Small World Spotlight:
Circling Back with Oliver Wyman
Ariel Canie | January 15, 2023 | 7 min read
Small World Spotlight: Circling Back with Oliver Wyman
We’re thrilled to be starting the new year off right with an interview featuring our business partner, Oliver Wyman! Whether you’re an international management consulting firm like Oliver Wyman or offering your own freelance consulting on the side, we will work together with you to customize a plan that will suit your giving goals in 2023 and beyond!
Read our interview below to learn a bit about Oliver Wyman and how they're managing (and minimizing) their environmental impact.
Please, introduce yourself! Who are you, and what is your role over at Oliver Wyman?
My name is Lauren Wylie and I am the Global Head of Sustainability and Social Impact for Oliver Wyman.
Can you tell us what exactly Oliver Wyman does?
Oliver Wyman is a global consulting firm and serves as a critical strategic, economic and brand advisor to private sector and governmental clients. We are one of the businesses of Marsh McLennan, the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people.
When did Oliver Wyman begin working with One Tree Planted, and why did Oliver Wyman choose a tree planting organization?
Oliver Wyman is a CarbonNeutral® company with a net-zero commitment. In addition to our work to reduce emissions and our impact on the environment, and separate from our investments in carbon offsets, we wanted to introduce a philanthropic reforestation program focused on informing and engaging our colleagues in tree planting and restoration. We chose One Tree Planted because of your excellent reputation and your ability to partner with us on colleague engagement. Our first year focused on establishing a process for colleagues to directly participate in the program through donations, and we will expand the focus to colleague education in 2023.
Can you explain the GROWTrees program to those who may not know about it?
GROWTrees is a play on words that showcases our global green team, Green Champions of Oliver Wyman (GROW) and invites individuals and teams to get involved in many ways. We chose seven projects around the world to make up our GROWTrees “forest”, using the UN Sustainable Development Goals to help us identify which projects could have significant, positive impact on the environment and society. One Tree Planted provided us with a customized website that offers information about the projects and allows people to choose which project they would like to support. In addition to individual and team participation, GROWTrees also features company-led activities such as planting a tree for every new employee to the company.
How have your employees engaged and responded to the program?
The response to the program exceeded all expectations. When we launched GROWTrees with the gift of a tree for every employee, we invited everyone to vote where they wanted their tree planted. Our colleagues gave the feedback that they really liked the opportunity to choose their tree’s location. Since then, teams have donated trees on behalf of clients, have been featured in our charity auctions, given away tree donations at events to promote sustainability in place of ‘swag’, or simply as a gesture toward colleagues for a job well done. Colleagues also turned to GROWTrees as last-minute holiday gifts for friends and family.
In your own words, what makes the GROWTrees program different from other employee engagement programs you have seen/been a part of?
Rather than just making a company donation behind the scenes, we wanted to give Oliver Wyman colleagues the opportunity to engage with our reforestation efforts directly. We know that reforestation is critical to support in the fight against climate change, and GROWTrees and One Tree Planted offer our colleagues resources to learn more. Our hope is that they see our commitment to sustainability as much more than just a corporate commitment. One of Oliver Wyman’s core values is “Own Our Impact” and this program embodies that value. We hope it inspires colleagues to do more to help the environment at work and in their personal lives.
How many trees have you planted with us so far, and what is your goal for the future?
In our full year of GROWTrees we planted 31,262 trees, with over 27,000 of those trees planted through One Tree Planted. We hope to plant at least 30,000 more trees in 2023!
Is there a planting project you have contributed to which has struck you as one of your favorites? If so, what project?
As a resident of California, I have seen the devastating effects of wildfires, so I suppose the wildfire restoration projects we support resonate the most with me. From Portugal, to Australia, to British Colombia and California, it’s daunting to see how widespread and more frequent these fires have become, and I am glad that One Tree Planted has identified planting partners who are equipped to help reforest these areas that are so important to the people who live there, the wildlife, and as a tool to combat climate change.
Aside from planting trees, how does Oliver Wyman strive to become more sustainable now and in the future?
When Marsh McLennan announced its net-zero commitment in 2021, with a plan to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030, Oliver Wyman set out to analyze how we could best action that commitment. With~75% of our emissions in 2019 coming from air travel, Oliver Wyman is taking action to not only meet its net-zero target, but to exceed the timeline for emissions reduction. We are introducing new practices for purposeful travel, have set targets for travel reduction, and are charging an internal price on carbon tied to Partner compensation. We will still travel purposefully where required, as it is core to how we serve clients and to our culture, but we will now recognize the environmental costs of doing so.
We certainly hope you'll reach your sustainability goals at Oliver Wyman. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Lauren!
Would you like to learn more about working with One Tree Planted? Set up a zoom call or fill out our form to let us know how you’d like to get your business (or employer) involved today!