- A study by the consulting firm Verdantix predicts spending on consulting services by sustainability officers will drop 2.4% from $417 million this year to $369 million in 2021.
- This trend is expected to occur at the same as sustainable practices become more common in other departments and the need for a specific job title decreases. Verdantix predicts that the global sustainability consulting market will increase from $912 million to $1.1 billion by 2021.
- The survey was conducted with 312 environment, health and safety executives in late 2015.
As shown by the survey's findings, this overall trend away from a dedicated sustainability position seems to be more about a normalization of the practice in corporations rather than a move away from green initiatives. Sustainable supply chain engagements are expected to make up 25% of the overall market this year in response to more attention on ethical supplier performance and environmental regulations. Energy management is also becoming a large focus at an estimated 23% of the market.
"Heads of sustainability often say that if they successfully persuade executives to take responsibility for the sustainability agenda they will work themselves out of a job" said Yaowen Ma, Verdantix industry analyst, in Environmental Leader. "The role is slowly becoming redundant as sustainability programs mature and other function heads take over."
As more major companies lead the way in their efforts to reduce waste, others are following and the interest in recycling diversion options has increased. In addition to haulers and processors, this shift presents many opportunities for innovative ideas around sustainable packaging and other items. While it may not be good for sustainability officers, this uptick in the consulting market seems to be a positive sign for the waste industry.