Verdantix Benchmark Reveals The 11 Leaders In The $14 Billion ESG And Sustainability Consulting Services Market

  • Press release
  • ESG & Sustainability

  • Consulting firms are expanding their suite of ESG and sustainability services and upskilling their teams to respond to the increasing scale and scope of sustainability projects

  • Consulting firms are advancing AI investments and strategic acquisitions to meet growing demand in the dynamic $14 billion market

Verdantix Benchmark Reveals The 11 Leaders In The $14 Billion ESG And Sustainability Consulting Services Market

London, UK. The ESG and sustainability consulting market has grown substantially over the past two years, driven by regulatory advancements, shifting priorities amongst customers, employees and investors, and an increasing risk of litigation and reputational damage.

According to Verdantix’s new benchmark report of the 17 most prominent ESG and sustainability consulting providers in the market, firms are making significant investments, to strengthen consulting capabilities and tap into new markets, in order to capitalize on this surging demand. In the last two years, the 17 firms that participated in the Green Quadrant: ESG And Sustainability Consulting 2024 have made a total of 76 acquisitions, as they vie for greater market share within the estimated $14 billion market.

As ESG and sustainability concerns become an integral part of core business discourse, organizations are relying on consulting firms for comprehensive support on their sustainability journeys. As a result, consulting services now cater to a diverse range of ESG and sustainability needs, including strategy, reporting, operational transformation and financial advisory, spanning topics such as circular economy, social impact, supply chain sustainability, energy transition and considerations related to carbon, climate and nature.

Among the 17 providers featured in the Green Quadrant, 11 firms – Anthesis, BCG, Capgemini, Deloitte, ERM, EY, KPMG, PwC, Ramboll, SLR Consulting and WSP – demonstrated the most comprehensive ESG and sustainability consulting capabilities and market-leading momentum.

The report, Green Quadrant: ESG And Sustainability Consulting 2024, provides valuable insights for ESG and sustainability executives seeking to select an appropriate vendor partner for their businesses. Key findings:

  • The demand for skilled professionals to enable and ensure a green transition significantly exceeds the supply. The lack of in-house sustainability skills is increasing demand for consulting firms, which have managed to maintain expertise in a resource-short market by implementing dedicated learning programmes and upskilling their teams.
  • Consulting firms are leveraging digital tools for scalable ESG and sustainability consulting services, with over half investing in data, digital, AI and generative AI (GenAI). Strategic acquisitions focus on climate technology and carbon emissions reporting and GenAI ESG use cases. For instance, Arcadis’s acquisition of a 70% stake in the Water Platform Company (WPC) has added to its digital expertise for water management and climate adaptation via the HydroNET platform.
  • Operational transformation is taking centre stage, with over 50% of projects across the 17 vendors focused on this area, signalling a shift towards implementation in the ESG and sustainability landscape.
  • Organizations are choosing a primary consulting partner for their overall ESG and sustainability journeys, but are also enlisting specialist sustainability firms for specific projects – creating a landscape in which clients collaborate with various consulting partners.
  • The ESG and sustainability consulting market is composed of players from diverse backgrounds, providing buyers with crucial multi-disciplinary perspectives for navigating complex sustainability issues. For instance, JLL’s real estate heritage lends itself to strong capabilities for decarbonizing the real estate ecosystem, while J.S. Held’s risk management experience provides it with expertise to address sustainability matters through a risk lens, and DEKRA leverages its EHS expertise for sustainability consulting.

 “In a landscape in which a majority of the world’s largest corporations are publicly articulating their ESG and sustainability targets and commitments, businesses are acknowledging the imperative to demonstrate their progress and leverage sustainability as a strategic advantage. Amidst the challenges of a resource-scarce market, ESG and sustainability executives are turning to consulting firms to bridge gaps,” commented Priyanka Bawa, Senior Analyst, Verdantix. “Collaborating with an ESG and sustainability consulting partner empowers organizations to expedite their sustainability journeys and capitalize on best practices. Consulting firms aspiring to expand their market share must prioritize investment in digital solutions, continue to build depth in existing capabilities and add new offerings to meet evolving sustainability expectations.”

To learn more, join the webinar ESG & Sustainability Consulting: Accelerate Your Vendor Selection Process on 6 March.

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Olivia Russell

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