Consultancy market close to recovery, data shows

19th September 2014

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The UK environmental consultancy market has almost recovered to its pre-recession peak in 2008, having experienced its third successive year of positive growth in 2013, according to data from Environment Analyst.

Turnover from environmental consultancies reached £1.4 billion in 2013, close to the 2008 peak of £1.48 billion. Online research firm Environment Analyst predicts that the market will increase by around 5% again this year.

Increased investment in national infrastructure projects has played a large part in the market’s resurgence, together with growing demand in overseas markets for skilled British-based environmental consultants, Environment Analyst says.

Staffing figures for the top consulting firms increased by around 6% to 10,580 by the end of 2013, though this figure is less than the more than 11,300 employed by the same firms five years ago, the data shows.

Revenues from public sector bodies is still falling, though at a lower rate. These revenues fell 1.7% in 2013, compared with a 2.4% fall in 2012 and 8.4% decrease in 2011.

Work for private and regulated industry sectors accounts for over three-quarters of the market, in particular, work for the oil, gas and power sector.

However, the data shows no increase in consultancy work for the renewable energy sector this year, which reflects wavering economic policies and subsidies, Environment Analyst believes.

Firms working for the construction and property and transport sectors also fared well in 2013, with consultancies reporting revenue growth of 11.5%, which reflects large schemes such as HS2, and an increase in housebuilding, Environment Analyst believes.

Overall, RPS Group led the field, with a market share of 5.5%, with Environmental Resources Management, Mott MacDonald, Halcrow and URS making up the top five environmental consultancies by market share.

More than half of the sector’s revenue comes from environmental impact assessment and sustainable development; contaminated land and remediation; ecological and landscape services and water quality and resource management, Environment Analyst found.

Meanwhile, new requirements on industrial and corporate energy efficiency and mandatory greenhouse gas reporting for listed companies will ensure that climate change and energy remains a growing field for UK environmental consultancies, the analysts predict.

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