Consult Australia, Australia’s industry association representing consulting firms in the built and natural environment—with the support of leading consultancy Norman Disney & Young (NDY)—on Tuesday released a landmark new tool to be used by the professional services industry to improve business sustainability.
Consult Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Megan Motto said that The Business of Sustainability website will help to guide professional services businesses towards a more sustainable business.
“A more sustainable business means delivering a better business in every sense: more efficient, smarter, more competitive and more profitable. Achieving this is critical to the ultimate goal of a sustainable future. That is the business of sustainability,” said Ms Motto.
The project has been led by a Task Group comprised of some of Australia’s leading sustainability professionals from firms including AECOM, Arup, Aurecon, GHD, Jacobs SKM, Parsons Brinckerhoff, URS, and Norman Disney & Young who are also the Gold Sponsor of the project.
“Behind every business decision, many questions, scenarios and outcomes are considered, each of which impact the path chosen and the eventual outcome,” said Ms Motto.
“The move towards a more sustainable business is no exception as it often entails reworking of existing business models and strategies.
“The Decision Support Tool we have developed as the main part of The Business of Sustainability is designed to help bridge the gap between intent and achievement.”
The Decision Support Tool is structured across four broad-based activity areas: sustainable governance, reporting and accounting; internal engagement and staff culture; collaboration and engagement; and technological improvements to offices and infrastructure.
“The authors have developed a catalogue of questions—structured under the four activity areas—they would encourage you to think about.
“The questions are designed to assist firms to identify the path by which they are most likely to achieve their corporate vision. Any plan for sustainability must be fully integrated with the day-to-day business practices of the organisation.”
The Business of Sustainability has been developed with particular focus on professional services firms including legal, accounting, finance, management, consulting or government; of all sizes and disciplines, at any stage of their journey.
“For these firms—whose dominant capital sits within people rather than plant or equipment—the path towards sustainability is not always clear and nor is there one correct path,” said Ms Motto.
NDY’s global director of sustainability, and former Chair of the World Green Building Council, Tony Arnel agrees. “This site demonstrates that every firm must consider its own circumstances, commercial objectives and social and environmental responsibility before deciding which interventions they will use to achieve more sustainable practices, products and ultimately business.
“In recognition of the diversity of professional services firms, the aim of this website is to stimulate what will be a sometimes unpredictable dialogue around sustainability and to act as an aid for firms who are trying to identify and develop their own journey.”