Companies in this industry provide advice and assistance to businesses and other organizations on environmental issues. Major US-based companies include Veolia Environmental Services North America and Tetra Tech, as well as the environmental and consulting divisions of large engineering and construction firms such as AECOM, Bechtel, and CH2M HILL. Other major companies include Wood Group (based in the UK), Arcadis (the Netherlands), Environmental Resources Management (the UK), and Golder Associates (Canada).
Demand is driven by the needs of businesses and government agencies to comply with new, existing or anticipated environmental laws and regulations. The profitability of an individual company depends on its ability to accurately predict project costs and to secure contracts with large organizations such as the US government. Large firms have the advantage of providing a wide range of environmental expertise and can thus offer "one-stop shopping" for clients. Small firms are able to compete by specializing in regional markets or particular areas of expertise. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest firms account for about 30% of industry revenue.
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Major environmental consulting services include environmental assessment (determining the environmental condition of a particular site), site remediation (cleaning up polluted areas), natural resource management (strategies for managing a particular environment), environmental auditing (determining an organization's environmental impact), waste management, and environmental policy development. Of the major sources of consulting-specific revenue worldwide, contaminated land services account for 33%; water and waste...