ERM buys Dutch sustainability consulting firm Sustainalize

21 April 2021 2 min. read

Global sustainability services firm has continued its buy-and-build growth strategy with the acquisition of Sustainalize.

The purchase of the Netherlands-headquartered group, which has further offices in Belgium and Germany, comes a week following the bolt-on of UK-based First Option Safety Group. ERM’s aggregate deal count for the past decade now stands at above twenty. 

The addition of Sustainalize adds a 30-strong team to its headcount, and bolsters its offerings across sustainability strategy, ESG Advisory, external reporting and impact measurement. Since founding ten years ago, Sustainalize has delivered projects with over 200 organisations, across sectors including technology, banking and finance, to retail, aviation and government. 

ERM buys Dutch sustainability consulting firm Sustainalize

Sustainalize’s track record spans a wide range of environmental, social and governance areas, including climate change, biodiversity loss, the availability of resources, diversity and equality, human rights and governance. 

“The acquisition of Sustainalize strengthens our sustainability advisory capabilities… [at a time when] focus on ESG risks and opportunities is accelerating,” said Keryn James, the CEO of UK-headquartered ERM. 

According to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group, focus on ESG pays off – with corporates that give more attention to social and environmental facets more likely to reap the financial rewards of their broader sustainability efforts. The drawback – benefits in the sustainability realm are notoriously difficult to achieve.

This is where ERM comes in. With a headcount of 5,500 people across 40 countries, ERM is one of the world’s largest specialist sustainability consultancies. 

For Nick de Ruiter, Co-founder and Partner of Sustainalize, joining the global platform offered an opportunity that couldn’t be turned down. “We will benefit from ERM's extensive network, significant global scale, in-depth knowledge and thought leadership on pressing sustainability challenges. By joining forces, we will be able to accelerate the growth of our proposition, and bring extended services to our clients.” 

As part of the integration, Nick de Ruiter and his fellow co-founder Justus Koek (both are former PwC consultants) will join the ERM partnership.