General - Megatrends -

In EA’s fifth annual Global Megatrends report we look at how environmental consultancy, as part of the wider support services industry, is facing up to a range of internal and external pressures - some of which are long standing whilst others have come to the fore more recently. In particular we consider how it may evolve in response to the massively heightened environmental awareness of late.

Never have climate and sustainability issues been so high on the public and political agenda, nor the pressure on the business world to respond to growing calls to show environmental and social responsibility - and even leadership - whilst at the same time meeting shareholders’ expectations.  

But what role does consultancy have to play in a world that is facing such fundamental and rapid changes at so many levels, and where the demands for life’s basics - food, water, energy, a place to live - have never been greater? 

"EC companies have a huge responsibility to jump into the driver’s seat." Alex Dumesle, director, investment development, SNC-Lavalin 

Consultants are increasingly walking a tightrope to meet their clients’ demands, whilst carving out a space for themselves in this new and rapidly changing world order, including the onslaught of the digital revolution of course. But will firms survive in their present form or is mutation inevitable?

Our expert panel of contributors, including representatives from firms across the sector and across the globe, provide perspectives on how their own companies are addressing the 'megatrends' and how they may shape future EC service provision and demand. As one of our panel asks, how do you remain relevant as well as contributing to social innovation to enhance communities?

This latest Insight Report from Environment Analyst also explores to what extent the industry is taking steps to respond and adapt to:

  • Its unique platform to push the global environmental and sustainability agenda forward  
  • Evolving core skills requirements in an increasingly digital world
  • Changing expectations of the younger workforce
  • The shortage of talent and the gender imbalance in the wider STEM field
  • The inherent risks of megaprojects and the burden of PPP (relative to the pros and cons of alternative approaches)
  • Key operating challenges facing different business models, from the sector’s do-it-all giants to the SME specialists and everything in between
  • Ongoing consolidation of the wider consulting, engineering and support services sector (might it see a Big Four scenario?)
  • The future of environmental consultancy as a standalone discipline - and why collaboration may be key to accelerating the deployment of sustainable solutions
"Small and medium-sized players can no longer afford to be generalists in this new playing field." Niels Schallenberg, global director, water business line, Royal HaskoningDHV


We would like to extend our gratitude to the main contributors, representing the following firms: AEC Advisors, Cardno, Royal HaskoningDHV, SNC-Lavalin and Tembusu Asia Consulting.

We would also like to thank Andrew Limage and Marc Rivard, both recently retired from the day-to-day challenges of running environmental consulting businesses, for their personal perspectives coming from a combined industry experience of 60+ years.

This special 12-page Insight Report is available to our UK and Global Market Intelligence Service Members as a password protected pdf download here.


Environment Analyst Business Summit 2019

This year's EA Business Summit - Capitalising on a Climate of Uncertainty (London, 19 June) will feature many of the themes covered in this Insight Report, with topics covering: project delivery through collaboration; digital service innovation; and policy priorities and market drivers shaping the environmental consulting & services industry going forward.

 View the programme here. Book your space here.