ERM Contributes To Growing Activity Within The Digital EHS And ESG Regulatory Content Space Through The Acquisition Of Libryo

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ERM Contributes To Growing Activity Within The Digital EHS And ESG Regulatory Content Space Through The Acquisition Of Libryo

On 7th December 2022 ERM, a global consulting firm specializing in EHS, ESG and sustainability services, has acquired Libryo, a cloud-based EHS and ESG regulatory intelligence platform. The deal is a decisive move by ERM to upgrade its content offering and enhance its support for clients in navigating an increasingly complex regulatory landscape. Headquartered in London, Libryo’s compliance platform supports organizations in understanding applicable obligations, demonstrating compliance and accessing EHS and ESG regulations. One of the firm’s differentiators is its AI-driven approach to compliance, which standardizes legislation using a combination of scraping and natural language processing (NLP). Crucially, Libryo delivers granular regulatory data through country, regional and city-level regulatory filters, providing ERM with access to localized data that can be applied to globally distributed clients.

For ERM, this deal complements its astute focus on technology and furthers its growing list of AI- and ESG-aligned acquisitions over the past two years. For instance, it has developed ESG Fusion, an AI-enabled ESG rating platform, and CRISP, its Climate Risk, Impacts and Solutions Platform. Through Libryo, ERM has access to an in-house software tool with a breadth of up-to-date regulatory content, further strengthening its implementation, and environmental and sustainability management offering (which has contributed to the firm being positioned as a leader in the Verdantix Digital EHS Technology Implementation Services Green Quadrant).

Adopting a broader market view, the acquisition of Libryo rounds out what has been a highly active year in the EHS regulatory content market; Enhesa acquired ToxPlanet in June and, in a move that transformed the competitive landscape, RegScan in July 2022. Moreover, Libryo received investment in May 2021; and 3E was acquired for $950 million in January 2022. There have also been examples of EHS software firms acquiring their own regulatory content specialists. Consider Ideagen’s acquisition of CompliSpace for £58 million ($66 million) in November. Why has there been so much movement? Firstly, the global pandemic accelerated the digitization of regulatory workflows in an area that has traditionally been highly manually intensive. Secondly, it is clear that maintaining compliance within an evolving and complex regulatory landscape is a top challenge facing firms. The volume of regulation is on the up, making smart digital solutions a necessary tool to aggregate law, understand obligations, keep up-to-date with regulatory change and ensure compliance. For example, Enhesa research found that 2021 saw more than 6,000 regulatory developments related to chemical management alone. Thirdly, just as the EHS software market is evolving to meet the operational ESG needs of medium- to very-high-risk industries, regulatory content providers are also expanding into ESG and sustainability to fulfil client demand.

The combination of enhancing its compliance services offering and rampant interest in the digital compliance content space means ERM’s acquisition is a logical step for the firm. It is yet to be seen whether other EHS and ESG services firms will follow suit. For more insights on EHS regulatory content and adjacent EHS software and services markets, check out the latest Verdantix research.

Industry Analyst

Chris is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix EHS practice. His current research agenda focuses on digital mental health and wellbeing solutions. Chris joined Verdantix in 2020 and has previous experience at EY, where he specialised in robotic process automation (RPA). He holds an M.Eng. in Engineering Science from Oxford University with a concentration in machine learning and machine vision.