3Keel wins Financial Times award for the 5th consecutive year

17th February 2023

We are delighted to have been recognised by the Financial Times awards for the UK’s Leading Management Consultants for the 5th year in succession. Being acknowledged for our work is humbling and rewarding; as ever, thank you to our clients, peers, associates and friends who voted for 3Keel.

Our fifth consecutive listing in the Sustainability category continues with Silver again this year. We’ve also been awarded a Silver in Consumer goods and Retail, and a Bronze in Energy, Utilities and Environment. Finally, for the first time, we have been awarded a Bronze in Operations and Supply Chain. Being listed in four categories reflects the broad and ever-expanding range of services offered by our larger, more diverse team.

The FT awards prompt a moment for us to pause and reflect on some of the highlights from the last twelve months, of which there have been many:

  • 3Keel has grown considerably, with our team now consisting of 64 people. As our profile has risen we have been able to welcome especially talented recruits at all levels of the organisation. As part of our expansion, we have been paying extra attention to balancing our rewards package, as well as ensuring that we enjoy ourselves!
  • Our growth has been across the business, with particular expansion in our Climate Change, Sustainable Commodities and Landscape Innovation practice areas. We are also actively linking these knowledge areas, including launching client and public webinars on cross-cutting themes. Our first webinar, Understanding FLAG, was a collaboration between our climate and commodities practice areas.
  • We are excited to announce the launch of a new Nature & Biodiversity practice area, adding to our six established work themes. This launch follows an increasing appetite for nature, seen in many of our existing clients, and is reflected in the number of projects that we have already been doing relating to biodiversity and nature. The links here to our work on commodities, carbon accounting, landscapes and agriculture are manifold, which reinforces the depth and quality of the advice we can provide.
  • We have expanded our operating sites, so in addition to our HQ in Oxfordshire and hubs across London, we now also have long-term rented space with our friends at White Space Consulting (fellow FT award winners!) in the very centre of Oxford city.

All of this activity means that we are expanding and diversifying our client list, as well as continuing to deepen and enrich many long term client relationships. We endeavour to publish project case studies where we can, and collate our public reports to show our latest work.

“We don’t really “go for” awards at 3Keel, but this from the FT is special as it is only based on client and peer nominations. This is great recognition for our dedicated team, who have delivered some incredible projects over the last year.”

Simon Miller, 3Keel’s Managing Partner

Some images from our away week at Huntsham House

Most importantly, the value of our work really boils down to the impact of the projects that we do, and here too we are evolving:

  • Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs) continues to mature. Our dedicated LENs microsite has further details, but one useful proof point is the more than £5m of landscape investment taking place annually through LENs programmes in the UK, Italy, Hungary and Poland. Watch out for further development of LENs during 2023.
  • We are now in our third year of closely supporting Mondra in its development of a software platform for scaled product footprints which is gaining considerable traction. This winter the BRC Mondra Coalition launched, with most of the UK’s major supermarkets participating, as well as sector trade associations and NGOs. Quarterly coalition meetings are chaired by 3Keel’s founding Partner, Simon Miller.
  • Our Sustainable Commodities team attended the RSPO Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil in Kuala Lumpur, convening client and peer discussions to collectively align the work we are doing to have the biggest impact. Meanwhile, the Retail Soy Group, which 3Keel convenes, wrote a letter to major traders highlighting the deficiencies of their shared 1.5°C roadmap, announced in Glasgow at COP26. The team are also hosting a webinar on the new EU Deforestation Due Diligence legislation in a few weeks, which is free to attend.
  • To underline our growing marine expertise, we were announced as Secretariat to the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC), a forum to bring the sector together, seeking to jointly improve sourcing and labelling practices in global seafood supply chains.
Recent projects
Understanding Oddbox’s impact on food waste
Designing a PrOATocol for regenerative farming
Developing a roadmap for Net Zero tea

Indeed, the demand for work in our sector continues to grow, as advice on and solutions to sustainability issues are increasingly in demand from across the economy. In this market, many consulting firms are expanding at breakneck speed, as well as undergoing extensive financing and consolidations. We are proud to remain independent and confident on our path, and this autonomy safeguards the quality of our work, the ethos of our organisation and helps to attract the talent that we hire.

From bootstrapped beginnings in 2013 to a team of 64 spread across the country; our new colleagues have brought their skill, experience and passion to the work we do. Together our talented team will continue to work toward the same mission – to accelerate systems change and business transformation towards a world in which nature, people and enterprises thrive.

However, we are also very aware that there is still so much to do, and the external indicators of sustainability progress are not good. Indeed, we applaud EY Australia’s recent ‘Enough’ publication and the subsequent discourse, as we continue to reflect and challenge ourselves on the links between our work and impact ‘on the ground’.

Whatever the bigger picture, we will continue to develop our 3Keel community and client partnerships. We do see so many directly positive developments from the work that we do, and greater potential for what we can do next. So, we look forward to the year ahead and will be endeavouring to provide more updates and reflections through our website, newsletter and on LinkedIn.