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We partner with our clients and support their journeys across the business lifecycle: from ideation to mature operations, and beyond, recognizing that the work of sustainability never stops. Whether social due diligence related to deals or ongoing performance evaluation; strategy, program and policy development; impact and risk identification and management; or increasing organizational efficacy; we're here to help. 


Embedding the systems, programs, and capabilities that support an organization's social sustainability requires more than an off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all approach. At Understory, we know that your work, your stakeholders, and the challenges and opportunities related to the social environment you operate in are unique. We’ll talk with you and listen deeply in order to understand where you are now, where you want to go, and develop a plan to bring you the tailored services required. Keep reading to get a sense of our expertise and focus.


We identify those who have a stake in ongoing or proposed activities, map relationships of influence, understand stakeholder knowledge, concerns, interests and needs with respect to those activities, and integrate them sustainably into decision-making processes to build  vital relationships and manage risks.



Identifying, assessing and managing the impacts your work has on stakeholders, including affected communities is intrinsically linked to the social risks your business faces. We support clients in understanding how to operate in a way that is sustainable both for their social environment and their business. We also support social risk identification and materiality assessments in merger and acquisition to support informed decision-making and, when applicable, post-merger planning.



We deliver training, tools and processes to assess, build or bolster your business’ ability to operate in a manner consistent with international human rights norms and law. We also map your business and activities against human rights to help you understand and manage risks and impacts.

At the intersection of the human rights and civil rights movements, environmental justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people--regardless of demographic characteristics including race, color, national origin, or income--with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. We support organizations in understanding how their activities relate to EJ, and provide practical guidance for incorporating this into the way they work.



Because the success of externally focused strategies and programs hinges on an organization’s ability to communicate, team, and function effectively, we work with our clients to understand the internal issues, gaps and roadblocks that constrain their success externally. We offer assessments, workshops, training and coaching to build internal capacity and leadership.

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