Why brand awareness helps to win sustainability consulting gigs

Indeed, smaller sustainability consultants are more than capable of winning high-profile engagements.

Exhibit A: After considering about 10 different companies over a three-month period – including several of the companies considered in the Verdantix survey – Green Mountain Coffee Roasters this week tapped advisory firm SustainAbility to help it overhaul its sustainability strategy.

The coffee company is overhauling its framework and goals to better reflect its modified corporate agenda since acquiring Keurig.

Not only is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters "bigger on every dimension," but the way it delivers coffee is undergoing a radical transformation from bags to the single-serve cups made popular by Keurig, said Michael Dupee, vice president of CSR for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Ultimately, the selection of SustainAbility was tied to its ability to perform an extensive materiality analysis that will be used to inform Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' new goals and frameworks. Dupee's 12-person team created a three-level evaluation process that closely evaluated consultants' topical expertise on sustainable agriculture, experience with strategic philanthropy programs, connections into its existing supplier network and the tools used to assess and report findings.

It took about three months to come to a decision. "Each organization needs to think for themselves what they are looking for and make their own choices," Dupee said.