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Creating positive impact for society and the environment—Social Impact at Kearney

From the start, we have worked to make a positive impact in all our efforts. We want to create a better world for our clients, communities and people.

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Making a positive impact

We seek to make a positive social impact in three primary areas – Kearney’s 3Es. Learn about our 3Es, related client-work, published whitepapers and more.

Economic development

We work to expand economic opportunities for people around the world.

Energy and sustainability

We help companies, nonprofits, and governments reap the rewards of becoming truly sustainable.

Education and workfore

We believe education is the path to a better society.

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Kearney has always been dedicated to supporting the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs)  through our client engagements, thought leadership, and pro bono work. In March 2018, Kearney became a signatory of the UN Global Compact, a set of 10 principles covering the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. In our annual communication on progress, we describe our actions to mix the Global Compact’s principles into our consulting work with our clients and partners, our culture, and our day-to-day operations.

Our business

We drive impact through our thought leadership. Our Kearney Energy Transition Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides leading insights on global trends in energy transition, technologies, and strategic implications for private-sector businesses and public-sector institutions. Since 2015, Kearney has partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to determine the future of manufacturing and production. As one of the world’s premiere think tanks, Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council (GBPC) delivers thought leadership and advisory services to support CEOs and government leaders anticipate and plan for the future. And, we make real progress with our client work. Some examples:

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Our planet

Kearney was the first management consulting firm to become carbon neutral (2010). We measure our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and offset unavoidable emissions through the purchase of carbon credits, supporting projects like hydropower and waste gas recovery. 

As a professional services firm, most of our GHG emissions come as a result of air travel, offices, and hotel accommodations while serving our clients. By employing the nonprofit carbon usage monitor, Atmosfair, we track our travel details through use statistics and detailed studies. 

Ten years on, we celebrate our decade of carbon neutrality and have committed to setting and achieving science-based targets to reduce our GHG emissions in line to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Going forward, we are dedicated to doing even better, as outlined in our Global Sustainability Policy. One of the top priorities for our firm is increasing the use of renewable energy in our offices. Our goal is to be at 80 percent renewable energy by 2025 and at 100 percent by 2030. We are also working to reduce our energy consumption and associated GHG emissions, boost our reduction and recycling of waste, and optimize our use of technology such as video conferencing to reduce our business travel. 

Our people

Sustainability and social impact are vital for our people—more than 90 percent of our colleagues around the world say it is important to them. We are dedicated to creating opportunities for everyone to engage with sustainability through our clients, our local office initiatives, social impact externships, volunteering, and beyond. Not only is social impact and sustainability a core component of our expertise and skill set, but it is also a central path to joy for our people.

Our sustainability efforts are led by a global director of social impact, together with local social impact teams across more than 30 offices. Local social impact teams have a variety of responsibilities and can shape their activities to the needs of their communities.

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Diversity and inclusion

Kearney is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to nurturing a diverse and inclusive workforce by providing benefits, training, and career development and progression support for our employees. Kearney is regularly recognized by esteemed organizations and publications for our supportive culture, inclusive programs and networks, and diverse talent. Our culture is strengthened by a breadth of active diversity networks, including our Proud, [email protected], and Women’s networks, which provide a space for our people to discuss and celebrate their unique backgrounds and identities.

We actively measure progress against our D&I goals and aspirations. Learn more here.

Social Impact Externships

Kearney’s Social Impact Externship Program pairs colleagues passionate about creating a positive impact with social entrepreneurs, NGOs, or other innovative impact organizations. Externs can spend up to three months working directly with these organizations, providing an opportunity to contribute professionally to a meaningful cause, build new skills in a dynamic entrepreneurial environment, and gain firsthand experience in the social impact sector. Learn more about our externship program.


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Social Impact Catalyst Fund

Kearney’s Social Impact Catalyst Fund provides seed funding for employee-led initiatives that create positive impact around the world—from within Kearney to our communities at large. We want to nourish ideas that take on important global and local challenges, create positive impact for local communities, foster global collaboration, and offer personal and professional growth opportunities.


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Our community

We create positive impact in our communities on both a global and local level. 

We are a strategic partner of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs and institutional change leaders. Kearney’s partnership with Ashoka aims to create and deliver innovative programs across multi-stakeholder groups to scale social innovation and create positive system change. This combines Ashoka’s strengths in social entrepreneurship with Kearney’s track record in being the difference for clients, employees, and society at large. For example:

We also partner with local organizations, through pro bono consulting, mentoring, volunteering, philanthropy, and more. For example:

  • We partnered with Civic Consulting Alliance to help Cook County create a more eff-ective system for bond court, which currently leaves many poor people stuck in jail for minor crimes until they can post bond
  • We supported an African wildlife park management NGO to scale its operating model up from 10 to 20 wildlife parks
  • We worked with a Ministry of Education to create a 10-year strategy for implementing learning best practices

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