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Sustainability Consulting and the Global Recession
21 Nov, 2022
Sustainability Consulting and the Global Recession
Written by Naseef Ahammed
November 21, 2022

There is a growing echo of concerns among the business leaders about the financial performance of their companies in the year ahead. According to a recent survey by KPMG, more than 8 in 10 CEOs from around the world anticipate a recession in the upcoming year, partly driven by the inflationary pressure from the monetary policies of the major governments around the world as well as the supply chain bottlenecks in various industries. Today, I ventured to find out how this will impact Sustainability consultants in the UK and beyond.

While the recession may be mild as the major economies of the world are still showing strong growth, the UK and wider Europe may have it worse due to the war in Ukraine and the reliance on natural gas. According to the same survey, half of the CEO’s are pausing or reconsidering their ESG strategies while a third have already done so. What does this mean for the sustainability consulting industry?

Can Recessions help Consultants?

Recessions come with a unique opportunity (also a major challenge) to trim down the fat that has been accumulated during times of growth. It pushes industries to innovate in their business models as well as products. When companies follow the bottom-line mantra as they did in 2009 recession, any product or service that serves their bottom-line becomes 100x more important to them. This might mean moving away from investment-heavy projects that generates return in the long run and running after small-scale quicker turnaround projects.

Projects that can also safeguard the existing operations of a business are also high priority, for example, energy security for businesses who may have to scale down operations if there is an energy crisis in the UK. Beyond that, an agile consultant will find industries that are still thriving and find new growth models leading to my next mantra, innovate to survive.

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