How BCG is leading on social impact in the Asia-Pacific region

21 January 2019 Consultancy.asia

Companies which outperform their peers on environmental, social, and governance boast higher valuation multiples and margins according to analysis by BCG, with the American strategy and management firm keen to follow its own findings. 

“Our analysis provides compelling evidence that companies can develop a robust strategy to make positive contributions to society with confidence that such an approach will increase enterprise value, not diminish it,” said CEO Rich Lesser of a 2017 BCG report which found that top performers in specific environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics enjoyed valuation multiples up to 19 percent higher than median performers.

While Boston Consulting Group has been giving back to the community for years, such as through its ongoing global partnership established with Save the Children in 2006, the findings offered a clear additional incentive to continue doing so, and as recently as this week the firm through its Digital Ventures division was in the headlines for helping to co-develop a blockchain-enabled platform to help consumers better track their food supply-chain.

Elsewhere, BCG has been applying its organisational and technical nous to enhance food security for Syrian refugees in Jordan, while in the Asia Pacific the firm has partnered with a number of non-profit organisations over recent years, aiding efforts in diverse areas such as access to early education and nutrition, programmes in environmental protectionism, and support for indigenous leadership and community development initiatives in Australia. How BCG is leading on social impact in the Asia-Pacific regionOne such partnership in Asia is with the Chinese branch of WWF-founded conservation network TRAFFIC, which works globally to reduce the environmental harm caused by trade in wild plants and animals such as elephants, tigers, rhinos and pangolins – the world’s most trafficked mammal due to increasing demand from China and Vietnam, where the meat is considered a delicacy and its keratinous scales are believed to cure hangovers. 

Having been a partner with the WWF globally since 2012, the project undertaken in conjunction with TRAFFIC in China included a review and set of recommendations to improve the conservation organisation’s efficiency and capabilities, as well as helping to launch an on-the-ground educational campaign targeted at local consumers of endangered wildlife products with the aim of reducing demand in the legal and illegal markets. 

A founding partner since the 2001 establishment of Australian indigenous development agency Jawun (which means ‘friend’ in the Kuku Yalanji language from around the Daintree Rainforest region in the far northeast of the country), BCG works with the agency in its mission to empower indigenous leaders and communities to achieve self-determination toward their own development goals, with projects over time in housing, health and tourism among other areas. 

A practical world away in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, and the firm has been supporting the local government with the some 60,000 Anganwadi – or rural childcare centres –  which provide developmental services in areas such as nutrition and early childhood education; previously without any data validation systems. BCG has assisted with the programme’s digital transformation, with busy centres seeing an above 50 percent improvement in performance.