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Verdantix Forecasts The Global Sustainability Assurance Market Will Reach $160 Million In 2020 Reflecting Annual Growth Of 4%

London. June 29, 2015. The market for sustainability assurance, provided by firms such as Bureau Veritas, Deloitte, DNV, ERM, EY and KPMG, will grow from $133m in 2015 to $160m in 2020, representing an annual growth rate of 4%. This is the key insight from the Verdantix report entitled “Sustainability Assurance: Global Market Forecast 2015-2020” which assessed spending by 5,662 firms with revenues greater than $1 billion in nine of the world’s largest economies. The forecast also reflects responses from interviews with 260 heads of sustainability. “For years the audit profession has hoped that growth in sustainability reporting and increased scrutiny of disclosures would trigger significant spending on assurance” commented Yaowen Ma, author of the report. “To date, these hopes have been dashed by the unwillingness of finance directors to spend lavishly on sustainability assurance. In the absence of compliance requirements, buying will continue to be price sensitive and tactical. There is a long lag time between adoption of frameworks like CDP, GRI and SASB, and spending on assurance of the data, systems and controls behind those disclosures.”

The Verdantix analysis covers spending on six categories: pre-assurance, report assurance, greenhouse gas emissions, supplier responsibility and supply chain data, product assurance and sustainability management systems. Key findings of the report are that:

  • On average, 77% of firms publish a sustainability report and 37% have invested in assurance of sustainability disclosures, processes or systems
  • Median deal sizes for sustainability assurance vary from $15,000 to $175,000 depending on region or industry with a small number of engagements above $500,000
  • Assurance of sustainability reports continues to be the largest category of spend and will represent 56% of the market in 2015 ($74m)
  • Heavy asset sectors account for the biggest spend by industry with energy and mining representing 29% ($38m) and manufacturing 25% ($33m)
  • Due to higher penetration rates and bigger deal sizes, France, Germany and the UK collectively account for more than half of the total market
  • The USA is the largest market with $35m of spend in 2015 compared to just $2m spent in India, $4m in China and $6m in Brazil
  • Growth will be catalyzed by conflict minerals regulations  and the EU directive on non-financial reporting
For more information about Verdantix sustainability research visit www.verdantix.com.