We're continuing our journey through 13 different services offered by sustainability consultants, and today we're focusing on the #6 most popular type of offering:
6. Benchmarking/Competitive Analysis (42.6%)
Industry research and assessment of the marketplace and current and potential competitors as it relates to sustainability.
Many proponents for sustainability believe in the sharing of information and best practices because it leads to social and environmental improvement. However, companies are certainly guarded about some aspects that add a decisive competitive advantage, and all companies need to have an understanding of their competitors.
The majority of the time best practices and competitive
analysis are an introductory service offering that opens the door for other
practices. For example Company A may hire an sustainability consulting firm to
analyze the best practices in their industry in terms of sustainability; and
the consultant may advise Company A to focus on stakeholder engagement or
greening their supply chain. This is different than overall strategy because it
deals more with external and macroeconomic factors than developing an internal,
overall green strategy.
Common Jargon and Terminology: Market Analysis, Competitor Research, Peer Benchmarking, Trend Analysis, Industry Assessment, etc.
Where You’ve Seen It: CSR Group offers benchmarking and has a proven track record of doing so with companies like Whole Foods and Dell. Soyka and Company offers, “Benchmarking and Situation Assessment."
See the other types of sustainability consulting we've already covered:
- #1: Strategic Planning and Implementation
- #2: Training/Education
- #3: Marketing/Communication
- #4: Sustainability Reporting
- #5: Stakeholder Engagement
Check out our past blogs to follow the “State of the Sustainability Consulting Industry” series:
- What Sustainability Consulting Is (and Isn’t),
- Types of Sustainability Consulting Organizations,
- By the Numbers: U.S. Sustainability Consulting Market,
- and State of the Sustainability Consulting Industry to learn more about the background for these findings
If you are a new or aspiring sustainability consultant and would like to take your practice to the next level, check out the 2013 Consultant Cohort: a 6-month intensive program hosted by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) and led by SSC President Jennifer Woofter.