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Few Signs Yet of Stakeholder Management, Reporting Leadership From Consulting Firms

An analysis of the web sites of leading management consulting and corporate communications companies finds no focus yet on helping organizations manage a transition to stakeholder management or Corporate Sustainability Reporting in conformance with the European Union Corporate Sustainability and Reporting Directive. Those companies with sustainability support services appear to focus mostly on the environment or on “social responsibility” rather than more effective stakeholder engagement.
With some of the world’s leading law firms advising their clients that the new European Union Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive is a “game changer” and a “tsunami,” one wouldn’t know that from the web sites of the leading management consulting and corporate communications firms.
An analysis of the web sites of 14 of the leading management consulting and corporate communications firms finds that while six have alerted their communities to the impact of the new law, none have yet announced a service to help organizations specifically address the law; none have publicly created any advisory service to help organizations develop the stakeholder management orientation implicit in the law, and just under half the companies have any type of environmental, social, advisory service.

ESM's sister publication RRN recently published a market report on the potential role of recognition firms in human capital reporting.
Reflecting the lack of stakeholder management orientation, the companies that do offer sustainability services for the most part frame them in the context of the environment or corporate social responsibility, rather than as a strategy to enhance returns for investors by creating value for customers, employees, supply chain and distribution partners, communities, and the environment.

Comparison of Sustainability Reporting Services of Management Consulting and Communication Firms

Company Mention of
CSRD Reporting
Allison Partners
(PR and Communications) “We see things differently....It’s the perspective we take. With every initiative, campaign, launch or proposal, we encourage our clients to let their brand up for air, take a deep breath and make an impact.”
No No No No
(Management consulting)
“Reinvent what your business could be. Let there be change.”
No No Some ESG services related mostly to the environment. No
Aon Hewitt
(Management consulting)
“Make Better Decisions with Clarity so organizations, and the people they rely on, are protected and able to grow...We believe that businesses thrive when the communities they serve and the people they employ also flourish.”
No No No No
Bain & Company
(Management consulting)
"This is where aspiration meets innovation, candor fuels collaboration and impossible surrenders to teamwork. We champion the bold to achieve the extraordinary."
No No. Except, three partners recently published a report on Stakeholder Capitalism implementation in the Harvard Business Review. While the web site makes no specific reference to Corporate Sustainability Reporting, the company has an extensive ESG practice. No 
(Management Consulting)
“Pilot. Pilot. Pilot. Prove. Scale... Connect to what matters...Our technologies are only as powerful as the people harnessing them.
Yes. It was the topic of a podcast earlier this year. No No No
(Corporate Communications)
“Earning Trust Through Communications...Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations.”
No No No No
(Management consulting)
“How COOs can lead the way on supply chain digital transformation...
Today’s COOs are leading digital transformation initiatives that encompass the supply chain to steer their businesses through volatility.”
Yes. It was the subject of a podcast last year describing it as a “game changer.” No Yes. EY has an extensive ESG practice, with a particular focus on environmental issues. No
Josh Bersin
Management consulting)
"Insights on corporate talent, learning, and HR technology." 
No No No No 
(Management consulting)
"The Time to Invest in Our Planet is Now...ESG embeds postive impact into our actions."
Yes. It published a report recently that warns companies "that the clock is ticking." No  Yes  Yes 
(Management consulting)
“New employee benefits research: Are your benefits still relevant today?”
Yes. The company published a report on the directive earlier this year. No No No
Porter Novelli
(Corporate communications)
“The strategic communications company, built on purpose to do business better.”
No No No No
(Management consulting)
“Global business consulting for a dynamic world...Protiviti is a global business consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach and unparalleled collaboration.”
Yes. It published a flash report on the subject early in 2023. No Yes. It says it offers a comprehensive solution for sustainability reporting. No
(Management consulting)
“PwC US Makes $1 Billion Investment to Expand and Scale AI Capabilities.”
Yes. It published a report on the new law in December 2022. No The web site isn’t specific about services offered but published this viewpoint of ESG reporting issues. No
(Management consulting)
“Perspective that moves you. Together, we broaden your horizon and sharpen your focus.”
Yes. It published a report in March. No Yes. The company says it offers a variety of solutions for ESG. No

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