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Inside View: Accenture Strategy Consulting

Managing director Peter Lacy suggests there are growing opportunities around sustainability

Fri May 20 2016

BusinessBecause
Like any good steward of sustainability, Peter Lacy, a boss of Accenture Strategy, loves a dose of his own medicine. “It’s positive luxury,” he smiles, eyes drifting down to his wrists.

In the middle of a One Planet MBA event on floor 27 of London’s eleventh tallest skyscraper, the Walkie Talkie, Peter points to his cufflinks. Donned with a crisp navy blue suit, a diamond white shirt and spotted pocket square, they were craft by ethical retailer Elvis & Kresse from a recycled fire hose.

“It was 30 years old and it saved people’s lives,” Peter laughs. “I love that we saved it from going to a landfill.”

When it comes to sustainability, recycling and much else besides, few deliver more than Peter. He is the managing director of one of the world’s top management consulting firms, after all.

Accenture Strategy, a vast wing of the $70 billion professional services company, is in the vanguard of responsible business. The firm helps organizations, such as Unilever and most of the Fortune 500, pivot their strategies to drive profit while delivering a positive economic, environmental and social impact.

Such triple-bottom-line thinking is what gets Peter’s juices flowing. Amped-up and bubbly, his sticking point is the circular economy — a way of doing business that tries to decouple economic growth from the overuse of resources.

“It’s one of the most disruptive forces we will see,” he says, to spectacular views of the City. “It’s a $4 trillion-plus market opportunity.”

Anyone hoping to secure a job at Peter’s company should have a firm grasp of the concept. Accenture Strategy is one of the foremost employers of MBAs. The firm works closely with the One Planet MBA, and a string of elite business schools, from Wharton and Duke Fuqua of the US to INSEAD in Europe and Singapore.

Zoe McLoughlin, head of consulting at London Business School, says: “There are lots of opportunities at Accenture Strategy.”

Accenture added 53,000 more employees in 2015 and consulting revenue grew by 3% year-over-year to $16.2 billion. Many of the opportunities are in emerging areas such as digital transformation, but sustainability strategy and the like are growing areas too, suggests Peter.

Speaking to BusinessBecause, he says: “We need people at Accenture who can bring a different perspective. There is increasingly a role for this [the circular economy]” in management consulting.

Accenture Strategy values MBAs, Peter adds: “We are the biggest employer of MBAs in the world.”

As a manager for digital transformation at the company, Andrew Whelan knows that better than most. He graduated with an MBA from London’s Cass Business School in 2013, and joined Accenture Interactive, a marketing and advertising unit, a year later.

“AI requires candidates to have a very strong balance of personal and technical skills, and a real passion for their area of expertise,” Andrew says.

He adds: “We proudly employ and collaborate across diverse skill-sets, including design thinking, analytical consulting skills and technical development. Above all we want innovators who are able challenge conventional thinking.”

Meanwhile, Accenture’s Peter believes MBA students, as the world’s future business leaders, will need to shift companies’ strategies from linear value chains to circular ones. By addressing the huge underutilization of natural resources, the circular economy could give companies a competitive advantage. It’s already sprouted disruptive business models — think Airbnb, already valued at $25 billion.

“Business models are key to the success of the circular economy,” he says. “It's a way to re-orient how we do business — globally.”

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School

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Verified

31/10/2023

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Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.

Lydia

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23/02/2023

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Learning environment

The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.

Nathaniel

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24/01/2023

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Classes

I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London

Muhammad

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24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.

Dorah

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23/01/2023

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professors

The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather

Nora

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17/12/2022

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The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.

Antonia

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21/11/2022

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Bayes Business School

As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.

Muhammad

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15/11/2022

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Economics and Politics

Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.

Navya

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11/11/2022

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Clinical biology

I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society

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