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Sustainability/ESG

Beyond the controversy: a strategy for beyond the value chain

Before the conversation turned to SBTi’s corporate net zero policy shift, the organisation had produced detailed guidelines for implementing beyond value chain carbon mitigation. They deserve our attention.

Emissions via Unsplash
Energy

EPA emissions rules push power plants towards compliance prep

Environmental and sustainability consultancies with engineering arms stand to benefit when US states begin submitting emission reduction plans.

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Business

Consulting and engineering industry’s ‘moment in the sun’ continues

The North American architecture, engineering and consulting (AEC) industry outperformed expectations last year, experiencing strong organic revenue growth, record numbers of PE deals and inflated M&A valuations; but what of the potential political storm clouds?

Climate & carbon

Consulting firms lead the way on data sharing for net zero buildings

Where sustainability is concerned, the construction industry does not rate highly. Environmental and design consultancies are playing a major role in making the sector’s rich data resource accessible for practical action.

Earth from NASA via Unsplash
Sustainability/ESG

A planetary perspective: how consultancies can raise the game

As humanity pushes past Earth system boundaries, sustainability experts will be painfully aware of the disconnect between frameworks and targets and what’s needed in reality. How can they reconcile the disparity?

Plastics waste by Antoine GIRET on Unsplash
Policy & legislation

Recycling remains battleground as plastics negotiations end

Companies will need consultants' help to address their plastics footprint, particularly given the poor prospects for substantive global agreement and binding regulation.

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Sustainability/ESG

Impact update: evolving strategies for climate mitigation and ESG reporting

In the second instalment of this special series, Environment Analyst examines how consultancies are responding internally to the complex challenges of climate change mitigation and measuring their wider sustainability impacts.

Biodiversity

Reporting bodies shine laser light on natural capital

The inclusion of nature in the sustainability agenda is starting to affect risk analysis, company disclosures and investor behaviour. Standards and reporting organisations are also on the case — and this time, in collaboration.

European parliament from Wikimedia Commons
Policy & legislation

EU’s environmental resolve threatened further by elections

A rightward shift in the European legislature may prompt near-term consolidation followed by medium-term uncertainty for E&S consulting in the region.

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Business

English-speaking world dominates latest E&S consulting M&As

Notable acquirers in the environmental and sustainability advisory space in recent weeks include Anthesis, NV5, WSP and ERM, demonstrating interests in climate data management and reporting, social justice and GIS.

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Sustainability/ESG

Impact update: consultancies advance their climate leadership journeys

Environment Analyst delves into the latest crop of annual ESG and sustainability reports from professional service firms to assess progress in climate action and disclosure, as the march towards science-based net zero continues.

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Business

Embedded ESG issues driving M&A disputes, BRG report shows

Political controversy means some firms are downplaying ESG as a term, but the underlying issues covered by the acronym are only becoming more important for due diligence.

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Climate & carbon

SBTi removes climate pledges of top consultancies before revisiting offsets rule

Consultancies are among those with long-term carbon reduction commitments marked as ‘removed’ from the SBTi dashboard, although an update to its offsets policy could see a reversal of some of these.

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Sustainability/ESG

More consultancies disclose to CDP, but fewer make ‘A list’

Firms must pick up the pace of decarbonisation and disclosure with high-quality ESG data, or risk being downgraded. Environment Analyst scrutinises the latest CDP climate scores for consultancies.

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Energy

Preparing the US grid for a clean energy future

Consultants must bring together multiple stakeholders in efforts to modernize a vulnerable and fragmented US energy grid.

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Policy & legislation

Climate assessments drastically overlook legal risks, warn academics

Companies and regulators are waking up to the potential threats from climate litigation, but have only just begun to grapple with how these risks should be evaluated, let alone addressed.

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Climate & carbon

CCS projects progress as EU unveils new carbon strategy

Consultants are helping Europe’s industrial emitters get serious on CO2 capture. But building the infrastructure for a continental storage market will need a lot more government involvement.

Roundtable circular - shutterstock-1254731197
Sustainability/ESG

Whole systems approach must underpin sustainable urban development

Reducing carbon emissions from the built environment requires a move away from silo-based carbon counting towards a circular, whole systems approach, or the ‘super cities’ of the future risk being environmental disasters.

US North America map data - shutterstock-206857090
Business

Revenues maintain upward momentum for North American majors

WSP leads a North American quartet of large global firms reporting positive FY2023 results, with its Earth & Environment sector now forming one-third of its business. Montrose Environmental, NV5 and Stantec also celebrate growth in the sector.

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Biodiversity

Green light for investments in the blue economy

Consultancies are finding new roles supporting marine and maritime developments aimed at protecting ecology, climate and the economy.

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Business

Sweco and Arcadis report robust growth in revenues and profits

European-headquartered consulting majors sustain healthy growth rates buoyed by environment, energy and water sectors, holding sustainability in focus for acquisitions and strategy.

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Sustainability/ESG

Islamic finance turns to climate and energy

To meet sharia rules, Islamic financial institutions are increasingly looking to the energy transition and socially responsible investing, boosting decarbonisation efforts and bringing new business opportunities in the Muslim-majority world.

Business

Top 100 analysis: Fastest growth rates driven by M&A and integrated delivery

Environment Analyst’s Top 100 report reveals the latest trends and movements in the global ranking of environmental and sustainability (E&S) consultancy businesses, and shows that the industry remains fragmented with top slots held by majors WSP, AECOM, Tetra Tech and Jacobs.

Hydrogen
Energy

Strict conditions could limit gains from US tax breaks for hydrogen

Biden’s ‘45V’ tax credits for clean hydrogen production are dividing the industry, with relief at the commitment to net zero being offset by concerns that the conditions may limit development.

Golden Gate Bridge
Policy & legislation

California’s climate acts start countdown on emissions measurement

The US state’s far reaching disclosure requirements present both challenges and opportunities. Consultants are urging companies to tackle their implications as soon as possible.

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Sustainability/ESG

COP29 will determine key components for Loss and Damage fund

Environmental consultants could play a pivotal role in funded projects, but developed country financing pledges have fallen through before.

Logo - Trinity Consultants2021
Business

Treble acquisition broadens Trinity’s services

Dallas-headquartered consultancy has purchased a trio of specialists companies in the fields of water and ecology and acoustic consultancy, adding over 300 staff. 

Sustainability/ESG

ESG commitment ‘cooling’ in a troubled world

Studies find almost a third of companies disclosed not using any renewable energy and only 10% had a renewable energy target, while net zero target date is being pushed to the right.

Biodiversity

‘Nature knows best’ for infrastructure

Nature-based solutions can protect communities from climate change, restore biodiversity, and create more resilient economies.

Worley Consulting logo
Business

Advisian becomes Worley Consulting

The change comes as part of a global rebranding exercise for the Australian engineering major, designed to reflect its focus on sustainability.