What are the impacts of consulting? I would say the effects of consulting are overwhelmingly positive as I hear via feedback from clients all the time. Healthcare IT consultants are truly making a difference for their clients and patients’ lives. However, I’m wondering about the environmental impacts of the consulting profession. Have you ever taken a flight Monday morning and noticed it’s full of consultants? Watch for the suits and firm logo branded briefcases. That’s a lot of flying . . . a lot of fuel and a lot of disposable coffee cups.
My mind started wondering when I first saw this article from Mother Jones that is circulating around the internet about the melting of the Antarctic glacial ice caps. I care about conserving our planet for personal and professional reasons and it really got me thinking about how much fuel is required to be a consultant. Think about it. It’s a car ride to the airport, a flight or possibly two, driving a rental car all week, a flight or possibly two headed to home, and another car ride to the house plus plenty of trips to the cafeteria resulting in many a throw-away container. That’s a tough gig on both the consultant and the planet.
So here’s my challenge to all of us that work in the consulting industry: just do one little thing. Use one less disposable cup. Use one less plastic bottle. Share the rental car next week if possible. And maybe even work a week remotely.