July 27, 2020 — WSP has been revealed as one of the world’s largest, and fastest growing, consultancies in Engineering News-Record’s 2020 Top 200 Environmental Firms ranking, released this week. The global engineering firm now has the 6th largest environmental consulting business in the world, up from 16th place in 2019 and 38th in 2018 and building on 10 years of consistent growth.
ENR’s annual table is one of the most important benchmarks for the consultancy sector, based on global revenue during the previous calendar year. WSP’s strong performance reflects progress towards its ambition to be the premier global environmental consultancy, outlined in the firm’s 2019-2021 global strategic plan.
The Montreal-based firm now employs 7,000 environmental consultants worldwide, within the global total of 50,000. In 2019, its revenues from environmental services were US$1.34bn (C$1.72bn), an increase of 14% on 2018.
WSP’s improved 2020 ranking is based mainly on strong 2019 organic growth (8%), with the full benefits of key acquisitions still to be felt, said André-Martin Bouchard, global director – environment at WSP.
“We have been able to leverage good market conditions through a client-centric, collaborative culture, and by supporting and nurturing high-performing teams, as well as the successful integration of previous acquisitions,” said Bouchard. “We expect to continue delivering strong performance despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. Integration activity is progressing well and we are helping clients to respond to the crisis by accelerating ESG programmes, leveraging the green stimulus packages on offer, managing our clients liabilities and innovating new platforms for community engagement.”
WSP’s achievement is partly down to the strategic expansion of its high-quality advisory services, supporting clients with challenges such as climate change, resiliency and pollution. WSP entered ENR’s top 10 for Consulting/Studies in fourth place, off the back of high-profile projects including HS2 in the UK, Transmountain Pipeline in Canada and Hudson River remediation in the USA. Its focus on growing both global footprint and service coverage is also reflected in other new rankings including fourth for Air Quality/Clean Energy, 13th for Hazardous Waste, and 18th for Wastewater.
Acquisitions made in late 2019 – namely Elton Consulting (Australia), Orbicon (Denmark) and Lievense (Netherlands) – made some revenue contribution in Q4 2019, but the real benefits of those, along with 2019 US acquisitions LTE and E&E – will be delivered in FY2020 with WSP’s presence in the previously sub-scale US and Northern European markets significantly bolstered. As well as an increased footprint, these acquisitions also bring new client relationships, market-leading positions and experts in marine environmental, renewable energies, offshore wind, climate change adaptation planning, and some major federal contracts.
“I am delighted with the significant progress we have made over the last few years; we have always had great ambitions for our group, because we have always believed the environmental sector is a strategic one, even more so in today’s world. We continue to build a great group of experts across the world, to continue supporting our clients and building a truly unique firm” concludes Bouchard.