Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Verdantix: Obama Policies Trigger Climate Change Consulting Gold Rush

During 2009 consulting firms that fail to establish their climate change expertise will miss out on the biggest opportunity in the consulting market for 20 years, according to independent research from Verdantix. The ground-breaking analysis of the US climate change consulting market applies 56 evaluation criteria to assess 19 consulting and professional services firms including Bain, CH2M Hill, Deloitte, ENVIRON, ERM, ICF, McKinsey and PwC.

"Despite the downturn, demand for climate change consulting is surging. President Obama's climate change agenda, cost savings from energy efficiency and an widening expertise gap drive demand" said David Metcalfe, author of the report. "Our analysis reveals that environmental, accounting, IT and management consultants are scrambling to upgrade their climate change services."

The research, based on dozens of interviews with practice leaders and 15 buyers of consulting services, uses the Verdantix Green Quadrant(R) methodology to clarify the alternatives in a confusing and fast-changing market. The analysis finds that:
Seven consulting firms stand out as Leaders. CH2M Hill and McKinsey stand out - even among the leaders - due to the breadth and depth of their capabilities and proven track record over the last 2 years. Deloitte and PwC, and environmental consultancies ENVIRON, ERM and ICF International are also positioned in the Leaders Quadrant. Consulting firms with specialist skills will benefit in 2009. Buyers of consulting services should turn to Ernst & Young for cleantech advice, AT Kearney for sustainability strategy projects and Booz for climate change strategy. Blu Skye and GreenOrder are ideal choices for change programs. PA Consulting Group has the capability to deliver transformational energy efficiency programs. Many advisors need to bulk up their climate change expertise. Not all consulting firms have invested in the development of their climate change services. Notably Bain, BCG and KPMG US have done little to market their capabilities and credentials on sustainability and climate change.

"Our independent customer panel told us that carbon management is their top priority: 73 per cent identified it as a significant initiative" said Verdantix Director, Metcalfe. "In 2008, sixty per cent of the buyers of climate change advice we spoke with, all working for $5 billion revenue US firms, said they invested in climate change strategy advice and greenhouse gas inventory projects. In 2009, energy efficiency is top of the agenda."

The analysis concludes that buyers of sustainability consulting projects will need to select a portfolio of advisory partners due to the wide-ranging challenges triggered by sustainability and climate change.

"As President Obama's energy and climate change policies become clearer, large corporates and their professional advisors must be ready to act" continued Metcalfe. "Consulting firms must hire, strengthen and market their capabilities - or miss out on the dramatic growth which is sure to come in 2010."

About Verdantix Verdantix is an independent business research firm focused on climate change, carbon markets and business sustainability.

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