The leaders in the US environmental services market are AECOM, CH2M, ERM, Ramboll Environ and Tetra Tech, according to a Verdantix report released today.
These major players are also the top environmental consulting firms based on revenue.
According to Verdantix, which benchmarked the 15 largest environmental services providers, large multi-disciplinary engineering services firm dominate the $14.6 billion US market.
- AECOM, which has 11,000 environmental consultants, scored the highest for remediation, climate change adaptation, planning, permitting and environmental compliance.
- CH2M, with 3,000 environmental experts, achieved the highest scores for consulting work on water management and natural resources.
- ERM has 2,000 environmental consultants in the US and achieved the highest scores for environmental management system design as well as environmental due diligence.
The other firms included in the report, Green Quadrant Environmental Services US, are Arcadis, Atkins, Black & Veatch, CDM Smith, GHD, Golder Associates, Stantec, TRC, Trinity Consultants and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.
Climate change resilience and technology enablement of environmental management are major growth segments, says report author Trevor Bronson, adding that “sustainability engagements have largely disappeared and remediation work is increasingly commoditized.”
This echoes earlier research by Verdantix that shows a trend towards the head of sustainability role “disappearing” as companies increasingly turn “responsibilities over to the VP of environment, health and safety or to the director of corporate responsibility,” said Yaowen Ma, Verdantix industry analyst. The role is slowly becoming redundant as sustainability programs mature and other function heads take over.”
The new environmental services report also finds that all consulting firms have been hit by the oil and gas downturn. It forecasts next year will be more lucrative with 28 percent of customers planning to spend more on environmental consultants in 2017. Still, consultants shouldn’t expect to see major permitting and compliance contracts in the fossil fuels sector.
“We forecast the US environmental services market will grow by 3.8 percent per annum from 2016 to 2020,” Bronson said in a statement. “In the absence of an upswing in heavy asset sectors, to improve margins consultants must deliver projects more efficiently using innovative technologies. They should target climate change resiliency and water management projects which align with the future evolution of environmental management challenges. Permitting and compliance work for fossil fuel infrastructure will not drive growth for the sector in the future.”