sustainability

Arthur D. Little helps companies integrate sustainability into their business strategies. We offer a comprehensive approach to sustainability that delivers real business benefits in the short and long term – our approach is rooted in strategy, technology and innovation. 

    We  offer a comprehensive approach to sustainability that delivers real business benefits in short and long term – our approach is rooted in strategy, technology and innovation. 

    We do this in three particular ways:

    • Reducing the eco-footprint and social impact, resulting in lower costs and risk exposure and an improved company image, by developing strategic sustainability objectives and identifying concrete, innovative, economically viable ways to reduce the eco-footprint and improve the social impact of businesses.
    • Identifying and developing new products and services and customer segments by reacting to and proactively anticipating sustainability trends: innovating with the right technology solutions and developing the right products & services for the right markets.
    • Repositioning and transforming the company towards sustainable value creation in more durable business segments that will experience above average-growth driven by sustainability-related trends. This includes complete transformation of all functions within the organization, as well as the relationships between companies in the ecosystem and value chains. 

    Arthur D. Little’s global sustainability team offers a wide portfolio of services to help you integrate sustainability into your business strategy. 

    • Steer company products & services portfolio towards sustainable value creation and high-growth areas (“sustainable portfolio management”)
    • Manage the complexity of global carbon emissions and other environmental and social impact (“Global Carbon Advisory Service”)
    • Understand sustainability opportunities and risks and develop a proactive strategy
    • Integrate sustainability into your business processes and transform your organization toward sustainable value creation, embedding sustainable decision-making and action at all levels in the organization and the wider ecosystem
    • Harness sustainability to drive innovation and anticipate changing customer needs to create aligned products, services and business models
    • Measure and report sustainability performance

    Steer company products & services portfolio towards sustainable value creation and high-growth areas (“sustainable portfolio management”)

    Steer company products & services portfolio towards sustainable value creation and high-growth areas (“sustainable portfolio management”)

    We help you to define and build a comprehensive portfolio management set of tools that assesses the sustainability and technology performance of your products and services by application and region.

    For more than a decade,  Arthur D. Little has been supporting leaders in sustainability in developing sophisticated methods to objectively measure and compare sustainable performances of products, technologies and services.

    This has allowed executives to proactively manage their product and technology portfolios and identify sustainability-related risks and opportunities ahead of competitors. In this way companies can steer their portfolios towards sustainable value creation and high-growth areas.

    Sustainable Portfolio Management is of strategic value to companies in all sectors, and of particular importance to those that have less forward-looking insight into customer (including end-user) and value-chain buying and usage behavior, and into the performance of competing (novel) technologies.

    Sustainable portfolio management

    • Sustainable portfolio management is a fact-based, structured and accredited method that builds on life-cycle thinking and evaluates whether a product-application-region combination contributes to a more sustainable world (environmental, social and financial/economic) by assessing performance against: 
    • key stakeholder requirements and objectives
    • competing solutions in the market
      • Our approach can include both sustainability and technology performance, so that comprehensive and forward-looking insight is obtained into the expected future competitive performance, as well as into growth prospects of all products in the portfolio and the company as a whole.
    • Sustainable products screening creates concrete business value by providing companies with, e.g.:
    • A shared language on sustainability performance (fact-based rather than fueled by gut-feeling or personal interests)
    • Consistent assessment criteria that can be used across company processes 
    • Robust guidelines for external communication, leading to reported results being accepted by stakeholders
    • Novel arguments for specific value propositions, innovation projects and co-development with customers (typically discovered during the detailed assessments)
    • A hands-on tool set to proactively and steer the portfolio in a timely manner to more attractive areas (i.e., higher growth, higher profitability, higher resilience, reduced risk)

    Most important benefits as reported by users

    1. “Faster growth, through improved focus of efforts” 

    2. “Credible communication on sustainability benefits, at both the portfolio and product level”

    3. “Stronger stakeholder relationships, through intensive discussions on sustainability win-wins”

    4. “Reduced risks, as risks are spotted earlier and managed transparently”

    5. “Improved corporate image, supporting, e.g., marketing and recruitment efforts”

    Arthur D. Little will ensure an unbiased and critical assessment of the product portfolio, proven to increase robustness of the SPM assessment. It is crucial for businesses to understand and communicate effectively & credibly, whether their solutions are contributing to sustainable development or perceived to be part of the problem. Stakeholders (e.g., investors, NGOs) often aim to compare sustainability performance of individual products or entire company product portfolios. The use of a non-compliant sustainability assessment methodology will generate unexplainable differences in sustainability performance due to methodological differences. In these cases, companies are said to “compete on metrics, rather than performance”, resulting in: 

