How Much Does An ESG Consultant Cost

Businesses are increasingly seeking guidance to navigate sustainability challenges and ensure compliance with global standards. But what exactly are the costs associated with hiring an ESG consultant in the UK? Are these fees worth the investment for sustainable growth and compliance?

In this article, we will delve into the world of ESG consultant fees in the UK, analysing the factors that influence cost, exploring different pricing models, and providing insights on budgeting for consulting services. Whether you’re a business owner, a sustainability professional, or simply curious about the financial implications of ESG consulting, this article aims to shed light on the subject and enable you to make informed decisions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the factors that affect ESG consulting fees in the UK
  • Exploring different pricing models and payment structures
  • Tips for budgeting and cost allocation for ESG consulting services
  • The benefits of investing in ESG consulting for sustainable growth and compliance

What is An ESG Consultant? 

An ESG consultant is a professional advisor who specialises in guiding organisations on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters. They play a critical role in helping businesses understand and improve their sustainability performance, align their practices with global sustainability goals, and integrate responsible investing into their operations. ESG consultants offer expertise in developing and implementing ESG strategies, reporting on performance, ensuring regulatory compliance, and identifying opportunities for sustainable growth. Their work is pivotal in promoting corporate responsibility, enhancing corporate value, and driving the adoption of sustainable business practices that benefit society and the environment.

How Much Does an ESG Consultant Cost?

When considering the cost of hiring an ESG consultant, several factors come into play. Understanding these factors can help businesses determine the overall cost and budget for their ESG consulting needs. In this section, we will delve into the factors that can impact ESG consulting fees and explore the various pricing models and payment structures commonly used by ESG consultants.

Factors Affecting ESG Consulting Fees

Several key factors can influence the cost of hiring an ESG consultant. These factors include:

  • Sustainability Reporting: The complexity and extent of the sustainability reporting required will impact the consultant’s fees. In-depth reporting often involves more extensive data collection and analysis, which can increase costs.
  • Materiality Assessment: Conducting a materiality assessment helps identify the most significant ESG issues for a company. The depth and breadth of this assessment can affect the overall cost of ESG consulting.
  • Supply Chain Audit: A comprehensive supply chain audit evaluates the social and environmental impact of a company’s supply chain. The scale and complexity of this audit can influence the fees charged by the consultant.

Pricing Models and Payment Structures

The average salary for an ESG Consultant is £38,437 per year in the United Kingdom. However, ESG consultants commonly use different pricing models and payment structures to accommodate the unique needs of their clients. Understanding these options can help businesses make informed decisions when budgeting for ESG consulting services. Some common pricing models and payment structures include:

  • Hourly Rates: Consultants charge an hourly rate for the time spent working on ESG projects. This model provides flexibility, but the overall cost can vary depending on the duration and complexity of the project.
  • Project-Based Fees: Consultants may offer fixed project-based fees for specific ESG initiatives. These fees are agreed upon upfront and ensure cost predictability for the client.
  • Retainer Fees: Some businesses choose to retain an ESG consultant on an ongoing basis. Retainer fees provide continuous access to consulting services and often offer cost savings compared to hourly or project-based fees.

By considering these factors and exploring the different pricing models and payment structures, businesses can determine the most suitable option that aligns with their needs and budget. It is essential to have transparent discussions with potential consultants to ensure clarity on fees and payment terms.

Budgeting for ESG Consulting Services

In order to effectively budget for ESG consulting services, it is important for businesses to allocate the necessary funds for their consulting projects. By doing so, they can ensure that they are making sustainable investments in their growth and compliance initiatives. Here are some tips and strategies to consider when budgeting for ESG consulting:

