Social Impact

Bain’s support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Bain’s support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

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Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

We are committed to alleviating poverty by increasing access to economic resources for vulnerable populations, while also building their resilience in the face of major challenges.

  • Around the world, many smallholder farmers live on income of less than $5.50 per day. In sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, agriculture is dominated by smallholder farmers who own 0.5 to 2 hectares of land. More often than not, these farmers lack affordable access to yield-enhancing inputs such as seed and fertilizer, technical assistance, financing, and markets. Bain partners with organizations that help improve smallholder farmer productivity and livelihoods, including TechnoServe, Partners in Food Solutions, and Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency.  Over 6 million smallholder farmer families have been reached by our partners.
  • Where traditional philanthropic and market solutions have fallen short, social-first impact investors step in. Unlike investors that focus first on financial returns, this group has a high tolerance for risk and a long time horizon. They support innovative enterprises that serve the world’s poor with business models that can ultimately become commercially viable and self-sustaining. Bain works with leading organizations, including Acumen, Accion, and Root Capital, to help them set a bold ambition for growth and systemic impact, and develop a clear roadmap for getting there. Over 330 million lives have been touched by our impact investing partners.

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

We believe everyone deserves safe, nutritious, and sufficient food, and to live without fear of hunger or malnutrition. We are playing an active role in transforming Africa’s food systems to strengthen food security on the continent.

  • Founded by the Global Dairy Platform (GDP), Dairy Nourishes Africa (DNA), is a public-private partnership leveraging the collective strength of the global dairy sector and local stakeholders. With dairy processors as the linchpin for transformation, DNA uses a market systems approach to ensure food systems become more resilient, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable. GDP is providing critical technical dairy capabilities in partnership with Land O’Lakes Venture37 (driving inclusive dairy development) and Bain & Company (accelerating the ability of critical dairy enterprises to grow and increase their impact).
  • In May 2020, we joined forces with a number of our enduring pro bono clients—including TechnoServe, Partners in Food Solutions, Root Capital, and Land O’Lakes Venture37—and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to establish the Coalition for Farmer-Allied Intermediaries (CFAI). The coalition’s mission is to catalyze a movement around farmer-allied intermediaries in order to transform and build more resilient African food systems. We aim to help scale many more profitable, competitive enterprises that enhance smallholder famer livelihoods, nutrition and food security, socioeconomic development, and environmental sustainability through more effective collaborative action. Our report How Farmer-Allied Intermediaries Can Transform Africa’s Food Systems serves as the intellectual underpinning of CFAI and several other multi-stakeholder partnerships that aim to transform food systems in Africa.

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

We understand the power of education to transform a life. That’s why we work with school systems and high-impact education nonprofits to transform education and help students from traditionally underserved communities have the chance to lead lives of choice and opportunity. We focus on career-connected learning, human capital, school systems, early childhood development, and education technology.

  • Rapid advances in technology are changing the nature of work. While many jobs are going away, our research has found that good jobs are still plentiful. Yet our education system is not adequately preparing students to get these jobs and succeed in them. To do that, we need to move past the traditional construct of study-then-work to a study-and-work, career-connected learning (CCL) model that combines classroom instruction with relevant, real-world experience. Bain partners with education providers, businesses, government, and others to make clear the good jobs such programs should target, to highlight best practices, and to bring successful CCL programs to scale. We have shaped CCL programs for vast university and public school systems, such as CUNY, Career Connect Washington, and the Denver Public Schools.
  • We work with leading school systems in the US and around the world, such as KIPP, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and Ark, particularly those educating traditionally underserved populations, to accelerate student achievement and ensure students have access to choice-filled lives.
  • We know from hundreds of examples nationwide that extraordinary student outcomes are possible at the individual school level. These persistent rays of hope shine through even in the most challenging of educational environments. Breakthrough results in student achievement occur when the significant challenges our students face are met with an even greater level of teacher talent and dedication—when talented individuals work together to do extraordinary things. Yet we also know that these kinds of schools don’t develop randomly on their own; an essential ingredient behind each of these success stories is transformational leadership. We are committed to growing the ranks of qualified teachers, through our partnerships with organizations like Teach for America/Teach for All.

