Instead of whispering “plastics” into the ears of graduates as a career tip, well-meaning family friends might soon approach your son or daughter with an unexpected tidbit — “environmental consulting.” But home builders’ kids already know this. Increased entitlement time lines and costs associated with completing required environmental impact reports have long been a growing concern to builders everywhere.
So how well are environmental consulting firms doing in this age of increased regulation? Very well, according to a newly released study of the industry and its profitability by Natick, Mass.-based management consulting firm ZweigWhite. The 2001 survey shows that, as a group, environmental consulting firms posted their third straight year of double-digit profit margins. The median pretax profit was 11.5%.
One key for the results, ZwiegWhite consultant Ian Rusk says, has been environmental firms’ ability to “maintain high chargeability levels.”