  1. Assess your needs: Determine the scope and scale of the ESG consulting services you require. This will help you understand the level of expertise and resources needed, which in turn, will influence the budget allocation.
  2. Consider the complexity: ESG consulting projects can vary in complexity, depending on factors such as the size of your organisation, industry regulations, and the extent of sustainability reporting required. It is essential to account for these complexities when budgeting for ESG consulting.
  3. Develop a detailed plan: Create a comprehensive project plan that includes timelines, milestones, and anticipated deliverables. This will help you identify the resources and associated costs required at each stage of the project.
  4. Explore cost-saving strategies: Look for opportunities to optimise your ESG consulting costs. This could include leveraging internal resources, collaborating with other organisations, or using technology solutions that streamline processes and reduce expenses.
  5. Engage with multiple ESG consultants: Obtain quotes and proposals from multiple ESG consultants to compare costs and services. This will help you make an informed decision and negotiate for competitive pricing.
  6. Allocate contingency funds: It is crucial to set aside contingency funds to account for any unforeseen circumstances or additional requirements that may arise during the course of the consulting project.

By following these budgeting tips and strategies, businesses can effectively allocate their funds for ESG consulting services, ensuring that they make sustainable investments in their growth and compliance initiatives.

Factors to consider for budgeting ESG consulting servicesActions
Assess your needsDetermine the scope and scale of the ESG consulting services you require.
Consider the complexityTake into account the complexity of your ESG consulting project, including industry regulations and sustainability reporting requirements.
Develop a detailed planCreate a comprehensive project plan with timelines, milestones, and deliverables to determine resource and cost requirements.
Explore cost-saving strategiesLook for opportunities to optimise costs through internal resources, collaborations, and technology solutions.
Engage with multiple ESG consultantsObtain quotes and proposals from various ESG consultants to compare costs and negotiate for competitive pricing.
Allocate contingency fundsSet aside additional funds to account for unforeseen circumstances or additional requirements during the consulting project.


Incorporating ESG consulting into your business strategy represents a forward-thinking investment that can significantly influence your company’s path toward sustainable growth and long-term value creation. The expertise offered by ESG consultants in navigating environmental, social, and governance challenges not only helps in aligning with global sustainability standards and enhancing corporate reputation but also in making data-driven decisions that lead to operational excellence and risk mitigation. Furthermore, prioritising ESG initiatives can attract favourable investment conditions, potentially reducing capital costs as the market increasingly rewards companies demonstrating genuine commitment to sustainability. Therefore, while the costs associated with ESG consulting may vary, the value it brings in fostering responsible business practices, unlocking new opportunities, and enhancing investor appeal cannot be overstated. Ultimately, investing in ESG consulting is not just a financial decision but a strategic move towards ensuring a resilient and sustainable future for your business. For further guidance finding the right consultant for your business, get in touch via the contact form to see how Boardroom Advisors can help you.


What factors can affect the pricing of ESG consulting services in the UK?

The pricing of ESG consulting services in the UK can be influenced by several factors, including the scope of the project, the complexity of the sustainability reporting required, the need for a materiality assessment, and the extent of the supply chain audit.

What are the different pricing models and payment structures commonly used by ESG consultants?

ESG consultants often use various pricing models and payment structures. These may include hourly rates, project-based fees, and retainer fees. Each approach has its pros and cons, and businesses should consider their specific needs and budget when choosing the most suitable option.

How can businesses budget for ESG consulting services?

Businesses can effectively budget for ESG consulting services by considering tips and strategies for allocating the necessary funds. This may involve setting aside a specific budget for consulting projects and implementing cost-saving strategies through efficient planning and resource management.

Why is investing in ESG consulting important for sustainable growth?

Investing in ESG consulting is crucial for sustainable growth as it brings numerous benefits to businesses. Engaging ESG consultants can lead to improved performance in meeting sustainability goals, access to valuable data, and potentially lower cost of capital. By prioritising ESG consulting and integrating sustainable practices, businesses can create long-term value and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Written by: John Courtney

John is highly ranked in the Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs list by City AM and is winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from techSPARK. He has been a Board Director himself for over 40 years and first started placing Non-Executive Directors over 25 years ago. John founded and ran seven of his own businesses including a Management Consultancy for 10 years, a Corporate Finance offering for 10 years and a mid-sized Digital Agency for another 10 years.