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

We believe in economic growth that is inclusive and sustainable for all. More progress is needed to support entrepreneurs particularly those who can create jobs and uplift communities and to upskill members of vulnerable communities so they don’t get left behind. This work has only increased in urgency and importance as economies and communities around the world face unprecedented challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Small businesses need a support system to become big businesses. A strong entrepreneurial ecosystem fosters innovation and growth, and businesses that are part of one have a much higher chance of success. There is groundbreaking evidence that the most vibrant entrepreneurship develops when high-impact entrepreneurs operate in tight-knit networks, nurturing fellow risk-takers and trading know-how, capital and tough love. Endeavor is a leader in the global high-impact entrepreneurship movement. Over the last two decades, it has helped promising entrepreneurs scale by facilitating access to mentorship, networks, talent, and capital. Bain has supported Endeavor since 2011, through pro bono case teams, externs, senior partner mentors, and panelists at Endeavor's International Selection Panels.
  • Bain is a founding member of OneTen, a coalition of leading CEOs and organizations that will combine the power of these committed American companies to upskill, hire, and promote 1 million Black Americans over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement. OneTen connects employers with talent partners, leading non-profits, and other skill-credentialing organizations that support the development of diverse talent.

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

We believe in honoring our planet by helping our clients accelerate sustainable consumption and production strategies.

  • Our Sustainability & Responsibility practice integrates sustainability goals and approaches into the core of companies’ strategies, and designs environmentally and socially sustainable supply chains. During 2018 and 2019, we completed over 60 projects for clients on the topics of circularity, recycling, and waste/packaging strategy.
  • We helped the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) build a roadmap toward a sustainable and equitable food system for the approximately 56 million residents of England.
  • We helped establish the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a consortium of major companies in the plastic supply chain, with the goal of eliminating plastic waste in the environment. This helped secure a commitment of $1.5 billion from over 40 companies to fund efforts to reduce plastic waste.
  • We helped The Nature Conservancy design and implement a sustainable tuna supply chain from the Pacific Island fisheries to the US retail market.
  • In Brazil, we worked with The Nature Conservancy to develop a strategy to generate incentives for deforestation-free cattle and leather production.

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

We see climate change as an urgent priority. The climate crisis is growing while the timeline to address it is shrinking. We are committed to helping our clients take climate action while also reducing our own operational footprint.

  • Through our Sustainability & Responsibility practice, we partner with companies to stretch their emissions reduction goals and put in place programs to reduce their carbon emissions across Scopes 1, 2, and 3. From 2019 to 2020, we completed more than 400 cases on the topics of carbon emissions and the energy transition. Specifically, we have helped several companies set net-zero emissions targets.
  • Since 2012, Bain has been formally certified by Natural Capital Partners as a CarbonNeutral® company across our global operations. We offset 100% of our greenhouse gas emissions, including all client and internal travel.
  • Bain pledged to further reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions—from activities such as heating and powering its offices—by 30% over the next five years, and it plans to reduce its scope 3 emissions from business travel by 35% over the same time period.
  • We have long been a sustainability frontrunner in the industry, achieving carbon neutral status for the past ten years in a row. Since 2011, we have reduced our scope 1 and 2 emissions by 68% by converting to 100% renewable electricity, improving the energy efficiency of our office spaces and finding ways to reduce waste from our operations. We have set a goal to get to a 90% reduction by 2030.

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

We are committed to the sustainable management and protection of marine environments, in recognition of the vital role that the ocean plays in livelihoods, global supply chains, and ecosystems.

  • Through our enduring partnership with The Nature Conservancy, we supported the restoration of critical oyster reefs in Australia
  • We collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to assess the level of microplastic emissions from the global apparel manufacturing supply chain. Together, we designed an intervention to reduce these emissions of microplastics into the environment by 90%
  • We provided strategic guidance to the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, in support of its efforts to reduce plastic pollution in water bodies across the globe.

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

We are dedicated to promoting the sustainable management, restoration and use of our planet’s forests and other terrestrial resources. Through our close partnership with The Nature Conservancy–the world’s largest conservation organization—we have had the opportunity to help shape global conservation efforts:

  • We developed a strategy to restore the health of Californian forests to prevent further destruction due to wildfires, drought, and disease.
  • We supported the development of a strategy to conserve a large tract of coastal land in Georgia.
  • We developed a strategic roadmap for The Nature Conservancy to strengthen the organization and accelerate its ability to execute its mission.