Heidrick & Struggles Announces Launch of Inaugural 2020 ESG Report

Furthering its sustainability commitment, Heidrick & Struggles has joined with Indigo Ag to offset emissions through agricultural carbon credits and to catalyze change through its partnership

Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII), a provider of global leadership advisory and on-demand talent solutions, launched its inaugural 2020 ESG Report to outline its efforts and disclose progress across environmental, social and governance initiatives. In tandem, Heidrick & Struggles announced its partnership with Indigo Ag, an agtech company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers feed the planet sustainably, to work closely together to begin addressing the firm's carbon emissions, further strengthening its commitment to developing a sustainable business model and setting a plan for its carbon removal efforts.

"Today, Heidrick & Struggles is the first in our industry to issue a comprehensive ESG report, providing an in-depth look into our sustainability efforts, while also outlining a firm commitment to offset our carbon impact," said Krishnan Rajagopalan, President and CEO, Heidrick & Struggles. "We are proud to share the progress we have been making on our ESG initiatives through the work and investments we have undertaken to reduce our environmental footprint, advance diversity and inclusion and innovate across our business to drive an increasingly sustainable business model for the future."

As part of the collaboration with Indigo Ag, Heidrick & Struggles will work to produce fundamental change in the industry and raise the profile of environmental sustainability and consumer health with both employees and clients. Indigo Ag's model is unique among carbon offset projects. Through its Indigo Carbon program, the company offers technical and agronomic support for farmers adopting cultivation methods proven to improve soil health, reduce emissions and sequester carbon dioxide. Indigo Carbon quantifies and monitors the impact of these practices at scale to generate nature-based offsets that adhere to the highest industry standards for measurement, reporting and verification. As part of its ongoing partnership, Heidrick & Struggles will begin purchasing verified carbon offset credits, which will increase through the coming years, offsetting at least 45% of its 2019 carbon emissions by 2023.

"We're excited to partner with Heidrick & Struggles, whose demonstrated leadership spans various industries and has wide-reaching ability to impact decision-makers invested in combatting climate change and to help realize agriculture's potential as a part of the solution," said Ron Hovsepian, CEO of Indigo Ag. "Through this partnership, Heidrick & Struggles is setting a new standard for sustainable business by directly financing farmers' efforts to make beneficial farming practices the norm, not the exception."

Referencing both Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) frameworks, the newly-released report delves, in-depth, into Heidrick & Struggles' commitment to serving client needs, leading on diversity and inclusion, supporting its employees and communities and prioritizing environmental sustainability.

Key highlights from the report include:

Diversity & Inclusion

  • 37.5% of the firm's Board of Directors are women, and 25% are people of color
  • 50% of the CEO's direct reports are diverse
  • In 2020, launched global Diversity & Inclusion Practice, integrating its executive search and leadership consulting capabilities to deliver comprehensive D&I strategies designed to increase diverse representation and build and develop inclusive organizations
  • Also in 2020, at the Board of Director level, 61% of the firm's U.S. placements were diverse; globally, more than 60% of the firm's initial proposed Board candidates were diverse, exceeding its Board Diversity Pledge

Philanthropy and Charitable Giving in 2020

  • Donated more than $57,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts
  • Donated roughly $340,000 to charities worldwide
  • Completed over 1,000 hours of pro-bono work

Environmental Sustainability

  • Committed to begin offsetting the firm's carbon through the purchase of carbon offset credits through Indigo Ag, starting in 2021
  • Instituted a new Supplier Code of Conduct, which address expectations around protecting the environment, including: complying with all environmental laws and regulations where the firm operates, minimizing environmental impact of operations where possible and establishing targets and measuring progress toward established environmental goals
  • In 2019, established a Global Sustainability Office, a centralized hub for gathering best practices and providing search services for Chief Sustainability Officers


"Our ESG Report reflects Heidrick & Struggles' commitment to measurement, transparency and accountability on issues impacting our people, our communities and the environment," said Kamau Coar, Chief Legal Officer and Chief Inclusion Officer, Heidrick & Struggles. "As we advance on our sustainability journey, we look forward to a long-term partnership with Indigo Ag where we not only address our environmental impact, but also contribute to the availability of offset options more broadly." 

Going forward, Heidrick & Struggles intends to continue publishing its ESG achievements annually, providing stakeholders with transparency around how the firm is heeding its own advice to build credibility and trust. In the coming months, the firm anticipates completing and releasing its 2020 carbon footprint.