New Resource Will Help Clients Put Sustainability At the Heart of Strategy, Transforming Operations and Creating Value
BOSTON and LONDON — JULY 29, 2021 — Global management consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting today announced the launch of a global Sustainability Centre of Excellence.
The Centre, which draws together expertise, best practices and strategic insights from its practices and geographies, will support organizations as they work to meet the challenges of, and take advantage of the opportunities created by, climate change and the broader sustainability agenda.
“Climate change and resource consumption affect all of society and the totality of a business organization,” said Stuart Jackson, L.E.K.’s Global Managing Partner. “As a result of increasing regulatory and stakeholder pressure, and the inherent risks of climate change and unsustainable production and consumption, decisions about sustainability permeate every aspect of strategy and operations. The rapid growth of ESG funds is a clear statement of investor intent.”
“Leading organizations are putting sustainability at the heart of strategy, framing decisions in terms of environmental, social and human impact while recognizing both the challenges and opportunities,” said John Goddard, a London-based Partner in L.E.K.’s Industrials practice and a founding member of the Centre’s Executive Board. “From a business perspective, thinking effectively about sustainability means analyzing where growth will come from, how to allocate resources and how to present sustainability strategies effectively to the capital markets.
“There has been a tendency in the past to consider sustainability initiatives as a project to enhance reputation. This approach is no longer ‘fit for purpose’ as leaders experience the benefit of making sustainability central to strategy and operations and value creation — for example, choosing to operate in higher-growth or more technically demanding markets.”
The Centre is a response to the urgency of sustainability concerns such as climate change and their deep impact on strategy and value
The Centre’s launch is a response to the increasing urgency of climate and sustainability issues. “The past year has seen a sharp increase in shareholder activism focused on climate change and resource consumption,” said Rebecca Scottorn, an industrials-focused, London-based L.E.K. Partner and a Centre Executive Board member. “Investors are prioritizing climate considerations beyond specific funds. And an escalating regulatory drumbeat is forcing a transformation of business practices. It will culminate in the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, where a commitment to further measures to limit global temperature increase is anticipated.”
To meet the sustainability challenge, organizations must address strategy and operations
“The result of these initiatives and trends is a new business reality,” Scottorn said. “Decisions about sustainability will include changes in materials, packaging, shipping and logistics, and workforce allocation and deployment. There are implications for strategy, investment, cost containment, innovation, supply chain management, metrics and reporting. Sustainability will impact valuations and play a central role in every transaction — it is a growing focus in due diligence.”
The Centre will harness a firm’s global capabilities, develop metrics and generate research
To meet the growing demand for strategic, results-focused sustainability solutions, the L.E.K. Sustainability Centre of Excellence will combine the talents and insights of L.E.K. partners and outside experts from practice areas including energy, industrials, life sciences, transportation and consumer. It will bring to bear analytics and proprietary research focused on key sustainability themes and emerging trends.
Backed by the Centre’s capabilities, L.E.K. consultants will work with leaders and investors to identify the central elements of sustainability strategy — success drivers (including alignment with global and local standards and the development of clear targets and key performance indicators), areas of focus (including product and service innovation, operations, supply chain management, internal practices and human capital), and sources of competitive advantage, among them risk management, cost savings, process improvement, product innovation and reputation management.
“Organizations are asking, ‘How do we become a more sustainable business?’” Goddard said. “The answer is in the strategic and operational details — it’s in the choices you make about strategy, market participation, footprint and supply chain. Sustainability is a fundamental societal change — and if you embrace it on those terms and look at it from a full-organization perspective, there will be opportunities. The Centre is here to help clients find their way to those opportunities and in the process, we hope, help create a more sustainable future and mitigate climate change.”
About L.E.K. Consulting
L.E.K. Consulting is a global management consulting firm that uses deep industry expertise and rigorous analysis to help business leaders achieve practical results with real impact. We are uncompromising in our approach to helping clients consistently make better decisions, deliver improved business performance and create greater shareholder returns. The firm advises and supports global companies that are leaders in their industries — including the largest private- and public-sector organizations, private equity firms, and emerging entrepreneurial businesses. Founded in 1983, L.E.K. employs more than 1,600 professionals across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe. For more information, go to www.lek.com.