (see Verdantix: Complying With The SEC Climate Disclosure Rule). Engaging staff across all departments will enable them to speak knowledgeably with clients on the critical issues shaping business and investment strategies. 

The big consulting firms certainly hope that the training will attract more investment and clients, but they may also see it as a way to attract applicants. Millennials and Gen Z employees increasingly want their values to align with those of their employer. Deloitte’s efforts are in response to the success they garnered after hosting a WorldClimate programme with the goal of engaging their staff to climate change topics, with over 300,000 employees reported to have attended. 

While it’s primarily consultancies that are leading the way in company-wide training on climate issues, the broader corporate world should follow. For example, Spanish bank BBVA has taken the same action, which it describes as a ‘differential element in our customer value proposition’. 

We see these moves leading to:

  • A growing market for sustainability training, and specialization. As more companies extend the training company-wide, sustainability training will grow into a sizeable market, with opportunities for deep dives into specific areas like physical climate risk or natural capital.
  • Higher rates of kanban-style innovation. Employees who are told that they can have an impact on issues like climate change, begin looking for ways to make an impact. Scandinavian hotel chain Choice Hotels got employees involved in sustainability and created efficiencies up and down the value chain.
  • More climate-driven whistleblowing. Climate awareness will naturally spur more hard discussions within the company, and – in some instances – disputes that spill over into media coverage.

Maya Hilmi

Analyst

Maya is a Net Zero, Climate Risk Analyst. She is currently specialising in carbon management, ESG regulations, and identifying climate risk solutions. Prior to joining Verdantix, Maya interned at Cardano Advisory where she gained experience in covenant, sustainability, and pensions corporate finance matters. Maya holds a master's degree in Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies with Distinction from King's College London, and an undergraduate degree in International Relations from SOAS, University of London.