What is Sustainable Consulting?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 29 December 2018
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Sustainable consulting is a type of consulting that seeks to promote the sustainable use of natural resources, either through building design or sustainable operational practices. This type of consulting often is important in construction, mining and farming, but is also applicable to many other areas. Consultants who focus on sustainable efforts typically focus in on just one primary area as the technical knowledge required in each is quite specific.

In terms of construction, sustainable consulting advises architects and builders on how to incorporate design elements into buildings that lead to energy efficiency, and lessens other environmental impacts of the project. Some buildings that are exceptional in their design may even be certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Often, consultants in this field mention their LEED projects as promotional items in hopes of attracting new business. Unlike other types of sustainable consulting, which focus on products being used at that time, design consulting focuses on products that would be required to be used in the future.


When it comes to mining, sustainable consulting deals with not depleting resources to the point where they are no longer available — or at least depleting them at a rate where they last as long as possible. With most products mined, there is very little chance they can be removed at a slow enough rate where replacement is possible. Therefore, consulting may help determine alternative locations, and make sure there is no wasted product during the excavation phase. This can keep a mining operation profitable over more years.

In farming, sustainable consulting can make a difference in keeping the value of the land productive. As land is farmed year after year, the nutrients in the soil can be depleted, and quickly make productive land unproductive. Sustainable consulting teaches farmers about the importance of crop rotation, putting some farmland in reserve programs, and fertilizer. This service is often offered by agricultural cooperatives as a way to keep their members in business.

Nearly any business can take advantage of some type of sustainable consulting. Even an industrial site may be able to implement certain changes that lead to less energy consumption, or less use of raw materials. This can lead to a substantial cost savings in the long run. Some businesses focus specifically in this type of consulting work, with professional consultants highly trained in certain areas. While consulting can be costly, the sustainable practices implemented can end up being a net financial benefit to the company.



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