Why a climate solutions framework for professional services providers
Corporates in the professional services industry, such as consulting firms, influence emissions through the clients they work with and the projects they work on. That’s why Exponential Roadmap Initiative considers professional services providers among companies that may qualify as climate solutions companies.
Climate solutions companies can be companies that provide certain products that markedly reduce or avoid emissions compared to the established product; companies that provide professional services; companies that provide enabling platforms or companies that provide financial services.
The Exponential Roadmap Initiative currently applies the following criteria (at least one) for products and services to qualify as climate solutions:
- significantly lower carbon footprint, at least 50% lower (preferably 90% or more) than the business as usual solution being replaced.
- has the sole purpose of enabling others to avoid or reduce emissions.
- fulfills the thresholds set out in a robust taxonomy.And in addition
- has no material negative impacts on nature (e.g. biodiversity on land and in oceans)
- fulfills human needs and is potentially scalable to all the world’s population.
Professional services providers furthermore need to disclose their portfolio on an annual basis to ensure a continuous alignment. In September 2022, Futerra was the first professional services company to be recognised as Climate Solutions Provider by Exponential Roadmap Initiative and Race to Zero.
Guidance from the Race to Zero Expert Peer Review Group urges all members to consider how they can leverage their businesses’ influence to contribute towards halving emissions by 2030.
To support professional services providers in assessing their project portfolios, Exponential Roadmap Initiative has developed a simple framework. It proposes that professional services providers assess their customer in terms of how 1.5°-aligned their business strategy and practice is, as well as assessing the respective project in terms of climate action and solutions.
This framework can be used to map the project portfolio against climate criteria, where projects associated with larger revenues are represented by bigger circles in the diagram below.
Over time, as a professional services provider secures new projects, continues to map them and discloses the project portfolio to maintain climate solutions company status, the portfolio would include more clients that have 1.5°C-aligned business strategies or that themselves are Climate Solutions companies.