Only a handful of firms – Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers being the most prominent – have excelled when providing major companies with corporate-wide sustainability visions, according to a report by Verdantix.
Deloitte and PwC enjoy the highest “capability” rating among 14 major consultancy firms with sustainability consulting arms ranked in Green Quadrant Sustainability Business Consulting 2011.
The data is based on interviews with 15 consulting buyers, representing firms with combined revenues of $214 billion.
According to the report the most successful sustainability consultants excel in seven characteristics, or “secrets”, of their trade. They are:
- Breadth of service offerings.
- Delivery of high profile projects.
- Transparency on sustainability performance.
- Longevity in the sustainability market.
- Depth of expertise in each domain.
- Investments in brand awareness.
- Long-term vision for energy and environmental trends.
According to the data, PwC has the highest brand awareness as a provider of sustainability business consulting services (see graph), followed by Accenture and McKinsey in second and third place.
Furthermore, 24 percent of respondents named PwC as a consultant with strong sustainable business expertise.
The study also identified Accenture, ARUP and WSP Environment & Energy as consulting firms with strong specialist expertise as well as a significant level of positive market momentum.
According to a report by research firm Environment Analyst, released in October, the U.K. environmental consulting market contracted by 8.4 percent in 2010, and prospects for 2011 are relatively flat.
According to The 2011 Market Assessment of the UK Environmental Consulting Sector, last year the market declined for the second consecutive year after more than two decades of constant growth.