DuPont Sustainable Solutions Acquires Sofies Group To Solidify Its Commitment To ESG & Sustainability Services
On October 6th, DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS) announced its acquisition of Sofies Group, a small sustainability consulting firm located in Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland, London, England and Bangalore, India. The acquisition is not DSS’s first of the year; the July acquisition of KKS Advisors is expanding DSS’s ability to support clients’ investment decisions, strategy development, execution, and reporting related to ESG and sustainability. As we’ve noted in earlier Verdantix research, DSS has been diversifying its services and scores highly in brand perception as an EHS services provider in our Verdantix EHS survey.
What makes the acquisition of Sofies notable is the fact that DSS has now crossed the 1,000-employee mark and raised its profile in a growing market of ESG and sustainability service providers. Sofies’ services include capabilities related to energy transitions, materiality assessments, recycling and waste management, energy and resource assessments, and sustainable development. DSS’ CEO also called out the value Sofies brings is not just in its subject matter expertise in sustainability, but also in understanding the industry its clients operate within, eg clients’ costs, customers, and competitors.
As we look more closely at this market, we’re finding that the competitors include a wide variety of participants, from the strategy specialists, like Bain, BCG, and McKinsey; to companies who are also known for their work providing operational improvements, audits, and assurance like Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC; other large service providers, like Accenture, Infosys, and Wipro, offering a wide variety of services; to companies often known for their environmental engineering capabilities, like AECOM, Arcadis, ERM, Jacobs, and WSP Golder.
Even though competitors are varied, we’re increasingly seeing evidence that ESG & sustainability projects require a combination of strategy and execution and often a relationship with executives at the highest level in their customers’ firms. The challenge of meeting rapidly evolving ESG and sustainability requirements should not be underestimated.
For many companies, it won’t just require incremental change and compliance, but entirely new thinking in how they operate and go to market. And if that isn’t enough of a challenge, consider the fact that much of the change required should be happening now, not in ten years. Finally, we agree with DSS’s CEO - projects are more likely to be successful when they combine business and sustainability objectives and improvements. Expect to see more companies look for a trusted partner in ESG and sustainability services to achieve the transition required.