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ERM Announces Acquisition of SustainAbility Ltd

The second in a series of acquisitions by ERM aimed at building the world’s leading sustainability advisory services

ERM (Environmental Resources Management) — a global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk and social consulting services — announced this week it has completed the acquisition of SustainAbility Ltd (SA) — a leading think tank and advisory firm that inspires business to lead the way to a sustainable economy, with offices in London (UK), New York and the San Francisco Bay Area (USA).

Founded in 1987, SustainAbility, a certified B Corporation, has helped define and evolve the sustainable development agenda and the role of business within it. Throughout its history, it has worked with business and stakeholders to enable a more just and sustainable economy. It offers consulting services to help clients make better decisions through integrating sustainability into their business, and by creating innovative solutions. SA’s Think Tank is an independent, agenda-shaping research and advocacy capability that enables companies to transform how they think and do business, by identifying critical trends, providing actionable insights and building new ideas and strategies. Like ERM, SA works with some of the world’s leading organizations, such as Brown-Forman, Interface, Nestlé, Nike, Novartis, RBS and Shell.

ERM — which combines deep technical expertise with a solid understanding of the commercial imperatives of business and the societal demands impacting the world’s leading organizations — is building the world’s leading capability in sustainability advisory services; SustainAbility is the second in a series of acquisitions to bolster its presence in this market. As the market shifts focus from establishing why sustainability is important to developing a comprehensive understanding of how to ‘operationalize’ sustainability, ERM says SA’s insights and future-focused thinking, coupled with ERM’s global implementation capability and access to 5,000+ subject matter experts, will provide a leading service to clients and global organizations.

“The acquisition of SustainAbility Ltd further strengthens ERM’s standing in sustainability advisory services, in the UK and the US,” explains Keryn James, Chief Executive of ERM Group. “Its reputation and capability build our existing thought leadership approach, and we will look to leverage the two firms’ strong alignment around clients, sectors and services to enhance our approach to the market. The excellent alignment of both businesses will create a unique capability and service offering which can materially add value to our clients’ business.”

Rob Cameron, SustainAbility Ltd Chief Executive, and Executive Director Mark Lee both expressed excitement for the opportunities to extend the firm’s growth and thought leadership with the backing of ERM.

In an email announcing the acquisition, Cameron and Lee said, “ERM’s tagline, ‘The business of sustainability,’ reflects its ambition to be the leader in sustainability consulting and chimes well with SustainAbility’s mission to ‘inspire and enable business to lead the way to a sustainable economy.’ For this reason and more, we see huge potential in combining SustainAbility’s thought leadership with ERM's deep technical knowledge and greater geographical reach. We hope this will be a catalyst in terms of our impact on the sustainable development agenda, especially at this moment when realizing faster progress and attaining greater scale is so critical.”