Step change in demand from businesses for external support to tackle climate change

Companies and organisations are increasingly asking management consultants to help them tackle some of the greatest challenges they are facing on climate change according to research by MCA. With NY Climate Week taking place, (23-29 September), MCA member firms are undertaking major projects with clients as climate change drives some of the most profound changes to businesses in our lifetime.

Research revealed that the top ten areas that clients are asking for help with are:

  • Identifying risks. This includes physical risks, in terms of liability and asset risks as well as climate change risks that impact on financial stability
  • Finding solutions to mitigate climate change both internally and externally
  • Helping companies and cities develop resilience solutions for freeze/thaw, flooding and water shortage events
  • Working with companies to review business models to ensure sustainability has been factored in
  • Helping companies understand the complex landscape of new green regulations and incentives
  • Reviewing international and national developments in green initiatives
  • Helping to enter new markets with the development of green products
  • Identifying investment opportunities in relation to both sustainable business and projects
  • Researching how the future will change due to climate change initiatives and the impact on businesses
  • Focussing on how companies generate, distribute and consume energy and how it can be improved.

Impacts on products and services, supply chains, loss of asset values and market changes are already being caused by more frequent and severe climate-related events. These are in addition to increasing policy and regulatory change as more recognition is given to the challenge we face and the drastic and rapid actions businesses and individuals must all take in order to protect both the planet and livelihoods.

Shocks, extreme weather events, ageing assets and increasing customer expectations are driving a need for greater resilience and planning by organisations. This in turn is requiring more collaboration between utilities, transport and telecommunication organisations, their regulators and supply chains.

Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive, MCA, said:

Businesses need to consider a range of new targets, as well as forthcoming regulation, to help tackle climate change and we are seeing a step change by businesses in the use of management consultancies to bring in technical expertise, multi-disciplinary capabilities and to challenge traditional thinking. The range of activity that is taking place highlights the new ways of operating and doing business and consultants are assisting organisations in making major changes to the way they are functioning to help the environment.

Examples of work MCA members are involved in are:

  • Helping BAFTA to increase TV’s action on climate change (Deloitte)
  • Leading a consortium appointed by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to deliver the International 2050 Calculator programme energy and emissions model (Mott MacDonald)
  • Supporting the Green Cities programme, working in Sofia, Bulgaria and Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina to develop a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) (PwC)
  • Providing a climate change risk assessment for a major Australian and U.S property group to better understand future environmental risks (Arcadis)
  • Create a Climate Change website to help finance professionals consider the impact of climate change (Deloitte)
  • Working in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) to support cities in collaborating effectively to drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change (Arup)
  • Helping to launch The Clean Kilo in Birmingham, the UK’s largest zero-waste supermarket (Deloitte)
  • Implementing one of the largest greenhouse reduction plans in the state of California with a screening tool offering reduction options such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, transportation and waste diversion (Atkins)
  • Design an award-winning headquarters to reduce environmental footprint and promote wellbeing
  • Compliance with the Task Force on Climate related Financial Disclosures and assessing risks to financial stability due to climate change risks.

In addition, management consultancy firms are setting their own targets for example, to reduce energy emissions, water use, waste and paper. Many employees are also pledging to eat less meat and pledge to switch to renewable energy and offset their flights.

Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive, MCA, added:

The MCA represents some of the largest and most renowned management consultancies in the world including many medium sized and leading small specialist consultancies. Firms operate in a variety of sectors and offer a huge diversity of services to clients ranging from government departments to FTSE 350 companies, SMEs and local businesses. The range of work done on climate change highlights this diversity and the variety of solutions to deal with this global problem.

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Media Contact:

Caroline Florence ( / Tel: 0207 645 7959)

Notes to Editors

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA): The MCA is the representative body for the UK’s leading management consulting firms. For over 60 years, the MCA has been the voice of the consulting industry, promoting the value of consulting to business, the public sector, media commentators and the general public. The MCA’s mission is to promote the value of management consultancy for the economy and society as a whole. The MCA’s member companies comprise over 50% of the UK consulting industry work with over 90 of the top FTSE 100 companies and almost all parts of the public sector. The UK consulting industry is amongst the best in the world and a vital part of the business landscape. See the full list of current MCA members.

Compliance with the MCA’s tough entry criteria and adherence to the principles of Consulting Excellence means that MCA member companies are widely acknowledged to provide high quality services to their clients. Many of their achievements are recognised in the annual MCA Awards.