RSK named second largest environmental consultancy in the UK

April 22, 2021

RSK has climbed to second place in Environment Analyst’s Market Assessment Report rankings for overall environmental consultancy, cementing its place in the top three for the second year. The 2020/21 report, published earlier this week, sees RSK rise from the third position it achieved in the 2019 rankings after strong acquisition activity in FY19–20 and a phenomenal 30.5% year-on-year growth.

Maintaining its place in the top tier, RSK sits just behind Jacobs, in first place, with WSP, AECOM and RPS completing the top five, respectively. Environment Analyst reports that the top five now account for just shy of 31% of the entire UK environmental consultancy market, up from a share of about 16% for 2013’s top 5, reflecting the strong trend of industry consolidation in this period. Arcadis, Mott MacDonald, ERM, SNC-Lavalin and Arup complete the top 10.

Elsewhere in the report, RSK maintains its number one rankings in contaminated land/remediation consultancy and sustainability strategy and environmental, social and governance (ESG) consultancy for the second year running, and moves into the top position for ecology/wildlife services and infrastructure and development clients for the first time, jumping up in both categories from third place.

RSK also made the top five for environmental risk and due diligence; other environmental consultancy; other clients; environmental management and compliance; financial and service sector clients; regulated industries; impact assessment; and noise and vibration categories.

The report finds that there has been a general UK environmental consultancy market growth deceleration to 1.4% in 2019, but that it has a record value of £1.91 billion and RSK’s growth has continued at pace. Noting RSK’s strong position in this year’s rankings, Environment Analyst comments, “RSK has cemented its position in [the] top tier after another highly acquisitive year, with £22 million added to its environmental consultancy top line through acquisitions alone and around £30 million in total (equating to an additional 1.6pp increase in UK environmental consultancy market share).

“RSK’s phenomenal growth of 30.5% in 2019 stems from its buy-and-build strategy, which saw it add 11 companies in the 2019/20 financial year – yielding an additional £22.1 million in environmental consultancy turnover alone – accounting for two thirds of its growth. Key environmental consultancy additions included Headland Archaeology (+£12 million environmental consultancy revenue), Raw Technology (+£4 million environmental consultancy), Ecologia Environmental Solutions (+£4 million environmental consultancy) and Biocensus (+£1.5 million environmental consultancy). Synergies through the previous purchases of bts Group, Central Alliance and CAN Geotechnical also contributed to RSK’s organic growth of 6.9%, most notably adding to RSK’s position in the contaminated site assessment/remediation service area, where it is now comfortably the UK market leader with a market share of 17%.”

Looking ahead, Environment Analyst highlights RSK’s acquisition of Black & Veatch’s UK and Asia water businesses, now rebranded as Binnies, in January 2021 and WRc in August 2020, which should set the company in a good position for achieving the coveted top spot in next year’s rankings. “The addition of Binnies and WRc is expected to take RSK close to becoming the UK’s largest environmental consultancy firm by revenue in 2020/21,” the report surmises.

Registered users can access the full market assessment report on the Environment Analyst website.