Why brand awareness helps to win sustainability consulting gigs

While big-name accounting and management consulting firms have the most brand awareness within the sustainability consulting community, specialized expertise offered by smaller boutiques can still prevail in outsourcing decisions.

The so-called Big Four currently dominate sustainability consulting engagements among midsize and enterprise firms, according to the latest survey about global sustainability leaders conducted by independent analyst firm Verdantix.

Ernst & Young has been used by 16 percent of the 250 respondents, compared with 14 percent for KPMG and12 percent for both Deloitte and PwC.

Not surprisingly, these companies had the highest positive brand awareness among the companies considered by the Global Sustainability Leaders 2013 Survey: Brands study. For example, more than three-quarters of the sustainability decisions makers indicated that they had enough information about Ernst & Young to make a decision about whether or not to use its services.

The survey was conducted among companies with at least $250 million in annual revenue across 13 countries and 21 different industries.

The Verdantix survey also gathered perceptions about sustainability software providers. Microsoft had the most positive brand awareness, while SAP trailed close behind. IBM and Oracle were next. A much smaller company, Credit360, rounded out the top five, the data shows.

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