Navigating the Changing Tides of Sustainability



At Klimate Consulting, we’re frequently asked, “What do you do? Why? And how?” These questions strike at the heart of our mission, and we’re eager to share the answers.

The Evolution of Corporate Sustainability

The sustainability landscape is in a state of perpetual transformation. While conversations about sustainability have been ongoing for years, it wasn’t until recent years that it became a household term. Corporate sustainability, in its early days, was primarily a voluntary effort driven by pioneering companies with strong ethical values. Trailblazers like Patagonia set the example of what sustainable business could look like; their commitment to environmental responsibility was truly commendable. Unfortunately, some companies took advantage of the public relations benefit of appearing green, leading to the unfortunate rise of greenwashing—a deceptive practice where companies make unsubstantiated sustainability claims to appear more environmentally friendly.

Challenges in Standardizing Sustainability

Efforts to standardize sustainability have been fragmented, with a focus on national and regional policies like the US Clean Air Act and the California cap-and-trade program and a lack of clear international standards that apply across many sectors of sustainability. While international standards like ISO 140001 and initiatives such as Global Reporting Initiative and Carbon Disclosure Program had their merits, they left a significant void when it comes to regulating sustainability on a broader scale. Various organizations have since stepped in to provide a standardized framework for discussing and reporting sustainability. For example, organizations like the Science Based Target Initiative and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol have published target-setting methodologies and sustainability reporting guidelines that are clarifying sustainability expectations for businesses. However, the increase in standards has simultaneously increased complexity for businesses because of new requirements for robust measurement, reporting, and verification to ensure integrity of sustainability claims.

Beyond Carbon

Sustainability is not merely about carbon and greenhouse gas emissions; it encompasses a much broader spectrum, including areas such as water resources, working lands, soil health, biodiversity, and more. As the sustainability field matures, companies are facing increasing calls to improve their outcomes in these areas and report on their progress. Given the nascent nature of this topic, many found themselves confused. Moreover, in the realm of both carbon-related and broader sustainability claims, some have regrettably dismissed these efforts as merely corporate PR tactics to hide environmental impacts.

The Klimate Consulting’s Mission

Here at Klimate Consulting, we embrace the challenge of addressing these sustainability topics that are often overlooked or unexplored. Take emissions measurement, for instance. While measuring emissions from point source emitters, such as those in the power sector, is well-documented and relatively straightforward, addressing emissions arising from non-point sources like our agricultural and food systems is a far more nuanced undertaking because we lack the scientific knowledge. We are not afraid to dive into these complexities and find solutions.

In the realm of water, we’re not afraid of political complexities either. In regions like the Western United States, where water is highly politicized, working with water agencies can be challenging. However, we roll up our sleeves and work tirelessly to build connections and gather as much data and information as possible. Our goal is to work with our partners to come up with solutions that protect our limited water resources, especially in economic powerhouses like California, where irrigated agriculture impacts not just the state but the global food supply.

So, what does Klimate Consulting do in this intricate landscape? We do the hard work of understanding complex sustainability topics and distilling them into key insights so your organization can focus on leveraging that information for your goals. We dive into research, staying well-versed in ever-evolving topics. In the world of greenhouse gas emissions, we navigate a constantly shifting landscape of guidelines, methodologies, and regulations. When it comes to water resources, we build trust and work within an industry that often lacks data availability and data sharing. In the realm of food and agriculture, one of the least digitized industries, we focus on trust-building and tackling intricate and emerging topics like soil biology, regenerative agriculture, and quantifiable outcomes of climate-smart practices.

At Klimate Consulting, we’re not just consultants; we’re researchers, scientists, and engineers navigating the ever-evolving landscape of environmental sustainability. We’re dedicated to turning sustainability from an aspiration into a reality for everyone. We’re here to demystify the complexities, decode the intricacies, and provide actionable insights that transform the way we think about sustainability. Together, we’re crafting a greener, more sustainable future for our planet.