Australian team of Action Sustainability joins KPMG

23 March 2020 2 min. read

UK origin consultancy Action Sustainability has had its Australian wing purchased by Big Four heavyweight KPMG. Action Sustainability specialises in sustainable procurement and supply chain services.

Business cannot afford to ignore purpose-led consumption anymore. The majority of consumers now expect companies to take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues such as sustainability, transparency and fair employment practices – if they are to retain their customers. This means there is a heightened demand for consultants which can help clients reshape their operations to meet these expectations, as well as avoiding scandals that will damage their reputation for years to come.

Founded in Britain in 2006, Action Sustainability is a consultancy which taps into precisely this need. Initially launched as a social enterprise funded by UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, on the back of growing awareness for sustainable supply chains and procurement, Action Sustainability has grown into a mid-sized consultancy with around 30 consultants and staff.

The team of Action Sustainability

The popularity of sustainability consulting meant that in 2016, Action Sustainability was able to expand in 2016 with the launch of a new Australian branch. Shareholders and partners Ian Heptonstall and Shaun McCarthy (also the co-founders of the Supply Chain Sustainability schools in the UK and in Australia) teamed up with a quartet of experienced individuals on the ground in Australia: Mark Lyster, Jean-Louis Haie, David Pugh and Danielle Mulder (a former employee of KPMG). Under their leadership, Action Sustainability Australia has grown to a team of 10 consultants, working for clients across the Asia Pacific.

The demand for sustainability consulting has also made mid-tier specialists in the sector increasingly attractive to larger players, however. KPMG’s Australian operation has subsequently completed its acquisition of Action Sustainability Asia Pacific. According to a release from KPMG, the firm’s social and environmental expertise complements and expands its existing human rights, social impact and sustainability capabilities, while building on KPMG’s acquisition of leading human rights consultancy Banarra in the region four years ago.

KPMG Banarra’s Global Head of Human Rights Services, Richard Boele said, “Action Sustainability brings great depth in the built environment and infrastructure sustainability performance areas, as well as complement our responsible sourcing capability. It’s a great match for us to grow the impact we can have with our clients on societal and global challenges.”

Commenting on the joining of forces with KPMG, Mark Lyster added that the move broadens the firm’s service offerings and allows its team to have greater impact at scale. He stated that KPMG is very aligned with our purpose of inspiring sustainable business.”