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Insight Global's climate program protects revenue

The staffing services company can provide client-specific emissions reporting in minutes, not weeks

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When large enterprises are looking for support in hiring top talent, they turn to staffing services company Insight Global. The company tracked its partial carbon emissions for the first time in 2019 and subsequently realized that despite being “just a services company,” it had a bigger opportunity for climate impact than previously believed.

At the same time, market forces were underscoring the importance of building out a robust sustainability program. In addition to queries from critical clients about their climate plans, the company was seeing an increasing number of hiring needs in the climate and renewable energy industries, and wanted to attract discerning candidates.

Challenge: Provide clients an accurate view into emissions produced by their business

As Insight Global was reporting to CDP for the first time, it was getting a lot of in-bound requests about its emissions from its clients—who largely consist of Fortune 500 companies with ambitious, public sustainability commitments. Accuracy was critical.

Katherine Slater, Insight Global's Sustainability Program Manager, is responsible for building and reporting on its climate program. After a few years of measuring scope 1 and 2 emissions in-house, Slater saw room for a less manual process that could provide more accurate—and actionable—results.

Slater reflected, “I was Googling emissions factors and making my best guess at what fell into each scope. It was extremely tedious and scope 3 was incomplete.”

I didn’t feel confident that our footprint was externally legitimate and thought our sustainability work should be a business accelerator rather than a risk.

Katherine Slater,
Sustainability Program Manager

Solution: Use Watershed to get the numbers right

Insight Global implemented Watershed in early 2023 and Slater says, “it’s like night and day.” She reflected on the benefits:

  • Built-in data collection guidance: “Implementation was a breeze, and the product made it very clear what data we needed and how to go about finding it. This was a big blind spot when I was creating our footprint myself, leading to significant data gaps, for example not including the travel of our 35,000 consultant employees in our initial footprint.”
  • Interactive data exploration to drive operational changes: Some of Insight Global’s biggest emission drivers were eye-opening to Slater. She assumed offices would be a big portion of the company’s emissions, but things like IT equipment and company travel were larger than expected. “In-person work with our clients is a big part of what makes us special, so while we’re never going to stop traveling, we can do it more thoughtfully.”
  • The inputs to set a data-backed target: “We don’t want to set targets just for optics purposes, we want to create and act on goals that are externally credible. Using Watershed, we are able to confidently project our work into the future so we can create and submit science-based targets for validation.”

Better data helps us tie our climate goals back to our company goals and get buy-in from all levels. Clients take our sustainability work seriously, so we need to be aligned to continue to work with them.

Katherine Slater,
Sustainability Program Manager

Result: Save time and retain revenue

Insight Global’s climate program matured quickly, exceeding its team’s expectations of what it would be able to accomplish. Within months of working with Watershed, Insight Global was able to:

  • Answer client-specific emissions reporting in a matter of minutes: “Over a dozen clients were asking us to identify our emissions tied to their work. I was able to pull and report on that data in a matter of minutes instead of the week it used to take. Being able to respond to ad hoc requests from different clients very quickly and accurately with legitimacy has been a game changer.”
  • Identify revenue that would be at risk without a climate program: “Watershed’s product lets us easily track all of our clients, their portion of our overall revenue, and their climate reporting expectations of us. We can now evaluate future sustainability initiatives directly with these hard dollars in mind.”
  • Faster reporting to CDP: “I finished my CDP report in less than half the time of my first attempt thanks to Watershed’s guidance on how to interpret the questions and pre-population of data. The peer benchmarking in the software also helped us provide more mature answers. The time savings was immense, and I had more confidence in the data”