The World’s Largest Environmental Consulting Firms (2012 – 2013)

Jan 18th, 2014 | By | Category: Environmental Management, Health and Safety

Editor’s Note: This article, published in January 2014, provides information on company performance from 2012. For an updated list of the world’s largest environmental consulting companies, click here.


The value of the global environmental consulting (EC) market reached US$27.4 billion (£16.7 billion) in 2012, up 3.6% over the previous year, according to the latest report by Environment Analyst. The sector continues to grow at a pace ahead of global economic growth, which stood at 3.2% in 2012. Together, the environmental consultancy practices of the “Global 22” claimed a combined share of 43.7% of the total global market in 2012, up from 41.1% in 2011. But only the top two players, CH2M Hill and Tetra Tech Inc, achieved market shares in excess of 5%.


The Largest Environmental Consulting Firms

The largest environmental consultancies ranked in terms of 2012 gross global EC revenues were:

  1. CH2M Hill
  2. Tetra Tech Inc
  3. URS Corporation
  4. Golder Associates
  5. AECOM
  6. Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
  7. Arcadis
  8. AMEC Environment & Infrastructure
  9. MWH Global
  10. Cardno
  11. Grontmij NV
  12. RPS Group
  13. SKM Consulting
  15. WorleyParsons
  16. WSP Environment and Energy/GENIVAR
  17. Parsons Brinckerhoff
  18. ICF International
  19. Mott MacDonald
  20. ATKINS
  21. SLR
  22. Coffey International

The top 22 consultancies outperformed the market as a whole, growing aggregate EC revenues by 6.1% in 2012 through a combination of acquisitions (approximately 1.1%) and organic growth (approximately 5.0%). This marks the third consecutive year of growth following a 2.4% contraction in EC sales in 2009 at the height of the economic downturn, which was followed by increases of 12.8% in 2010 and 9.9% in 2011.


For Comparison Purposes

The three market leaders in each global region for 2012 and 2010 are shown on the following graphics.


EHS Journal - 2012 Environmental Consulting Leaders from Environment Analyst

2012 Environmental Consulting Market Leaders from Environment Analyst


2010 Market Leaders from Environment Analyst

2010 Environmental Consulting Market Leaders from Environment Analyst



Areas of Growth

According to Environment Analyst, in many cases, strategic growth plans for the Global 22 continue to center on the resource-led economies of Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, with these regions currently attracting significant levels of investment. However, demand has slackened in the Asia-Pacific region, with growth in this region slowing to just 2% in 2012 compared to 7% in 2011. This in part reflects the deceleration of China’s economy, limitations of the constrained Australian mining sector, and an overall reduction in the demand for commodities. According to Liz Trew, editor of Environment Analyst’s Global Market Intelligence Service and co-author of the report,

Geographic diversity remains the buzzword and internationalization, often in line with multinational clients, continues to re-shape the industry. Overall however, we see that many of the leading global players within this field are not only recovering from the impact of the global financial crisis and ongoing government austerity programs but also responding to and, in some cases, thriving in challenging conditions.


Analysis by Practice Area

Based on the service area breakdown of the Global 22’s aggregated EC revenues, Environment Analyst finds contaminated land services have overtaken water and waste management services as the largest single service area within the global EC market in 2012, representing some 29% in total, ahead of the 24% share held by water and waste management. Environmental impact assessment and sustainable development takes a further 17% while environmental management, compliance and due diligence services represent just over 15%. Climate change and energy-related services generated a further 9.4% of the total.


Analysis by Client Type

In terms of the client profile of the Global 22 EC firms, energy and utilities has taken the number one spot for client type, displacing governments and regulators to the second largest spending sector. Mining, manufacturing, and process industries finished in third place, followed by construction, property and transportation sector clients.


Future Projections

According to the study, the global EC market is forecast to reach US$31.7billion (£19.3 billion) by 2017. Commenting on future growth prospects for the global EC market, Liz Trew said, “Although our forecast model projection for the global market is for a fairly modest compound annual growth rate of 3.0% over the next five years, this nevertheless equates to an additional £4.3 billion in EC revenues being added by 2017. However, we expect many of the largest companies to supersede this level of growth as they have done so historically. Moreover, future growth will be highly sector- and region-specific, with spend on climate change and energy services set to grow by over 35% in the next five-year period, while EIA and sustainable development spend will increase by almost 17%.”


Graphics from Environment Analyst


2012 Revenue by Practice Area from Environment Analyst

2012 Gross EC Revenue by Practice Area from Environment Analyst

EHS Journal - 2012 Global EC Revenue by Region from Environment Analyst

2012 Gross EC Revenue by Region from Environment Analyst


Additional Information

1. Global Environmental Consulting Strategies and Competitor Analysis 2013 is an in-depth market report including detailed profiles of 22 leading operators – for further information (including a full list of contents and figures, and sample company profile download) see

2. According to Environmental Analyst, the report is based on core financial figures and strategic information collated through an annual research process in collaboration with the environmental consultancy companies – via market surveys, phone/face-to-face interviews with senior executives, and publicly available annual reports/accounts and websites. The 22 profiled firms have all had the opportunity to review their company profiles and core financial statistics.


About Environment Analyst

Environment Analyst Ltd is a publishing and market research organization focusing on the environmental consulting and support services sector. It collects and analyzes information from the industry for the benefit of the industry.

Return to the EHS Journal Home Page

Tags: , , , ,

One Comment to “The World’s Largest Environmental Consulting Firms (2012 – 2013)”

  1. […] The article below was published in December 2011. Click here to read the January 2014 article with an expanded list of the world’s largest EHS c… […]

Leave a Comment