European sustainability consultancy Sustainalize enters Australia

04 February 2019 Consultancy.com.au

A consulting firm from the Netherlands, Sustainalize, has made a foray into Australia’s professional services market. The sustainability consultancy has brought Aussie national Amy White on board to lead the local operation.

Founded in 2010 in the Netherlands, Sustainalize supports clients with sustainability, environmental, social & governance (ESG), and corporate social responsibility (CSR) services. Since its inception, the consultancy firm has seen strong growth, growing into a team of over 35 consultants across offices in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

“And we’re not done growing,” said Nick de Ruiter last year in discussion with Dutch consulting platform, Consultancy.nl, hinting at the next prospect around the corner. Now, roughly one year after pushing into Germany, the firm has taken its international expansion to the next continental level with the launch of an office in Melbourne. “This is a great opportunity to build upon our experience in Europe and to explore new opportunities in another part of the world,” explained PwC-alumnus De Ruiter.

The firm’s venture into Australia builds on the crossing of paths of two developments. In sync with a global trend, sustainability consulting services are in high-demand among organisations in Australia, with the segment one of the faster growing areas within the country’s US$5 billion management consulting market. Particularly heavy industry players such as mining and industrials, and larger corporations are facing a pressing agenda for green reform. “We are looking forward to support Australian companies and institutions advance their sustainability agenda.”European sustainability consultancy Sustainalize enters AustraliaMeanwhile, a “great opportunity” opened up, De Ruiter said, when he discovered that Amy White – an experienced sustainability expert – was relocating to Australia to pursue her next career move. Having spent 2,5 years in the Netherlands as Corporate Sustainability Manager of Nutreco, a leader in animal nutrition and aquafeed with 11,000 professionals globally, White’s desire to return to her country of origin made her the “ideal candidate” to lead Sustainalize’s latest endeavour.

“I am very excited to be working with the Sustainalize team and bringing their pragmatic approach to the Australian market where I am positive it will be well received,” said the Managing Partner of Sustainalize Australia on her new challenge.

Sustainability at heart

Tasked with setting up the operation and establishing a launching network of clients, White brings 12+ years of experience to the role. Prior to serving Nutreco, she worked for Australia’s largest Atlantic salmon producer, Tassal, and Nutreco in her first spell at the company. She also gained experience as an entrepreneur and in the academic sector, working as a Research Assistant in environmental economics at Queensland-based Griffith University. White, who becomes the firm’s fifth partner, specialises in setting and implementing sustainability strategy, reporting and data analytics, ESG and CSR reporting frameworks and stakeholder engagement. 

White will aim to replicate the firm’s A-roster of clients in Western Europe, which includes several multinationals such as Heineken, Ikea, Air France-KLM, Philips and Vodafone, as well as dozens of leading local players.

Reflecting on how they believe Sustainalize will stand out on Australian soil, the firm’s partners remarked, “We like to think of ourselves as a different kind of consultancy firm. Our clear vision and ahead of the curve expertise enables us to translate comprehensive sustainability themes into priorities that really matter. Importantly, we’re solution oriented and focused on getting things done. Our hands-on and flexible approach are what makes our clients smile – that is what we stand for.”

Australia’s bourgeoning consulting industry has attracted a host of European consulting firms off late to setup shop in the country. In 2018, UK-origin consultancies Baringa (in Sydney) and Transform both arrived (in Melbourne and Sydney), while Scandinavian consultancy Qvartz made its local debut when it acquired Sydney-based BusinessMinds.

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