Environmental Consulting Services

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 8,300 environmental consulting services firms in the US provide expert advice and assistance to other companies and organizations on environmental issues. Major services offered include environmental assessments, site remediation planning, natural resource management, and waste management consulting services. Firms may also provide evaluations of environmental studies, environmental audits, and environmental policy development services.

Dependence on Skilled Staff

Environmental consulting firms rely on highly skilled staff to provide professional services to clients.

Dependence on Government Contracts

Government contracts can account for a significant percentage of business for environmental consulting firms, and projects typically involve a highly regulated procurement process.

Industry size & Structure

The average environmental consulting firm operates out of a single location, employs fewer than 10 workers, and generates $2 million in annual revenue.

    • The environmental consulting services industry consists of about 8,400 firms that employ 94,800 workers and generate $17.5 billion annually.
    • The industry is fragmented; the top 50 companies account for about 31% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms, which include Wood Group, Arcadis US, Ramboll, and TRC Companies, may have operations in foreign countries.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Environmental Consulting Services Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  May 10, 2024 - Environmental Consulting Poised for Better Growth
                                  • The environmental consulting industry is expected to experience a modest rebound after slower growth in 2024. The industry’s year-over-year growth is forecast to drop to 3.4% following a rise of 7% in 2023, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc. Growth in the environmental consulting industry is expected to improve in 2025 with a rise of 4.7% in 2024, then see flat but steady average annual growth of about 5.1% through 2028, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc.
                                  • In April 2024, the EPA designated two types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) - more commonly known as “forever chemicals” - as hazardous substances under Superfund or CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act). The designation affects perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and ensures that spills, leaks, and other releases of the chemicals are reported and cleaned up. Forever chemicals - which are used in food packaging, textiles, and cookware – have been linked to health problems, including cancers and immune and developmental disorders. The EPA says that designating PFOA and PFOS under its Superfund authority will expedite clean-ups and ensure parties responsible for the pollution pay for cleaning contaminated sites. PFOA and PFOS are no longer manufactured in the US, but because they take a long time to break down, they remain widespread in water and soil. The EPA ruling could increase demand for environmental consulting services.
                                  • In early March, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to adopt a new rule requiring publicly traded firms to report certain climate-related risks, according to Reuters. In March 2022, the SEC released a draft of a proposed rule to inform investors about a company’s lower-carbon strategy, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate-related risks. That proposal included “Scope 3” emissions standards that would have required firms to disclose emissions data of their customers and suppliers. The final rule passed in March 2024 excluded Scope 3. Republican attorneys general in 25 states have sued the SEC to block the rule, arguing it exceeds the agency’s authority. In early April, the SEC said it would postpone implementation of the rule pending court rulings. Should the rule clear legal hurdles and take effect, it will not impact private firms but could boost demand for environmental consulting services.
                                  • A recent report by Deloitte showed that while climate-related technology investments have boomed over the last two decades, they have tended to be concentrated in relatively few geographies. Deloitte’s Geography of Climate Tech found that between 2000 and 2022, 2,400 climate tech firms were founded, and $148 billion was invested. The US leads the climate tech space with 37% of total companies, with Canada a distant second at 9%. The two countries - along with Australia, China, France, Germany, India, and the UK - account for 75% of climate tech firms worldwide. However, while eight countries dominate the industry, climate tech investors may turn to other markets in search of lower valuations and the possibility of better returns. Seven technology areas control 50% of the climate tech market, led by waste management technology with 12%. Other leaders include short-duration energy storage (9%), passenger road vehicles (7%), long-duration energy storage (6%), alternative proteins (6%), carbon capture (5%), and EV charging (5%).
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