Green Quadrant: ESG & Sustainability Consulting 2022

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Executive Summary

This report provides a detailed fact-based comparison of the most prominent ESG and sustainability consulting firms. Based on the proprietary Verdantix Green Quadrant methodology, the analysis encompassed two-hour live briefings, desktop research and vendor responses to a 97-point questionnaire covering 15 capability and seven market momentum categories. Verdantix also conducted interviews with more than 10 ESG and sustainability consulting customers and reviewed the data from the 2021 Verdantix Global Corporate Survey of 400 senior executives in ESG and sustainability governance (see Verdantix Global Corporate Survey: ESG And Sustainability Governance, Strategies And Priorities). Verdantix analysis finds that the ESG and sustainability consulting market has undergone a substantial transformation, with more than 18 sustainability consulting acquisitions occurring within the last two years. Among the consultancy firms featured in the Leaders’ Quadrant, four firms — ERM, EY, PwC and WSP — demonstrate the most advanced all-round ESG and sustainability consulting capabilities. Additionally, this report highlights the breadth of the ESG and sustainability consulting market, with eight different firms demonstrating market-leading capabilities in at least one sub-sector.

Table of contents

The State Of The Market For ESG And Sustainability Consulting 
ESG Is Becoming Firmly Established As A Major Priority For The C-Suite 
Heterogenous ESG Market Drivers Fuel Demand For A Broad ESG Consultancy Offering
Significant Acquisition Activity Reflects Competitive Dynamics In ESG And Sustainability Services 

Green Quadrant For ESG And Sustainability Consulting
Green Quadrant Methodology
Evaluated Firms And Selection Criteria
Evaluation Criteria For ESG And Sustainability Consulting Providers
Accenture Leverages Digital Expertise To Deliver Complex Digital Transformation Projects
AECOM Delivers On Operational Resource And Impact Transformation For Infrastructure Projects
Arcadis Combines Engineering and Environment Expertise For Site-Specific Projects
Bain and Company Exhibits Strong Momentum And Consulting Capabilities Growth
Boston Consulting Group Offers Strong ESG and Sustainability Strategic Advisory Services
Deloitte Delivers on Digital Transformation, ESG Reporting And Governance Performance Engagements For A Global Set Of Clients
ERM Is Positioned As An End-To-End Provider Of ESG and Sustainability Consulting Services
EY Offers Market-Leading Capability For ESG And Sustainability Consulting Services
Infosys Leverages Established Digital Services To Embed Technology Into ESG And Sustainability Consulting Engagements
Jacobs Establishes A Strong ESG and Sustainability Consulting Offering For Infrastructure Projects
KPMG Offers Strong Momentum And Consulting Capabilities Growth 
McKinsey Has Deep Expertise In Decarbonization Projects, ESG Investing And Broader ESG Strategy
PwC Provides An Integrated End-To-End ESG and Sustainability Consulting Service
Wipro Provides Innovative Digital Solutions For ESG and Sustainability Consulting Projects 
WSP Uses Expertise Acquired From Golder To Deliver A Strong ESG And Consulting Offering

Table of figures

Figure 1. Personas Responsible For Defining Sustainability Strategy 
Figure 2. Projected ESG And Sustainability Investment Increase In 2022 
Figure 3. Projected Spend Change On Professional Services Projects In 2022 
Figure 4. Business Functions Responsible For Implementing ESG Strategies 
Figure 5. ESG and Sustainability Consulting Acquisitions Summary For 2019-2021 
Figure 6. Capabilities Criteria For Types Of ESG and Sustainability Consulting Engagements 
Figure 7-1. Capabilities Criteria For ESG And Sustainability Service Lines 
Figure 7-2. Capabilities Criteria For ESG And Sustainability Service Lines 
Figure 8. Momentum Criteria For ESG And Sustainability Consulting Firms 
Figure 9-1. ESG And Sustainability Consulting Firms Capabilities Scores 
Figure 9-2. ESG And Sustainability Consulting Firms Capabilities Scores 
Figure 10. ESG And Sustainability Consulting Firms Momentum Scores 
Figure 11. Green Quadrant For ESG and Sustainability Consulting 2022 

Organisations mentioned

Accenture, AECOM, Arabesque S-Ray, Arcadis, Arcus, Bain and Company, BCG Digital Ventures, Blackstone, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Center for Social and Sustainable Products (CSSP), ClimeCo, Critical Resource, Datamaran, Deloitte, Designit, DuPont Sustainable Solutions, E4tech, EarthCon, EarthSoft, EcoVadis, Enablon, ERM, EY, FE fundinfo, Fidelity, Ford Motor Company, Global Affairs Associates, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Golder, Greenomy, IBM, Infosys, Intel, Intelex, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), Jacobs, KKR, KKS Advisors, KPMG, Lodestone Partners, LT Environmental, M.J. Bradley and Associates, McKinsey and Company, Microsoft, Network Rail, PA Consulting, Persefoni, Planetrics, PwC, Renewables Consulting Group, Robertsbridge, Salesforce, SAP, Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Societer, Sofies Group, Sphera, Stonehaven, Stratos, SustainAbility, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Sustainable Development Committee of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), Sustainalize, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Teneo, UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), United Nations (UN), University of Minnesota, US Air Force, Utopus Insights, Vivid Economics, Wipro, Workiva, World Bank, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), World Economic Forum, World Green Building Council, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), WSP

About the authors

Sam Renshaw

Industry Analyst

Sam is an Industry Analyst in the ESG & Sustainability practice. His current research agenda focuses on ESG solutions across financial markets including ESG information providers and sustainability consulting. Sam joined Verdantix in 2021, and previously worked at Moody’s Analytics as part of the Buy-Side Solutions team. He holds a BSc from The University of Nottingham in Economics and is a CFA Level 2 candidate.

Kim Knickle

Research Director, ESG & Sustainability
Kimberly Knickle is Research Director of the ESG & Sustainability practice at Verdantix. Her research areas encompass ESG regulations and reporting, ESG risk, supply chain sustainability, circular economy, social impact, and sustainable finance. Kim has worked for more than 20 years in the IT industry, providing research and analysis to help companies invest wisely in new technologies. Before joining the analyst industry, she held various roles in IT services, engineering and product safety testing, beginning her career at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. Kim holds an MBA from Boston University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell.

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