Roland Berger outflanks peers with ambitious net zero target

05 February 2021 3 min. read
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Global consultancy Roland Berger has announced its commitment to net zero emissions by 2028. The firm has sought to outflank peers such as Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company and the Big Four, by aiming to achieve the target two years sooner than their 2030 standard.

“We are convinced that the world needs a new sustainable paradigm that takes the entire value cycle into account. The reduction of emissions, innovations in the use of resources, the reorganisation of supply chains, and new production methods are becoming decisive competitive factors. As a global consultancy, we are also fully aware of the impact of our business on the climate,” Global Managing Partner Stefan Schaible said of the news.

Strategy consultancy Roland Berger already achieved climate neutrality in 2020, but the German-origin company is determined not to rest on its laurels now. Instead, the consulting firm has set further ambitious goals, including the target of becoming net zero by 2028. Broadly, a carbon-neutral target relates to carbon dioxide only, whereas a net zero goal includes all greenhouse gases.

Roland Berger commits to net zero emissions by 2028

As pressure mounts on the public and private sector to take quantifiable action to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, recent months have seen a growing number of major consulting firms declaring goals to be net zero by the end of the decade. The growing cohort of firms looking to green their business model include the professional services industry’s entire Big Four, engineering specialist Arup, technology advisory Sopra Steria, and MBB strategy giants Bain & Company and Boston Consulting Group, among others.

The industry standard, however, is 2030 – two years later than Roland Berger is aiming for. Schaible added, “Not only do we want to lead by example in our industry, but we also want to demonstrate effective ways of doing business sustainably to our clients.”

Further illustrating this desire to lead the pack, Roland Berger will not only reach net zero emissions by 2028, but will also aim to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits by ramping up its offsetting schemes. Meanwhile, the firm will take a number of measures to reduce its CO2 footprint, including reviewing its existing company car policy, sourcing renewable energy, increasing the use of teleworking and reducing travel emissions.

Any unavoidable carbon footprint will be offset via a certified portfolio of high-quality climate protection projects in the areas of reforestation, prevention of deforestation, energy efficiency and renewable energies.

In order to ensure transparency around reduction targets, Roland Berger has committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI). To start this journey and get a full picture of the company's emissions, Roland Berger conducted a full accounting process in line with the GHG protocol to understand its carbon footprint. This was recently calculated in cooperation with South Pole – a leading project developer and provider of global climate action services. As a non-manufacturing company, so-called Scope 3 emissions, such as travel, account for a large part of Roland Berger's footprint.