BCG and Grundfos pushing Denmark to green its constitution

19 June 2020 4 min. read

Boston Consulting Group has been working with engineering group Grundfos on a project to help Denmark make its constitution more environmentally friendly.

Ultimately in consulting, clients pay for talented people, ahead of other factors such as a brand and proprietary methodologies. In a highly competitive market for skilled labour, this makes the ability of consulting firms to tailor their offering to new recruits essential for their future success. Among some of the most important new factors which the latest generation of consultants look for is purpose.

Nadia Dahl, an Associate at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), illustrates this perfectly. A graduate in Economics from Aarhus University, Dahl joined the strategy giant in its Danish wing in 2019 – in part because she was aware of the work the firm does not only centre on ‘profit.’ She did not have long to wait to see this in action, either.

Speaking on Boston Consulting Group's website, Dahl explained, “One of my reasons for choosing to work at BCG was the organisation’s strong focus on ‘Social Impact’ – BCG’s practice area dedicated to societal issues and delivering positive impact. I was therefore happy to discover that my very first case was a social impact project.”Part of the steering group working on the ‘Green Constitution’The project in question aims to change Denmark’s constitution, adding the protection of climate and environment to the rights and responsibilities it enshrines. Starting life in ‘Folkemødet’ (‘Denmark’s Democratic Festival’) on the island of Bornholm last summer in 2019, the idea of a ‘Green Constitution’ quickly captured the imaginations of politicians and business leaders. As support for the idea grew, BCG worked with Danish engineering firm Grundfos to develop it further.

BCG assigned a team of consultants, including Dahl, to work on the project for three months during the fall of 2019. Dahl: “The goal was to understand what it would take to change the constitution, why such a change is needed and how such a process could happen. Moreover, we would like to obtain key lessons from other countries that had incorporated environmental rights in their constitutions. We hence worked together with scientists, economists, and constitutional rights professors to answer these questions.”

Social impact

Having hoped that joining BCG would give her opportunities to make a social impact, Dahl quickly found herself thrown in at the proverbial deep-end – a part of consulting life which is another big draw for graduates as it enables them to learn quickly. She became responsible for deep-dives in pollution and nature, for example working to find out what technologies can mitigate air pollution.

Dahl also visited modern farming facilities using environmental technologies that can reduce air pollution, before visiting Christiansborg (the Danish parliament) to present some of the findings to an environmental spokesperson for a Danish political party.

The joint BCG - Grundfos team was supported from the top, with Mads Nipper (CEO at Grundfos) and Anders Fæste (Managing Director of BCG in Denmark) committing themselves personally to the cause.

Amending the nation’s constitution in line with project’s findings will not be an easy task of course. Such changes require both chambers of the Christiansborg to vote for, before a national referendum finally approves such changes. However, BCG and Grundfos are steadily building support for the Green Constitution – and in December last year, the firms publicly launched a press campaign for the project.

Commenting on what comes next, Dahl concluded, “Since then, we have teamed up with various large NGOs and partner organisations to push for change – and the interest is indeed there.

Asked about her key learning, she said: “What definitely surprised me most has been how big an impact a large organisation can have when it takes action. I hope and believe that we in the future will witness an even larger push from corporations willing to impact society in a positive way.”