The world has opened its eyes to the essential need to act in a way that preserves our environment. This is not just a fad, but a boardroom discussion that has taken hold across industry. The team behind Anthesis have been named Global Leaders in Sustainability Consulting Services – 2021 in the 2021 Corporate Excellence Awards for their work advising organisations to change at a deeper level. We take a closer look to find out more.
In 2013, Anthesis was established to assist companies on their sustainability journeys. At that point, sustainability was still a CSR-led topic, but the firm found itself at the forefront of the public zeitgeist come 2017, in the light of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series. Consumer pressure forced an enormous change in how brands operated with regards to issues such as plastic misuse or unsustainable practices. The stage was set for Anthesis to flourish.
Over the last eight years, Anthesis has grown from an eight-person organisation to one which employs over six hundred people in offices across seventeen different countries. Thirteen companies have joined the firm through acquisition, demonstrating the strength of the brand and its message, as well as its commercial viability. The team’s success has seen them typically grow in excess of 20% organically year on year, securing them a place as one of only twenty-eight companies in Europe that have been included in this year’s FT1000 for four consecutive years.
Throughout this great period of change, the values involved in sustainability have remained at the heart of the business. The team called themselves “the sustainability activator”, with a clear, strategic mission to facilitate change at a deeper level. While many businesses offer advice on specific aspects of sustainability, the team at Anthesis focus on activating the sustainable performance that lies at the core of any organisation.
The most resilient and productive organisations and communities are the ones which will lead the way to this new, sustainable future. These are the groups that Anthesis are most interest with working with. They work tirelessly to guide their clients on the long road towards a sustainable lifestyle for the business, taking a holistic view at the challenges faced by a team and ensuring that no matter what specific difficulties arise, they can be supported throughout.
The projects that the Anthesis team have undertaken vary enormously, with more than a thousand clients working alongside the team to make a real difference to the world at large. No matter what the project, whether it is designing a waste ‘track and trace’ tool for the UK Government, managing Tesco’s 10,000-supplier network, certifying Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly programme or supporting Target with its Scope 3 Science Based Target, the team always get stuck in and use their unique perspective to ensure that they deliver the best possible results.
The range of projects under the team’s belt means that there is no other sustainability firm that has the same breadth of services on offer. A talented team, able to work on every aspect of a project from consultancy through to delivery, ensures that nothing is left unchecked or untested. Naturally, technology plays an enormous role in the work that Anthesis does now, and the team have over twenty different software solutions that give their clients the information they need to make a judgement on decisions revolving around recycling, manufacturing, carbon reduction, education and waste management to name a few.
While many can see the benefit that Anthesis can bring to the table in normal times, it’s during the COVID-19 pandemic that interest in the firm has skyrocketed within the financial sector. Being able to demonstrate robust ESG performance metrics is a boon to investors who now consider these factors when they are looking to put money into a company. This interest applies to both the private and public markets. The need to prove that progress is being made can be most clearly seen through the work that the team at Anthesis do.
The value of ESG has only increased during the last eighteen months, as it proves how resilient a business really is. Companies are now finding that their access to capital is being limited by their ESG performance as well as poor ESG credentials are having material impacts on overall enterprise value. This has led many investors to examine a little more deeply the nature of their portfolios, and to critically evaluate them on the basis of ESG performance.
This shifting approach to business puts the team at Anthesis in an exceptional place. They have been able to complete some excititng projects, such as a significant minority investment deal with Palatine Private Equity, a team focused on supporting businesses that drive impact. The investment allows the team at Anthesis to turbocharge their focus across the decade’s most material global systems: net-zero impact; carbon remediation; product circularity; land use; and inclusive economies. As a result of this investment, the team have started a process which will see three gigatons of CO2 removed by 2030. That’s the equivalent to half the emissions from the US in one year or eight years of emissions in the UK.
As a result of the pandemic, the team are transitioning a lot of their business to digital. Working online can do a lot of the heavy lifting, helping to decouple growth from the constraints of available, human resources. For the world to be able to deliver what is needed inside a decade, it’s essential that companies like Anthesis are able to grow exponentially. Achieving this sort of growth will only be possible through the use of technological solutions that revolve around a strong digital component.
As a UK based company, the team at Anthesis have found themselves at the heart of international decisions around climate change, with COP 26 taking place in Glasgow in November. 197 countries and territories will report on their progress to a net-zero economy, while Anthesis is committed to amplifying its impact to tackle the world’s climate emergency. The world needs to reduce net annual greenhouse emissions by at least 40GT by mid-century to align with the IPCC’s 1.5⁰C. A key part of this work revolves around supporting clients and contacts on what this means to them and how they understand their carbon neutrals from their zero carbons.
The nature of the market means that Anthesis has been in a great deal of demand, and has expanded extraordinarily quickly to meet that demand. For many companies, growth inspires an environment that requires increased processes and bureaucracy, but this is not so at Anthesis. The team do all they can to avoid bureaucracy, championing the unleashing of potential through personal and company-wide empowerment, and entrepreneurial can-do mentality.
The sustainability game is one which must be won, as the future of the planet itself is at stake. Needless to say, what the team at Anthesis do is invaluable work, changing the very fabric of many organisations to act in a way that is as sustainable as possible. They have achieved great acclaim for their work, which is why the team are so highly regarded around the world.