The Rise of Sustainable Consulting
Harvard Undergraduate Consulting on Business and the Environment.
Since CBE’s founding a decade ago, our organization has worked towards helping organizations—from Boston startups to transnational Fortune 50 companies—rethink their approaches to business and the environment.
When I joined CBE during the fall of my freshman year, I had some consulting experience but was drawn to the organization for its focus on the environment and the unique opportunity it provides students to improve the world, one business at a time.
Over the past year, as CBE has expanded, our fields of focus have shifted, and what was once a focus on “the environment” has become a wider focus on sustainability.
Sustainability, broadly defined as “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level," is often thought to just relate to the sustainability of the Earth’s environment and its more narrow definition of “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance." In reality however, there are many facets to sustainability, including the environment, industry, energy, community, and more.
Since I joined CBE, almost every project I have worked on has focused on a different, yet equally important, aspect of sustainability. Here are just a few examples:
Sustainable community — developing a business plan for a local arts nonprofit that was built on strengthening and drawing skills from the community that they were in the process of building.
Sustainable industry — conducting global market research for a rapidly growing energy storage technology company, focused on finding viable industry partners for product production.
Sustainable energy — creating a market entry strategy to inform the actions of a clean energy company interested in expanding into a new market.
Sustainable business — working alongside the executive board to ensure CBE remains a sustainable enterprise that has a lasting positive impact on the local and global community, environment, society, and economy—through the development of initiatives such as our sustainability grant and student financial aid program.
Each of these projects exemplify our commitment as an organization to taking a broad view of sustainability, engaging with casework that has a real world positive impact, and integrating sustainable best practices into all of our operations. Despite this diversification, efforts to sustain the environment remain at the heart of our organization’s mission.
With our recent creation of the Executive Board position of Director of Sustainability, Harvard Undergraduate CBE has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that sustainable practices and ideas permeate all of our cases, to the benefit of both our clients and our world.
Harvard Undergraduate CBE can help improve your company’s approach to sustainability—from business to the environment.