New York—July 15, 2021—Bain & Company’s global Sustainability & Responsibility consulting practice turns 10 years old this year. A longtime pioneer of sustainability transformations, the practice now includes nearly 500 practitioners globally, and it continues to grow at pace.
The recipe for success for today’s companies is changing. In addition to outstanding customer value and financial returns, companies must—and want to—deliver in ways which contribute to resolving the world’s most pressing challenges. Whether this means achieving emissions reductions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, protecting and restoring nature, or addressing systemic inequities, companies have added new and urgent priorities to their agendas.
These responsibilities can also be historic opportunities for those who proactively embrace the transitions at stake. A Bain & Company study shows there is up to $1 trillion on the table in the green economy in Southeast Asia alone. Brands that integrate elements of sustainability into their consumer promise see growth rates five to six times higher than others. And pioneers can tap into new profit pools. For example, another recent Bain report shows meat alternatives are likely to replace 15-35% of animal protein in the US over the next 10-15 years and battery electric vehicles are tracking to grow to 35% of the global light vehicle fleet by 2040.
Yet, this change is particularly hard. Bain’s research shows that only 4% of sustainability change efforts meet their goals in full, with almost 50% not getting even halfway there. To accompany its clients through these complex efforts, Bain & Company’s expanded Sustainability & Responsibility practice brings the firm’s distinctive strengths together: deep subject matter expertise across sustainability areas, pragmatic partnership, a rigorous focus on value creation informed by our deep understanding of investors’ priorities, and innovative thinking. This holistic approach enables clients to move from bold ambitions to transformative results.
Bain & Company is doubling down to build its capabilities in this domain, adding and connecting Sustainability & Responsibility practitioners in every office. The firm is further embedding these topics into the heart of its strategy and operational engagements, supporting specific sustainability projects and partnering with disruptors in this space. It is hiring new senior team members with world-class expertise, complementing its stable of external partnerships, such as EcoVadis, and offering focused training for all staff. Bain is also collaborating with global coalitions, such as World Economic Forum, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, The Consumer Goods Forum and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. In the coming months, the firm will announce further partnerships and acquisitions, dedicating significant capital and management effort to bring cutting-edge solutions to its clients.
Bain & Company recently launched Further, its overarching, collective ambition to create a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive world. And the firm is working to measure the holistic outcomes of its work, in line with its mission of helping clients create such high levels of value—in economic, environmental and social terms—that together they set new standards of excellence in their respective industries.
“The sustainability and responsibility transition is the most important and complex challenge of our time,” said Manny Maceda, worldwide managing partner at Bain & Company. “Our clients are increasingly bold in their aspirations, and so are we. We are mobilizing strongly to support with our keen investor lens, strategic insights, advanced analytics and sector-leading change management expertise. We are committed to bringing the full force of our firm to help create a sustainable and responsible future for business and society.”
To support clients and teams around the world, Bain & Company announced today that it is launching five global sustainability expertise centers. These multidisciplinary centers bring together the best of Bain’s global experts, knowledge and tools as well as an ecosystem of influential partners.
- Global Center for Carbon and Energy Transition. For countries and companies alike, achieving Net Zero is a global imperative, presenting unprecedented economic challenges and opportunities. This center helps companies understand the science, regulations, carbon abatement technologies, management tools and market trends to strategically shape their journeys toward a low-carbon future.
- Global Center for Circularity and Sustainable Materials. Materials systems and resource strategies need a radical overhaul to decouple economic growth from resource consumption. Bain is working with its clients to design and implement new circular approaches that drive greater sustainability as well as flexibility, resilience and customer satisfaction.
- Global Center for Sustainable Food and Nature Systems. Humanity's future depends on its ability to create food and nature systems that support both healthy people and a healthy planet. Partnering across the value chain, Bain is helping confront the complexities of sustainability and responsibility in food and nature.
- Global Center for Sustainable Investing and Finance. Sustainability transitions demand significant capital and new investor behaviors. Informed by our leading position in private equity, Bain helps its clients understand this rapidly evolving landscape, advising on ways to finance their transitions and find market rewards.
- Global Center for Sustainable Supply Chains and Operations. Traceability and other operational adjustments are critical to sustainable business in the future. Bain is working to help its clients identify and implement new technologies that can enhance resilience and sustainability, while also lowering cost and risk.
These centers will enable Bain’s clients and teams to access deep expertise and channel it into integrated solutions across the full ESG and business agenda.
While leaders will profoundly transform their core businesses, supported by expertise in the five centers above, sustainable success will ultimately require an acceleration in innovation, venture building and new business models. Bain will continue to lead in this area through its recently launched Global Sustainability Innovation Center in Singapore. Additionally, Bain will greatly increase sustainability-focused activity in its European venture-building hub, based in the Nordics, and the Bain Innovation Exchange in the Americas—an extraordinary community of startups, venture capital firms and change makers working to accelerate technological breakthroughs and commercialization.
Bain’s commitment to sustainability starts at home. This year, the firm celebrated its tenth year as a 100% CarbonNeutral® firm, and it has the ambition to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Bain earned a gold rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, putting the firm in the top 2% of consulting firms. And as part of Bain’s $1.1 billion commitment to pro bono consulting, it partners closely with influential nongovernmental organizations such as The Nature Conservancy to accelerate market-based sustainability solutions.
About Bain & Company
Bain & Company is a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change makers define the future.
Across 63 offices in 38 countries, we work alongside our clients as one team with a shared ambition to achieve extraordinary results, outperform the competition, and redefine industries. We complement our tailored, integrated expertise with a vibrant ecosystem of digital innovators to deliver better, faster, and more enduring outcomes. Our 10-year commitment to invest more than $1 billion in pro bono services brings our talent, expertise, and insight to organizations tackling today’s urgent challenges in education, racial equity, social justice, economic development, and the environment. We earned a gold rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, putting us in the top 2% of all companies. Since our founding in 1973, we have measured our success by the success of our clients, and we proudly maintain the highest level of client advocacy in the industry.