INDEVCO Consultancy helps businesses meet the UN’s SDGs

31 January 2023 4 min. read

INDEVCO Consultancy supports clients achieve business excellence with a range of consultancy services, including sustainability strategy and governance. Consultancy Middle East spoke with sustainability practice leader, Gacia Apikian, to understand how the firm is helping businesses set sustainability and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a strategic corporate priority.

The consultancy pillar of international manufacturing group INDEVCO, Lebanon-based INDEVCO Consultancy works with enterprises across the Middle East on topics spanning operational excellence, commercial optimization, risk management, and people & culture.

But with the UN SDGs driving global, governmental, and business goals globally and across the region, the firm’s clients are more than ever turning to the consultancy firm for help around greening their thinking and operations.

INDEVCO Consultancy helps businesses meet the UN's SDGs

“Businesses, brands, and products that are unable to keep up and step up are disappearing and new sustainable alternatives popping up to take the limelight,” explains Apikian. “At INDEVCO, we firmly believe in the role the private sector must play to reduce their negative impacts on the environment – while increasing their positive contributions to the economy, society, and environment.”

“The main objective of our Sustainability Strategy & Governance practice is to help clients make purposeful profit, creating business value and sustainable growth in parallel with securing the needs of future generations.”

Apikian currently leads the practice, a role she holds alongside her role as Global Communications and Sustainability Manager at INDEVCO. She joined the firm 12 years ago and has over this period seen the group and consulting division come a long way in the field, culminating into an award-winning status.

The SDG Milestones Award recognizes businesses that are setting their nations and surroundings on a more sustainable path. In 2019, the competition recognized INDEVCO for its sustainable achievements in Lebanon toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.

At the same, Apikian was lauded for her individual role in the recognition, making a shortlist of four finalists for the Young SDG Pioneers Lebanon prize. The nomination noted her efforts in advancing sustainability through the implementation and integration of the Sustainable Development Goals in INDEVCO’s operations.

Helping clients

With INDEVCO as its flagship client, INDEVCO Consultancy has been able to emulate its internal achievements with clients externally. “We work for clients across countries and sectors, mainly in the industrial space,” says Apikian.

This starts at the very highest level: engraining sustainability within the purpose. “A company without a purpose is like an explorer without a compass, moving forward without direction. We help organizations explore how sustainable growth becomes an integral part of their purpose and strategies.”

Next in line in the practice’s toolkit is “developing the business case for sustainability and setting the right governance structures,” she explains. “Adhering to the 17 interconnected SDGs requires an approach that extends beyond just sustainability and operations, this is where our broader expertise on the other topics comes into play.”

Further down the line, INDEVCO Consultancy helps its clients with developing action-oriented plans, process improvements, meeting reporting obligations, rolling out sustainability management systems, and grooming a ‘sustainable mindset’ within the organization. “We’re known for our hands-on approach to delivering value; we come in, help strategize, work shoulder to shoulder along the implementation, and then transfer capabilities for a smooth transition.”

“Ultimately, our job is to empower our clients so that we leave them behind in safe hands and they no longer need us.”

In the limelight

The firm’s front running role in the scene hasn’t gone unnoticed. Last year, INDEVCO was re-elected to the Board of Directors of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) Network Lebanon (represented by Apikian). The local chapter helps companies commit to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, SDGs, and 1.5 degrees target set in the Paris Agreement.

Meanwhile, internally, INDEVCO Consultancy continuously invests in the sustainability capabilities of its team. On top of an internal curriculum, a number of team members have been selected to participate in the UN Global Compact Climate Ambition Accelerator, a six-month program that provides them with the latest information in domains such as carbon footprint accounting, science-based targets, and project management.

“This program will allow our participating consultants to better support clients in developing strong, actionable, carbon reduction strategies and setting goals aligning with key global frameworks. They will also gain knowledge of specialized expert interventions – all to the benefit of our client base.”

Looking ahead, Apikian is keen to note that the practice’s work is only just at the beginning. “COP27 has yet again made it clear that world and the region still has a long way to go – with no time to lose. Working with our clients, we are a trusted partner for helping them shape and deliver their sustainability journey.”