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Sustainability & Social Impact


Leading good intentions to transformative impact.

The responsibility to build a better world is one we all share. Driving sustainability and weaving societal impacts into decision-making at all levels, across all sectors, is at the heart of our business, and cuts across everything we do at APCO.

We believe the world’s toughest challenges can be solved. Doing so, however, requires radical shifts in how we think, work and act. We are focused on the root causes and systemic challenges we face as a global community and helping our clients determine the role they can play in responding. It begins with aligning their mission, values and core business and making the internal changes necessary to be part of the solution. From there, we help shift the narrative, spark movements and launch a new programs, initiatives or organizations that begin to build a better world and inspires others to follow.


It's in our roots.

APCO was one of the first agencies to have a Sustainability & Social Impact practice and throughout our history we have been working hand-in-hand with companies, foundations, governments and nonprofits to advance progress on a host of issues, from climate and environment to global health and social justice (ESG).

In January 2020, APCO acquired The Tembo Group, bolstering our social impact capabilities. Specialists in both strategy and operations, Tembo brings expertise in management consulting and a diverse toolkit to solve root problems, including systems analysis, human centered design and future forecasting.

APCO’s team has been named to the PRNews CSR A-List every year since 2015.

Areas of Focus

  • We help companies better understand, enhance and communicate the value they create for all stakeholders – including employees, customers, suppliers, communities and society at large.  We marry our strengths in ESG and CSR strategy with our depth of expertise and experience in communications to help our clients engage stakeholders across the entire spectrum – from niche investor audiences through to the wider general public and large multilateral, multigovernmental international platforms. Whether it is demonstrating an integrated approach to ESG management to the market, understanding and engaging on tough issues or creating a platform to advance a shared purpose, we have the business management and communications expertise to help companies drive social and environmental progress.

    Specific areas of focus include:

    • Assessing current ESG and CSR footprint and opportunities to lead
    • New CSR initiatives and program strategies
    • ESG strategy, reporting and communications
    • Social footprint
    • Defining and branding corporate purpose
    • Public advocacy campaigns
    • Philanthropic giving strategies
    • Launching new corporate foundations and organizations
  • The philanthropic landscape is undergoing rapid transformation. With the triple impact of COVID-19, economic recession and an awakening around systemic racism and injustice, the ground is shifting beneath our feet. Philanthropy has never faced as big a test, and grantees have never had such a high risk of failure amidst rapidly shifting resources and priorities. Foundations and family offices are making critical decisions about the pace and emphasis of their grant making, all amidst tremendous uncertainty and under the intensified scrutiny of a global community impatient for those with resources to do more, yet concerned about the outsized role a select number of individuals play in designing solutions that affect us all.

  • Today, every citizen, business and nation is confronted with the realities of a changing climate and environmental degradation. APCO works with clients to understand their role in the climate crisis, assess their responsibilities, identify opportunities and execute strategies that contribute to resilience, adaptation, mitigation and reversal.

    We have also worked to help clients manage, engage and lead on a range of environmental issues, including initiatives to promote the circular economy; transition to a clean energy economy; improve resource efficiency; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; conserve water, wetlands and oceans; promote responsible forestry and agriculture; eliminate waste and pollution; and preserve ecosystems and natural habitats.

  • Over the past 25 years, technology has been a primary driver of workplace changes — redefining where and how we work. But we are now seeing new trends reshaping why we work and what work means to people. As employees desire new ways of working, companies must adapt with new strategies for talent and organization.

    APCO has extensive experience partnering with companies large and small to communicate, activate, and engage internal audiences. We take an integrated approach to internal communications that puts employees at the center. By using the right channels and tactics, we build strategies to ensure that employees have the information (and the inspiration) they need to deliver measurable business outcomes and become ambassadors for their organizations.

    Specific areas of focus include:

    • Employer Branding: Recruiting and retaining top talent is a growing concern for companies globally. APCO works with clients to develop employer brands and employee value propositions, and position companies as employers of choice.
    • Internal Communications & Employee Engagement: From establishing teams to launching new internal communications tools and channels, APCO helps companies build their internal communications infrastructure. We also specialize in developing internal communications and employee engagement strategies to help organizations deliver on their talent goals.
    • Vision & Values: APCO partners with organizations to define and articulate their mission, vision and values and develop effective campaigns to ensure that employees understand the important role they play in the future of their organization. This includes identifying the right voices, messages, and channels for communicating, and creating programs and policies to help companies bring their vision and values to life.
    • Learning & Development: APCO helps organizations meet their Learning & Development objectives by developing and launching workforce training programs to build capabilities, increase engagement, and build reputation.
    • Employee Advocacy: APCO works with companies to develop cultures where employees have the information and inspiration they need to do their jobs, and serve as ambassadors for their organization.
    • Change Management: APCO partners companies to efficiently and effectively manage change with minimum disruptions to the business
  • Around the world, companies and organizations across industries and sectors are being moved to internally and externally address their own roles and responsibilities in perpetuating systemic inequities. Racial justice, gender equity, LGBTQ+ equality, disability rights, indigenous rights, and inclusion for all marginalized individuals are crucial DEI issues facing every institution. For over decades, APCO has been a trusted advisor to Fortune 500 companies, philanthropic leaders, and nonprofits navigating the complexities of these human rights issues and designing strategies that are both authentic to who they are and drive impact.

    Specific areas of focus include:

    • Gender equity
    • LGBTQ+ campaigns
    • Immigration-centered public perception
    • Internal employee communications and engagement

Case Studies

IKEA established as corporate leader in sustainability.

Recolight revolutionizes lightbulb recycling in the UK.

Elevating the importance of land rights in Landesa’s fight against poverty.

Mars Food leads a global conversation.

Launching Welltower: A bold and exciting year.

Masdar elevates Abu Dhabi as a renewable energy leader.