Companies take strategic view of climate changeSeptember 2008
Companies seeking climate change advice are choosing consultancies that offer commercial and financial guidance rather than those provide technical expertise only.
An analysis of the global climate change consultancy market by the business research company Verdantix says that the topic ‘is moving from an environmental issue into an economic issue,’ and that as a result managers responsible for implementing climate change programmes are ‘seeking advisers who combine technical expertise with business advice and financial analysis skills’.
Verdantix director David Metcalfe said this demand for a combination of ‘proven environmental expertise with a business analysis edge’ poses a challenge for those now entering the market, some of whom have good technical credentials but less experience of strategy. He believed this applied particularly to IT firms moving into the field.
Metcalfe said buyers of climate change consulting services ‘face a really complex task in selecting the right provider for their needs, as there are so many different consultancies attacking the market with different types of expertise’. He expects this confusion to increase as climate change consultants proliferate. Verdantix estimates demand from corporates for climate change advice is currently growing at 25 per cent a year.
The Verdantix research measured 16 climate change business consultancies against 74 criteria and identifies US-based ICF International as the market leader because the firm combines ‘deep environmental expertise’ with business analysis skills.
Specialist climate change teams formed by some of the other global advisory firms more than two years ago, such as Deloitte, ERM, KPMG, McKinsey, PwC and URS, are winning customers. However, those that have started up in the past 18 months are having greater difficulty, according to Verdantix.
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