EBJ News January 22, 2019

The Latest News in Environmental Consulting


Renewable sources contribute more than 40% to Germany’s public power grid

In 2018, renewable sources accounted for over 40% of public net electricity generation, according to researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. Total electricity production from all renewable sources was about 219 TWh, an increase of 4.3% compared to 2017. Solar energy had the largest growth at 16%, ahead of wind energy with 5.4% growth. Meanwhile, net electricity generation from coal, gas and hydropower decreased. Photovoltaic (PV) plants produced about 45.7 TWh in 2018 and generated more electricity per month than hard coal power plants from April through August. Electricity from wind amounted to about 111 TWh in 2018, making it the second largest source of electricity after brown coal.


ERM announces acquisition of SustainAbility

ERM (London, UK) has completed the acquisition of SustainAbility Ltd., a think tank and advisory firm with offices in London, New York, and San Francisco. SustainAbility was founded in 1987 and offers consulting services to help clients integrate sustainability into their businesses. ERM says it is “building the world’s leading capability in sustainability advisory services, and SustainAbility is the second in a series of acquisitions to bolster our presence in this market.” In March 2018, ERM acquired BrownFlynn Ltd. (Cleveland, Ohio), a corporate sustainability and governance consulting business.


Golder to conduct dam break study for Canadian government

As part of a program by the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial government to prepare for large-scale floods, Golder (Toronto, Ontario) announced it would be studying the effects of a hypothetical dam break for over 150 municipal water supply dams throughout the province. The project will complement a previous dam inventory completed by Golder and will look at the effects of a potential dam break during present day conditions and in the context of climate change over the coming decades. The program is funded 50-50 by the province and federal government’s national disaster mitigation program.


Cardno announces acquisition of Raba Kistner

Cardno Limited (Brisbane, Australia) is acquiring Raba Kistner Inc. (San Antonio, Texas), a 470-person engineering services firm, for US$55 million. Raba Kistner specializes in construction materials testing, geotechnical engineering consulting, project management, and quality assurance and inspection primarily for transport infrastructure projects, government and commercial clients. Raba Kistner will become a part of Cardno’s Construction Sciences division and significantly increase its geographic footprint. Raba Kistner earned a normalized $58.5 million of net revenue in the 12 months to September 2018.


Global environmental consulting market marks best performance this decade

The global market for environmental consulting (EC) services jumped 6.2% during 2017 to reach $34.1 billion (£25.3 billion), according to a new report by Environment Analyst (EA, Shrewsbury, UK). This is almost double the growth of 2016 and by far EC services’ best performance since the start of the decade, EA noted: “Growth among the top players has been aided by recovering mining and commodities markets, as well as strong demand in climate resilience and storm recovery work in the key North American market.” Also contributing to the result was a return to more buoyant conditions in Asia-Pacific spurred by several factors, including China’s tightening environmental standards and enforcement.


Wetland Studies and Solutions acquires Kerr Environmental

Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc., a subsidiary of The Davey Tree Expert Company (Kent, Ohio), has acquired Kerr Environmental Services (Virginia Beach, Va.), a provider of environmental consulting for wetlands, stream restoration, watershed planning, endangered species and other services. Owner Bob Kerr will remain at the company as Director of Tidewater Operations, as well as his eight employees.


Trinity Consultants acquires The Redstone Group

Trinity Consultants (Dallas) has acquired The Redstone Group (Dublin, Ohio), a provider of chemical regulatory advisory services including registration and compliance with the European Union’s REACH initiative, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, and the U.S. Toxic Substance Control Act. Paul Greywall, Trinity’s director of business development, noted that Redstone’s expertise in chemical risk management and reporting dovetails with Trinity’s environmental and life sciences focus. Redstone was founded in 2004.


Benchmark study reveals leaders in digital EHS services

Four consulting firms – Arcadis, AECOM, Jacobs and ERM – lead the market for digital EHS services, according to research firm Verdantix (London, UK), which assessed the capability of nine firms in applying digital technologies to improve project execution and deploy EHS technology for their clients. “We found that the market for digital EHS consulting is starting to gain momentum, but the existing players are not fully taking advantage of the potential impact of digitization,” said Verdantix analyst Isabel Velasco. “Individual consulting firms are focused on either internalizing their digital efforts to become more efficient or providing client-facing technology implementation services. Service firms would be well advised to enhance their efforts in both areas to achieve bottom-line growth and top-line revenue opportunities.”


Pro-Vac sold to RLJ Equity Partners

Olson Brothers Pro-Vac LLC (Puyallup, Wash.) has been sold to RLJ Equity Partners LLC. The environmental, infrastructure and municipal services provider offers support services to the infrastructure, municipal, and environmental markets, including hydro-excavation, storm and sewer maintenance, pipe/line jetting, and other specialty services. The company was majority-owned by Peninsula Capital Partners, Silver Peak Partners, and members of the Pro-Vac management team. Brown Gibbons Lang & Company’s Environmental & Industrial Services team served as the exclusive financial advisor to Pro-Vac.


KCI acquires Keith & Schnars

Employee-owned engineering, consulting and construction firm KCI (Sparks, Md.) has acquired Keith & Schnars (K&S, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), a consulting firm specializing in engineering, construction inspection, surveying, landscape architecture, planning, and environmental science. K&S operates in Florida’s growing transportation infrastructure, commercial, residential, recreational, and educational markets. Founded in 1972, K&S also has offices in Jacksonville, Orlando, Lehigh Acres and Miami.


Phoenix Consulting Engineers joins Fehr Graham 

Phoenix Consulting Engineers (Mahomet, Ill.), a six-person company formed in 2010 by Tom Overmyer, has joined Fehr Graham (Freeport, Ill.), a Midwest engineering and environmental firm. Fehr Graham has 10 offices in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin and employs more than 170 people. “I wanted to make sure my clients continued to get the best service, so I looked for a good match with a lot more resources,” Overmyer said. “Fehr Graham was the most like us. They had the same kinds of clients, staff and projects. This was a good match from a cultural standpoint, too.”


Arcadis serves on Santa Monica’s sustainable water infrastructure project

Arcadis (Amsterdam, Netherlands) will partner with Kiewit Infrastructure West and PERC Water to serve as the Progressive Design-Build team for the City of Santa Monica’s Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project. Santa Monica partially relies on imported water. The project aims to: reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with importing drinking water; harvest up to 4.5 million gallons of water from any storm for treatment and reuse; recycle up to one million gallons per day of municipal wastewater for reuse; and treat up to a 0.5 million gallons per day of storm water or brackish groundwater for reuse.