Deloitte is investing $1 billion and building an expansive network of sustainability experience to help companies work toward defining and achieving sustainability and climate goals.
The expansion of the Deloitte Sustainability and Climate practice will help companies develop sustainability strategies and embed them in their operations, meet tax, disclosure and regulatory requirements, and help them speed transitions across their businesses. The practice and increased investment and network will include data-driven research as well as assets and capabilities, Deloitte says.
The practice, which will be available worldwide, will include the launch of the Deloitte Center for Sustainable Progress (DCSP). The DCSP will collaborate with business, policy, governmental and academic organizations to offer leadership ideas, data analysis and accountability reporting to help organizations with their sustainability targets.
The firm, which provides financial services to most of the Fortune 500 companies, says the investment helps hold itself accountable for such initiatives as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals but also as a way to enable sustainability transitions throughout the business community.
Deloitte also says it will build on its World Climate strategy and offer sustainability training courses to the 345,000 professionals it works with.
Such a move comes as companies strive to stay on top of and improve sustainability goals as well as tackle transparency of such efforts and increasing regulatory actions.
Deloitte has conducted several surveys that show the impact of sustainability efforts by businesses. A survey of business leaders earlier this year found that nearly 60% viewed data as an important piece of being transparent and making improvements in their efforts, while 21% said they have a working group in place to tackle ESG initiatives. Another shows that inaction could cost the United States economy $14.5 trillion over the next 50 years, but a rapid decarbonization could result in a $3 trillion gain.
Another study by NAVEX found that nearly half of executives surveyed will increase their focus on sustainability efforts and nearly 70% who don’t have reporting systems in place say they should have them.
This has led to more tools being available, such as a recently introduced sustainability management system by Wolters Kluwer that helps companies stay on top of their ESG efforts and regulatory needs; another by IsoMetrix collects data to help improve and report on overall sustainability efforts.
Jennifer Steinmann will serve as the first Deloitte Global Sustainability and Climate leader.
“Deloitte is committed to helping clients move from sustainability and climate commitments to action,” she says. “We will do so by working with organizations to create a transformation plan as well as helping drive collaboration across a broader ecosystem of suppliers, clients and customers, policymakers, and alliance partners across industries.”