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 about 10-11 workers, and generates $2 million in annual revenue.

    • The environmental consulting services industry consists of about 8,300 firms that employ 89,000 workers and generate $17 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 Environ, and TRC Companies, may have operations in foreign countries.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Environmental Consulting Services Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Mar 7, 2023 - Carbon-Related Venture Capital Investments Down Slightly in 2022
                                  • Driven chiefly by carbon capture projects in the US and the European Union, venture capital (VC) investments in carbon-related technologies reached $13.8 billion in 2022, according to financial data firm PitchBook. The 2022 total was down 2% compared to the $14.1 billion in carbon-related VC funding in 2021, but the level of 2022 funding contrasted with the subdued level of investment activity in the overall global economy as rising interest rates and inflation made investors more cautious. Carbon-related investments are being driven by various government programs, including the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in the US, and an EU regulation that will impose tariffs on carbon-emitting imports, such as steel and cement, beginning in October 2023.
                                  • Most large, US-based public companies will move ahead with their plans to comply with climate disclosure rules proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to a survey released in March by PwC and Workiva. The survey showed that 70% of public US firms with at least $500 million in annual revenue are taking compliance steps even before the rules are finalized and regardless of when they may become law. Seventy percent of executives said their companies already pursue voluntary, independent assurance and will continue to do so. However, 85% of respondents reported that their firms do not currently have the technology necessary to support reporting required by the proposed rules. All of the executives surveyed said their firms had taken at least one action ahead of SEC rule implementation. Among the most common actions were investments in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting technology (40% of respondents), accelerating their climate ambitions (35%), investing in ESG people (33%), and establishing a climate agenda (33%).
                                  • Despite inflation and a possible economic downturn, the outlook for environmental and sustainability (E&S) consulting services is robust, according to a recent survey by Environmental Analyst. Nearly 85% of E&S firms surveyed said net zero and decarbonization will be a significant business opportunity over the next five years, and 83% said green finance and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing would be a top driver. Average organic revenue for E&S consulting firms rose an estimated 9.1% in 2022 and is projected to climb another 11.5% in 2023, although some of the growth will be driven by inflation and rising consultant compensation. Talent acquisition is an ongoing challenge, and some respondents noted increased competition for talent and consulting work from the Big Four accounting and consulting firms – Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PwC, and KPMG.
                                  • A recent study by the Recycling Partnership showed that governments could increase recycling rates for printed paper and packaging materials by implementing extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs. Through EPR programs, firms that manufacture packaging products are charged fees which are used to help fund local recycling efforts, reducing the financial burden on taxpayers and local governments. The study examined the effects of EPR programs in seven international jurisdictions and six US states. The report showed that EPR policies boosted the collection of targeted recyclable materials to more than 75% in counties including Belgium, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Spain. However, recovery rates in the six US states were only 60%, and study authors suggested this was due to “the lack of sustainable funding.” California, Colorado, Maine, and Oregon have implemented EPR programs, and several other states are considering doing so.
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