    • Skeptical stakeholders (including customers), as the reporting company may have designed and applied the methodology so as to achieve favorable results (“greenwashing”)
    • Skeptical executives, as investments in sustainability reporting do not result in convinced stakeholders

     

    Arthur D. Little’s sustainable-products screening approaches, developed with our customers, are widely recognized and awarded

    What customers say about Arthur D. Little’s work on sustainable-products screening 

    “Arthur D. Little has been instrumental in developing with Solvay its SPM methodology. It is unlikely that we would have been so successful in adoption and true steering of the product portfolio without them”
    Dominique Debecker, ‎Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, Solvay

    More information : 
    Sustainable Portfolio Management (SPM) by Solvay (video)
    Sustainable Portfolio Management (SPM) by Solvay (brochure) 
    Sustainable Portfolio Management (SPM) by Solvay (guide, 60 pages) 

     

    Manage the complexity of global carbon emissions

    We help companies manage carbon through five key steps:

    Consolidating some 40 years' experience in advising clients on the opportunities and risks in sustainability, climate change and the carbon agenda, the Global Carbon Advisory Service (GCAS) maintains the leading-edge capabilities of the firm's global practices - both industry and functional.

    We help manage the complexity and confusion surrounding carbon management debates driven by policy, consumers, supply chain, etc., for both companies and investors, by providing solutions that embrace this complexity and unlock value.

    We can pull together environmental and economic policy drivers for carbon into something that makes corporate strategy development manageable. 

    We not only build on assurance, valuation and market analyses to address how carbon will affect the bottom line today, but also look at value created in tomorrow's markets while appreciating and understanding the role of discontinuities and step-changes in consumer requirements. 

    We help you assess your current and future carbon impact, and develop a strategy for addressing it. We help you design, pilot, roll out and integrate appropriate carbon management processes. We help you develop your energy-technology strategy and improve your energy efficiency. 

    We understand the role of emerging and potential technologies and mechanisms in addressing climate change, and have the breadth that is necessary in terms of timing, from short to long term,  and geographically, with teams across Europe, the US and SE Asia, as well as measures that include energy supply, energy demand, efficiency and behavior.

    Global Carbon Advisory Service

    Assess risks and opportunities: understand potential risks/opportunities relating to direct and indirect CO2 emissions & downstream product use

    • Understand potential risks and opportunities (regulatory, costs, revenue and reputation)
    • Identify risks and opportunities by country and sector

    Identify strategic options: identify strategic options based on the company's current situation, market development and future ambitions

    • Identify and prioritize key drivers of change behind carbon constraints on future markets
    • Review competencies underpinning competitiveness
    • Identify specific opportunities and risks based on business strategy

    Develop investment strategy: develop strategy based on consideration of drivers of change and likely future carbon scenarios

    • Develop strategy based on: direct emissions (low-carbon technology and CO2 value chain, carbon markets, offsets), energy sourcing (e.g., renewables, distributed energy) and indirect impact (product stewardship)
    • Select portfolio of actions

    Implement: manage risks and exploit carbon-related opportunities through selecting appropriate strategic options

    • Implement strategic options (low-carbon technology and innovation management, energy-demand management, energy-sourcing solutions and carbon market and offset opportunities)
    • Integration into business strategy

    Measure and report: measure and communicate carbon management performance

    • Measure and project current and future carbon emissions
    • Determine reporting boundaries, e.g., operational control vs. equity share
    • Select and report targets aligned with business strategy
    • Measure revenue and profit impact

    Understand sustainability opportunities and risks and develop strategy

    We help you:

    • Understand the key sustainability issues and risks facing your business through techniques such as issue scanning, foresighting, scenario development and risk identification
    • Use workshops, roundtables and coaching to build commitment and vision
    • Develop strategic responses to sustainability issues and build these into your business strateg

      Integrate sustainability into your business processes

      We help you: 

      • Identify new market opportunities and develop new product and service offerings to respond to sustainability drivers, using powerful product and service creation tools
      • Identify and set up innovative collaborations with partners and other stakeholders to enhance your innovation capacity 

          Harness sustainability to drive innovation

          We help you:

          • Identify gaps in your sustainability processes, including culture, behavior and systems, through benchmarking and powerful diagnostic approaches 
          • Adapt and refine your business processes to incorporate sustainability issues
          • Design, pilot, roll out and integrate new sustainability management processes, and align your organization and resources to support them

          Measure and report sustainability performance

          We help you understand and act upon stakeholder expectations and perceptions, using well-proven stakeholder management tools. We help you develop and implement realistic, but stretching, sustainability indicators. We help you verify your sustainability performance, and develop effective and balanced reports that are aligned with your business strategy.