We have naturally been introduced to many professional “firsts” during our mission at LGI as well. Not only has this has been our first time working in a sustainable innovation consulting firm, but it has also been an introduction to performing an impact assessment for over 100 projects in different sectors. We have learned quite a lot about the best practices to use, leaning on benchmarks of other consulting firms to guide us, and are now equipped with countless analytical and methodological tools we did not have before conducting this mission. We were exposed to the world of projects funded by the European Commission and the numerous stakeholders that are involved behind the scenes. We conducted a partial carbon footprint analysis of LGI, a first for Lucía, that went beyond the company’s office consumption and took into account the estimated emissions from employees who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. This exercise was new to us and proved extremely interesting, as we not only learned about the average consumption of a French household, but we got a glimpse at what future company carbon footprints may look like as hybrid work practices remain in place even after the pandemic ends.
Key takeaway: the challenge of defining impact
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have had this opportunity to work with and learn from LGI. Just as this experience challenged LGI to think of how it defines impact and the lasting influence it wants its missions to have, so were we challenged to create a methodology and framework that would adequately and efficiently encompass the many nuances of a consulting firm’s operations. We compared our methods with those used for similar impact assessments and found that there is no agreed-upon way to measure the impact of consultancies, as the breadth of the companies’ reaches are often wide and varied in levels of involvement. Furthermore, while consensus can be found on frameworks and approaches, leaders often have differing views on how impact should be defined and what they want to learn from their impact assessments.
For us, measuring LGI’s impact involved understanding the company’s role and every contribution it made to a project. Some have direct consequences on the client, while others have an indirect impact on stakeholders beyond LGI’s sphere of influence. Having this understanding and transforming it into actionable processes and tools is, in our opinion, our main contribution. It was encouraging and gratifying for us to work with a company that is open to trying new things, accepting of proposals and ideas, and willing to put in place new processes and measuring tools with the sole purpose of becoming a better business. Thank you, LGI, for having us!