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Sustainability and climate response


Follow the business case

Sustainability presents a massive commercial opportunity, with a predicted annual $12 trillion market value by 2030. At the same time, the 2020 World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report was dominated by environmental concerns for the first time in history.

We are seeing the pace of major legislation accelerating as governments are driving progress on their pledges to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. Consumers are more committed than ever to a sustainable future and demanding bigger and braver action. And sustainable investments are at their peak, more than tripling to £125tr by 2030 with ESGs essential to investment strategies.

Sustainability is the commercial, purpose-led opportunity

Five areas for effective action

We believe you can find new opportunities and take effective action by addressing tangible areas at the intersection of environment, strategy, technology and regulation. The areas with the biggest impact commercially and environmentally are:


Don’t treat water as a consequence. Understand your ecosystem and footprint to uncover the hidden value.


Carbon equals revenue, not cost embrace innovation, technologies and new business models to generate revenue.


Understand waste, design with waste in mind, adopt novel processes and technologies and collaborate across sectors to spot the business opportunities from waste.


Businesses that design sustainability into their product lines are seeing increased revenues and greater consumer loyalty.


Stop tackling packaging in isolation, collaborate across the lifecycle to reduce confusion and wasted effort.

We help accelerate and scale innovation to deliver effective sustainability and climate action


Find commercial opportunities and value

We help businesses seize the commercial opportunity of sustainability. We find and optimise value to create lasting and profitable change across your value chain.


Innovate end-to-end

We are experts in end-to-end innovation for sustainability. From insights and strategies to new business models and supply chains, to technology and product development through to commercialisation.


Deliver real and measurable results

We use KPIs mapped to UN Sustainable Development Goals to deliver real and measurable results, accelerating progress against planetary, social, and financial aspirations.

Don’t just take our
word for it

Office for Zero Emission Vehicles - Using design to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission road transport

The UK government’s transport decarbonisation plan is a world-leading ‘greenprint’ for building a net zero transport system by 2050. We teamed up with the Royal College of Art to design the blueprint for an emblematic chargepoint as recognisable as Britain’s red post boxes or black cabs.

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Dole Asia Holdings – end-to-end transformation for sustainability

Dole is reinventing every part of a process that starts with the fruit in the fields and ends with biodegradable and recyclable packaging. As Dole’s innovation partner, we’re helping to transform their business.

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Pulpac – sustainable products and packaging

A patented solution that uses renewable pulp and cellulose to produce low cost, high performance, fiber-based packaging and single-use products. It offers up to an 80% lower CO2 footprint and is a low-cost alternative to plastics. PA is the exclusive global development partner of this revolutionary technology.

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Water Source – providing clean drinking water to underserved communities

We helped develop an innovative decentralised water treatment facility that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) and circular economy principles to empower water providers and deliver potable water to those who need it. The facility cleans water at the community level, a process that could revolutionise the way water is delivered around the world.

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Ørsted – leading the transformation to green energy

In 2020 Ørsted became the world's most sustainable company. By 2025 they aim to increase green energy production to 99%, from just 20% in 2006. We have helped Ørsted to fundamentally transform the organisation, changing the culture, building capabilities and strengthening processes so it’s better equipped to create a world that runs entirely on green energy.

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Your sustainability toolkit

The untapped potential of water on decarbonisation

We surveyed leaders from 73 global organisations across sectors where water demand is intensive: drinks, fast-moving consumer goods, high-tech manufacturing, traditional manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals and found that leading global organisations could save 86 billion cubic meters of water – equivalent to the yearly water consumption of Japan – and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 12 million tonnes by 2030. This would provide up to a 25% of the annual GHG emissions cuts needed between now and 2030 to reach the 1.5°C global temperature climate goal set out in the Paris Agreement.

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A practical guide to help business leaders identify circular opportunities and design business models that create, deliver and capture value in ways that also benefit society and the environment.

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The innovation framework provides step-by-step guidance on how innovation teams can use the SDGs as a lens to uncover new product, service and business model opportunities, and a toolkit for building the breakthroughs needed to progress the SDGs.

Download here


Explore three key strategies to sustainable plastics and packaging and our recommendations for success. Find out how the industry leaders such as Coca-Cola, Morrisons and John Lewis are delivering on sustainable packaging.

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There is no single magic bullet for solving global water scarcity issues, however, industry partners can come together and innovate, each adding value and ultimately creating end-to-end solutions that benefit all.

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TIPS for decarbonisation

The imperative for climate response is growing, and the political climate reflects this as consumers, employees and investors are demanding it. Tackling emissions ensures risks are minimised and sets businesses up for long-term profitability.

Read our tips


Many leading brands have already adopted and achieved zero-waste goals. What’s new is that they’re extending responsibility both upstream and downstream of their value chain to scale results. Here’s how your organisation can follow suit.

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The packaging market is full of confusion and complexity. Our sustainable packaging compass will help you find a route to success when deciding your sustainable packaging approach.

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PA at COP26

COP26 was the most significant climate conference since 2015. Implementing change with the necessary pace and scale will require unprecedented commitment, innovation, collaboration and partnerships across governments, industry, financiers and innovators.

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What the sporting world can do to improve its sustainability

PA’s Head of Climate Response, Jonquil Hackenberg, is interviewed on Sky News' Ian King Live, where she discusses what the sporting world can do to improve its sustainability.

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Focus, start, share: how companies can win at innovation for sustainability

Find out how leaders from all sectors can innovate for sustainability and climate response, in more concrete and impactful ways.

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Accelerating road and rail’s drive beyond net zero

Road and rail leaders tell us the breadth of sustainability and climate response makes it hard to define where and how they can make most impact. In our latest report, find out how you can capture the value of sustainability

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How tech can help companies make bigger strides towards sustainability

Organisations are always on the lookout for ways to grow, and two of the biggest opportunities on their radar are digital technology and sustainability.

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Financial services can change the world

Access the findings from our 3,500-strong consumer study to find out what consumers want when it comes to sustainable finance - what issues really inspire them, barriers for adoption and where should financial services focus their efforts.

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Conscious Consumerism is transforming industries

Conscious consumers are voting with their phones and wallets, putting brands on notice. Sustainably aware buyers aren’t just motivated by advertising, convenience and cost. Instead, these consumers research the companies they buy from and support to...

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How exec teams are getting ESG wrong

PA Consulting’s head of sustainability, Jonquil Hackenberg, discusses what leaders must do to grasp the sustainability agenda.

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Winds of change at PA: New head of practice offers fresh perspective on energy transition

Offshore wind is regarded as a game changer in the energy system as a way to deliver clean bulk power generation.

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PA Consulting has been appointed to design electric vehicle charge points

The UK Department for Transport has appointed PA, alongside the Royal College of Art, to deliver an iconic British charge point design which could become as recognisable as the red post box or black cab. The design will be unveiled at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November and could be seen on streets across the UK from 2022.

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More sustainability articles and insights

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We are committed

The UN Global Compact is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 9000 companies and 3000 non-business signatories globally. We’re a participant and a specialist technical advisor to the UN Global Compact and a partner to UNGC Project Breakthrough.

We endorse The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment. It aims to create a new normal for plastic packaging, whereby a circular economy ensures plastic packaging never becomes waste.

A partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Science Based Targets initiative drives ambitious climate action by enabling companies to set science-based emissions reduction targets. We are committed to help limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.


Let’s discuss your sustainability challenges and get you moving forward. Use the form below to get in touch, or connect with us on LinkedIn.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Jonquil Hackenberg

Global Head of Sustainability


Aris Karcanias

Global Head of Energy & Utilities