Deloitte hires first-ever global sustainability leader

Big Four firm Deloitte appoints Jennifer Steinmann as first-ever global sustainability leader following investment of US$1bn into its climate practice

Deloitte has appointed its first-ever global sustainability lead, with Jennifer Steinmann selected to serve as head of the consultancy’s Global Sustainability & Climate practice.

This appointment follows Deloitte’s earmarking of US$1bn investment to significantly expand its climate practice’s client services, data-driven research, and assets and capabilities.

Jennifer Steinmann – Deloitte veteran passionate about DE&I

In her new role, as Global Sustainability & Climate practice leader, Deloitte veteran Jennifer will provide cross-business leadership to make an impact and drive critical changes around some of the most important challenges organizations face.

A member of Deloitte’s senior leadership team for more than 25 years, Jennifer has held various leadership roles, most recently serving as Global Chief Commercial Officer for the firm’s Salesforce alliance, and prior to that, as Chief Transformation Officer at Deloitte US, teaming with Deloitte’s businesses to set the organization’s strategic direction, address strategic issues and opportunities facing the firm, and evaluate changes in the business and competitive environment.

She has also served as Deloitte US’ Chief Talent Officer and as Deputy CEO.

Jennifer is passionate about diversity, inclusion and improving the communities in which Deloitte serves, and was founding sponsor of several Deloitte programs that drive positive social impact. She holds an MBA from the Columbia School of Business, and speaks French, English, Russian and Spanish.

Deloitte’s climate practice

Jennifer’s appointment is part of Deloitte’s commitment to ESG consulting services and follows a pledge to sink US$1bn into the climate practice, which Jennifer now leads, over the coming years.

The Global Sustainability & Climate practice builds upon decades of experience and client service, and aims to develop and deploy thought leadership, research, and solutions to support clients as they embed sustainability into their operations, and meet tax, disclosure and regulatory requirements.

Spanning teams in advisory, assurance, audit, consulting, finance, and tax services, the practice will now offer sustainability training in partnership with the Deloitte University network and with academia and businesses to create thought leadership through the newly formed Deloitte Center for Sustainable Progress.

The Big Four Firm hopes to equip its 345,000 professionals and client network with the skillset and knowledge to further battle climate change.

Consultancies ramp up sustainability capabilities

This investment from Deloitte comes as professional services firms all ramp up their sustainability capabilities to cater to increasing demand from businesses for guidance and support for their net-zero transitions over the coming decade.

Demand for ESG consulting services has surged over the past year, and this is only expected to grow. Recent research by Verdantix puts the sustainability consulting market at US$6.2bn worldwide, with almost US$10bn expected to be added by the close of 2027, a 17% annual growth rate in ESG and sustainability consulting spending in the next five years.

And to meet such demand, consulting firms are responding, establishing dedicated practices and making acquisitions to strengthen their sustainability capabilities, as they look to help clients deliver on their green goals.

Take BCG, which last month announced a partnership with SAP to combine their expertise in strategy, technology and business model change to help firms overhaul their business strategy and cut carbon emissions. This new offering could allow clients to transform at an unprecedented rate, according to BCG Chief Executive Christoph Schweizer.

And accountancy and business advisory firm BDO recently launched BDO Sustainability, a new division that brings together the firm’s sustainability and ESG services and solutions from across its business providing clients with an end-to-end offering.

L.E.K. Consulting has established a centre of excellence for sustainability, drawing together the expertise, best practices, and strategic insights to support clients, while McKinsey, which unveiled its ESG consulting practice in 2021, has made three subsequent sustainability-focused acquisitions to boost its capabilities, and KPMG has committed more than US$1bn in sustainability and ESG services.

Accenture’s strong commitment to sustainability has seen the Big Four Firm continue to scale its offering globally with ongoing sustainability consultancy acquisitions.

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