SURVEY: Trends in Sustainability Consulting (Part 3)

Our State of the Industry Survey is off and running and the responses are pouring in!  We love our SSC Consultant Network, and it’s so exciting to see how much we grow each year … plus, your feedback is invaluable to our survey success!   Hmmm, there may still be a few procrastinators out there but that’s okay, we know you are busy and still have every intention of taking a few minutes to join in.  Why wait?  Remember … each section of the survey really helps to paint the bigger picture for all of us; it’s an important time to take the sustainability consulting pulse so please make sure to participate before the survey closes on November 9th!

Part 3 in this blog series takes a look at 2010 findings related to high growth areas.  2010’s hottest trends included business strategy, life cycle analysis, green building, supply chain, and IT.  In that light, we wanted to know what clients were asking for and what we can learn from that … when we asked you if your potential clients know specifically what to look for in a qualified sustainability consultant, the majority of responses indicated this is typically not always the case.  And the same was true for potential clients being able to identify the scope of their engagement in great detail.  Interesting, right?  How many times have you had a client call up and say they want to go green or say they need some help with sustainability … but the two of you really had to start off with a sort of “definition process” to start scoping out the work?  There is a need to serve as a sort of guide and clearly articulating what these terms mean and what the expectations are from the project … a reliance on you (the consultant) to illustrate a solution that resonates.

The industry is hungry for definition and we are at the forefront with the great opportunity to start mapping this out.  The sustainable proof in the pudding: in an interesting twist we are not only helping to define the project for clients but also serve as a key guide and “educationalist” along the way.  Albeit sometimes difficult to navigate initially … you can’t deny that this offers each and every one of us an excellent opportunity to shape the path forward and serve as leaders in this industry.  So how are we doing in 2011 now, have things changed?

We know that in sustainability consulting your time is valuable so we’ve taken measures to make sure that every question asked in our study hones in on what’s important and gets to the point quickly, get started now (if you are a currently practicing sustainability consultant) while the survey is fresh in your mind!  Already taken the survey?  Please pass it along to your colleagues.  The more responses we get, the more robust the answers!