Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility

What we do

We help organizations make critical decisions related to sustainability strategy, the environmental and social impact of operations, stakeholder engagement, and sustainability-related growth and cost opportunities. We work to ensure that sustainability efforts are anchored in business fundamentals and demonstrate a clear return on investment—and that those efforts are then firmly embedded within our clients' strategy and operations. Our teams specialize in a few key areas:

  • Sustainability strategy: We help companies factor the full range of social, environmental and economic issues into strategy development and execution. An effective sustainability strategy focuses on a few areas that are integral to the company’s core business strategy and are where the company can have material positive impact.
  • Sustainable operations: We work to optimize the use of natural resources with an emphasis on supply chain efficiency initiatives and circular economics, and supply security and resilience through socially and environmentally responsible practices. Our teams help address specific challenges facing organizations in resource-intensive industries. Our inclusive markets work with clients helps them harness the production and consumption potential of individuals in developing markets across the globe.
  • Sustainability in investing: We help investors of all types, including private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds, investment funds and family offices, pursue a range of options that account for environmental, social and governance criteria.
  • Change management and organization in sustainability: Only 2% of companies succeed in achieving their sustainability goals. We work on operating models and governance, impact metrics and incentives, and creating leadership alignment, support and a strong case for change to help companies identify their barriers to change and deliver breakthrough results in sustainability.

Our sustainability and corporate responsibility consulting teams have worked with hundreds of clients across all geographic regions. We bring data-driven analysis, practical insights and proven methodologies to each of our engagements, along with deep expertise in sustainability issues in industries ranging from Consumer Products, Retail, Industrial Goods & Services, Mining, Utilities, Oil & Gas and Pharmaceuticals.

Our approach

Sustainability is an increasingly important topic for executives, employees, consumers and communities. In addressing sustainability challenges, we are guided by a number of core beliefs:

  • There is a strong business case for sustainability both in terms of risk mitigation but also in bringing about a competitive advantage.
  • Despite this, companies are making slow progress, with just 2% achieving or exceeding their own expectations and 81% settling for diluted results.
  • Most companies fall into two types of traps: unfocused, unambitious sustainability strategies separated from the core business; and corner-office passion disconnected from frontline realities.
  • Sustainability leaders distinctively set bold ambitions and identify the few areas where they can ‘spike’ and be brilliant to bring competitive advantage to the heart of their business while addressing their most material sustainability impacts.
  • Leaders drive change by making public commitments and helping employees confront trade-offs, real and perceived, in day-to-day business.
  • The journey can be transformational and leave a legacy, prompting companies to redefine "sustainable, profitable growth" and what it means to be a leader in their industry.

Our credibility in fostering sustainable change comes not only from our deep experience in the field but also from tackling many of the same issues in our own organization. We are committed to increasing our social and public sector involvement and making sustainability a firm-wide priority. We are proud to be certified CarbonNeutral® and to contribute in meaningful ways to effect lasting social change through our global Bain Social Impact program.

Client examples
We share our clients' ambitions. We work to understand their reality and deliver true results—focusing on strategic decisions and practical actions. And we align our incentives with our clients’ objectives, so they know we’re in it together. The client stories below are just a few examples of how we've helped organizations realize, and often exceed, their goals.

Sustainability strategy: Bain developed a strategy for nearly 200 million people to be guided toward a long, healthy life at a leading insurance company—as well as a new sustainability initiative to be integrated in its corporate ambition statement that is expected to drive long-term business growth, customer trust and employee engagement.

Sustainable operations (supply chains): Bain designed and implemented an environmental competitiveness program at a packaging company to address its largest source of waste and carbon emissions, and we integrated environmental considerations as an integral part of the company’s supply chain strategy. As a result, the packaging company gained a competitive advantage by meeting customer demands, consumer preferences and receiving support from stakeholders.

Sustainable operations (resource management): Bain prioritized and developed six energy efficiency solutions to reduce a major oil company’s energy consumption and emissions by nearly 1 million metrics tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Sustainable operations (inclusive markets): Bain identified more than $10 million in external investments to allow a consumer products company and its nonprofit partner to enhance the lives of more than 300,000 smallholder farmers. And we established a repeatable model for the company to assess and enhance smallholder farmer ecosystem development.

Sustainability in investing: Bain developed an investment approach and identified the most attractive investment opportunities across the solar photovoltaic value chain for a family office looking to generate above-market returns with renewable energy investments.

Change management and organization in sustainability: Bain redesigned the corporate social sustainability governance structure and operating model, and we created a compelling business case for change to increase sponsorship and support at a leading pharmaceutical company. We expect the initiatives to improve public health alongside environmental and other social benefits, leading to several types of business advantages, including stakeholder support and increased innovation.


Insights
We develop insights that work for our clients. Our approach and recommendations are highly customized and lead to practical actions. Visit Bain Insights to read more, or stay current on the topics you care about most by downloading the Bain Insights app today.
Team

We work as an integrated part of your team, from frontline to C-suite, to deliver true results and make the changes stick.

Our leadership team

  • Paul
  • Paul Stone

    Advisory Partner

    London

    View profile


In addition to the leaders listed above, we have an extensive and diverse team of experts ready to serve the needs of clients worldwide. Please contact us to submit a business inquiry.