Caso di Studio

A Consumer Products Giant Accelerates Its Sustainability Agenda

We helped CPGCo define a strategy to prioritize and coordinate its efforts across a large enterprise

CPGCo changed its operating model and coordinated the sustainability initiatives of its many brands.

CPGCo changed its operating model and coordinated the sustainability initiatives of its many brands.

Intera notizia/storia

A multinational producer of branded consumer foods faced pressure from customers and other stakeholders to be more sustainable in its practices and products. Over time and across the organization, CPGCo had made more than 130 goal statements and public commitments on sustainability; predictably, the company was having a hard time coordinating its efforts.

So the company asked us to help it develop an enterprise-wide program to deliver on its promises. A central tenet of the engagement was a determination to not reverse any of CPGCo’s commitments, but to maximize its ability to achieve them.

Working with a Sustainability Governance Committee comprised of the CEO and most executive leaders, we helped CPGCo align on its overall ambitions, key priorities, and coordinated efforts. Over five months, our team helped leaders define concrete ways to accelerate the refreshed sustainability strategy, including changes to its operating model and a series of initiatives to embed sustainability practices in its brands.

An ambitious commitment for a major company

With dozens of well-known brands, more than 30,000 employees, and tens of billions in annual revenue, CPGCo is a big ship to steer. But at the outset of our engagement, its sustainability commitments were managed by a small, siloed team that had limited influence over business operations.

Business unit leaders, including those on the Sustainability Governance Committee, lacked an understanding of legacy commitments, what achieving them would entail, and how they could create value from the necessary investments. Several of the goals relied on uncertain funding or nascent technology, which created risk.

From this starting point, we used our proven approach to ESG acceleration to help CPGCo diagnose the issues with its sustainability initiatives and revise its strategy.

Developing a strategy for authentic, coordinated change

Our team used proprietary benchmarking data to measure CPGCo’s ambitions in relation to its competitors, as well as its customers’ expectations. This helped us identify which commitments mattered most, and how to differentially focus resources on those commitments without falling short on others. We ran fitness tests on each of the key issue areas, uncovering the risks and opportunities for improvement. Then we collaborated with CPGCo leaders within and outside of the sustainability team to embed these priorities in core processes throughout the organization.

The result was a co-created roadmap for an impactful ESG strategy that would reinforce the company’s identity and brand. We developed a set of recommendations that prioritized the different operational changes necessary to maximizing the value of its sustainability investments.

An “Aha moment” for company leaders

As part of our work, we convened CPGCo’s leadership for an alignment workshop that played back what we’d learned, clarifying what actions were already working, and identifying the risks and further opportunities the company faced in its sustainability program.

This workshop aligned leadership on the key priorities and cross-company actions that would make it successful. CPGCo’s leaders described this as an “Aha moment” that cemented its understanding of the urgency of its goals, the risks on the horizon, and the company’s opportunity to become a sustainability leader in the CP industry.

We take our clients' confidentiality seriously. While we've changed their names, the results are real. 

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