Celebrating 10 years of Ricardo’s Energy and Environment practice

Ricardo is a global strategic, environmental, and engineering consulting company. Every day, we enable our customers to solve the most complex and dynamic challenges to help achieve a safe and sustainable world. Our Energy and Environment team is at the forefront of supporting global customers as they seek to address the impacts of climate change, improve air quality, transition to clean energy or decarbonise their operations. On 8 November 2022, it’s the tenth anniversary of Ricardo acquiring the Energy and Environment business, and here we celebrate some of the key highlights and achievements of the past decade and look ahead to the future.

Ricardo’s Energy and Environment team works with customers across a wide variety of sectors and geographies to help address their major environmental challenges, which are ever closer related to their strategic imperatives. We have a broad range of environmental skills, covering everything from air quality and climate through to waste, water and chemicals, plus a strong energy and carbon capability to support the energy transition. Added to these skills, we have excellent data, digital and economics capabilities to assist our customers in evaluating data, turning complex information into meaningful policy advice and then support implementation of projects. We support our clients across the value chain from evidence gathering, modelling and evaluation, through to formulation of policies and strategies and on to supporting implementation of projects.

In November 2012, Ricardo plc acquired what was then AEA Technology Plc. The acquisition was focused on enabling Ricardo’s further diversification into new sectors such as air and environmental quality, resource efficiency and waste management, and chemical risk management, and ultimately providing a unique market offering which combined both policy and strategy know-how with expertise in technology solutions, engineering and implementation.

Over the course of the last decade, Ricardo’s Energy and Environment team has grown from 393 employees based solely in the UK to over 800 – and counting – based around the globe. Of the original 393, just under half are still happily employed at Ricardo and that includes six of the seven members of the business unit’s Senior Leadership team. Indeed, the Director for Environment and Policy started his career with the business as an apprentice engineer.

Tim Curtis, Managing Director, Energy and Environment said: “Our success over the last decade has only been achieved because of our amazing, talented and committed people. People are at the core of our business and we want all to find a career pathway within Ricardo that plays to their strengths but also stretches and develops their skills. We are proud to have an active apprenticeship programme, a Learning and Development approach which focuses on people-centred learning and a strong leadership development programme. We have also invested in championing diversity which is key to making us future-fit and an employer of choice.”

The Energy and Environment team has also grown geographically, expanding into half a dozen European countries, Australia and the Middle East. Additionally, the strategic acquisitions of four other environmental consultancies have enabled the Ricardo Group to explore new markets, extend its value chain, providing more skillsets complementing our consultancy capabilities.

The breadth of work that the team has delivered over the years is spectacular and it is almost impossible to choose a few highlights to share. However, just a few things to reflect on:

  • The Energy and Environment team has become a trusted strategic sustainability partner for global multi-national corporations such as Ferrexpo and IMI plc, helping organisations decarbonise, understand the impacts of climate change on their operations, or reduce their impact on the environments by cutting energy demand, water use, pollution and waste
  • We are informing national climate policies and helping to meet global decarbonisation ambitions, such as delivering Bermuda’s first Integrated Resource Plan which will enable the right energy mix – including renewable energy and clean energy solutions, to best meet consumer, and climate-focused needs, over the next 20 years
  • In the UK, we have been leading the Climate Services N0W project over the last year, bringing together a consortium of world-renowned expert institutions to provide support to the UK Government, providing climate science support for international reporting, analysing climate impacts at different spatial and temporal scales and assessing co-benefits of climate action
  • Ricardo has the longest-established specialist air quality team in the world and, with over 130 experts, one of the largest. The team’s world-leading expertise in air quality modelling and management is helping to improve urban air quality and mitigate the effects of rapid urbanisation globally (including the Middle East, East Asia and Latin America)
  • Our team delivered a major European report on the lifecycle impacts of 65 different European light and heavy-duty road vehicles on behalf of the European Commission: in what is believed to be the broadest and most comprehensive study of its kind to date. This report has been quoted many times and has led to multiple enquiries to us
  • The Ricardo team has helped to investigate and understand the challenges around the future strategic water resources for the UK as the trusted partner of Many of the UK’s water companies
  • Our experts in Melbourne have provided a portfolio of services to large environmental infrastructure owner operators, ranging from waste hub masterplans, to quarry approvals and landfill construction supervision
  • The Inside Infrastructure team, our most recent acquisition, has delivered over 150 water related projects for the resources sector in the fields of stewardship and compliance and Strategic planning, from developing context-based water targets across multiple commodities planning and strategy development form mine to product

Strategically, over the decade, the impact of the work of the Energy and Environment team has been substantial. Tim Curtis said: “Ricardo’s purpose and mission has evolved significantly over the last ten years to be what it is today, with the aim to create a safe and sustainable world. In turn Ricardo has developed into a global strategic, environmental and engineering consulting company at the intersection of the mobility, energy and environmental agendas, solving the most complex issues for our clients.”

“Ricardo also puts sustainability at the heart of its own operations, and we have been working together to quantify our supply chain emissions and to embed sustainable procurement across all of our activities. Our teams have worked together to raise the profile of reporting across the business allowing Ricardo to take significant steps in setting net zero and science based targets (SBTi) for emissions reduction.”

What does the future hold? Tim Curtis said: “I am very proud of what we have achieved for our customers over the past ten years and I would like to thank all of the Energy and Environment team them for their passion, expertise, creativity, innovation and dedication. From sustainability and energy decarbonisation to managing scarce resources and air quality, we will continue to support our global customers drawn from governments, the public and private sector, in solving their most complex challenges, while having an ever more meaningful positive impact on the environment around the world.”

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