Climate Councils Offer Guidance in Meeting New Sustainability Goals

In an article for Government Executive, Guidehouse says climate councils can improve organizational flexibility and responsiveness as sustainability requirements evolve.

While sustainability rockets to the top of federal, state, and municipal governments’ priority lists, government leaders need help organizing their role and response to supporting a more sustainable future.

In an article for Government Executive, Britt Harter, Guidehouse's Sustainability Lead, and Mark Baumgardner, partner in Guidehouse's Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure segment say that climate councils can help organizations navigate the required changes to internal operations and understand the goals, policies, and approaches for delivering each department’s mission as defined by recent executive orders.

“Each agency and department may have a different entry point and set of requirements around climate change, but every agency will need a flexible, cross-functional approach to deliver on these new mandates as they emerge,” Harter and Baumgardner said.

Department-level climate councils can help navigate an uncertain path to sustainability by driving collaboration. A climate council can take a leadership role in meeting the intent of climate-related executive orders and steward a more sustainable future within applicable industries.

In the article, Harter and Baumgardner highlight best practices for leaders looking to establish climate councils: create a natural organization; include the right people and use the right structure; have clear mandates, goals, and success factors; commit, prepare, and plan; and leverage data and strategic communications.

“Climate change and sustainability will require seismic shifts over the years ahead, but by taking a coordinated approach with the creation of climate councils, public sector entities and employees can thrive while bringing benefit to their constituents and the American public,” Harter and Baumgardner said.

To learn more, visit our Sustainability page to see how Guidehouse helps organizations start or advance their sustainability journeys, delivering benefits for the environment and people, aligned with financial objectives.


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