Social impact

From its beginnings, Kearney has worked to make a positive social impact through our client engagements and pro-bono projects. Our promise to our clients, our people, our communities, and our planet is to create lasting benefits for the societies in which we live.

Social impact and sustainability are at the core of Kearney

Our commitment to sustainability and social impact at Kearney is more than just an initiative: it is a firm-wide passion that we bring into all that we do, going well beyond our volunteerism and philanthropic activities. Improving the state of the world has always been a part of our firm’s philosophy, rooted in what our founder Tom Kearney called the “essential rightness” of the advice we give. Our consultants, client engagements, and pro-bono efforts embody this philosophy, delivering on the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.

Our deep experience in strategy, operations, and sustainability positions us to change how organizations make an impact on the world. In our recent work, which was a finalist with the 2019 Pro Bono Professional of the Year for The Good Lobby, with the Agence du Don en Nature, we advocated adopting new legislation to ban the destruction of unsold non-food products to decrease environmental impact. Across all industries, we advise our clients who are facing complex social impact and sustainability challenges, and the changing role of business in society.

Three challenge areas

In focusing on some of the world’s most critical challenges, we and our partners seek to make a positive social impact in three primary areas—Kearney's 3Es: economic development, energy and sustainability, and education and workforce.

Achieving sustainable development

Together with our clients and partners such as the World Economic Forum and Ashoka, we are dedicated to driving the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) spanning the world’s most important economic, social, and environmental challenges. We are committed to being a leading voice in understanding climate change and how our clients can make sense of opportunities and risks, and we help guide transformative change in their organizations to achieve sustainability and resiliency for the long term.

Across diverse industries globally, we bring practical solutions and innovations through our consulting engagements, thought leadership, and partnerships. Our Kearney Energy Transition Institute provides leading insights on global trends in energy transition, technologies, and strategic implications for private sector businesses and public sector institutions.

Carbon-neutral since 2010

Kearney was the first management consulting firm to become carbon neutral. For more than a decade, we have made tailored efforts in our 60+ offices to reduce our carbon footprint; since 2010, we have offset the remainder of our carbon usage through the purchase of carbon credits, supporting diverse projects such as hydropower and waste gas recovery. We are committed to carbon neutrality, each year measuring our carbon footprint and offsetting unavoidable remaining emissions. Ten years on, we are now pledging our commitment to setting and achieving science-based emission reduction targets, which are in line to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. We are also working toward purchasing 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

As a professional services firm, most of our energy use comes as a result of air travel, offices, and hotel accommodation while serving our clients. By employing the nonprofit carbon-use monitor Atmosfair, we track our travel details through use statistics and detailed studies. Maintaining this level of understanding of our footprint allows us to purchase carbon credits and track our balance annually. Going forward, we are dedicated to doing even better, as outlined in our Global Sustainability Policy. We are implementing a multiyear sustainability plan to further reduce our energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions, boost our reduction and recycling of waste, and optimize our use of technology such as video-conferencing to offset our travel.

UN global compact

As a responsible business, we strive to uphold leading global standards such as the United Nations Global Compact across human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. In our annual Communication on Progress, we describe our actions to integrate the Global Compact and its principles into our consulting work with our clients and partners, our culture, and our day-to-day operations.