In April 2021, WSP Global Inc. announced the acquisition of Golder, a global consulting firm with over 60-years of experience in providing earth sciences and environmental consulting services. The addition of Golder increases WSP’s global workforce by 7,000 people and makes it the leading environmental consulting firm in the world with approximately 14,000 of 54,000 professionals now dedicated to accelerating the world’s green transition.
The acquisition will contribute to both strategic growth and value creation for many years to come. Both businesses have long-standing brand reputations in the industry for being underpinned by core principles of focus on technical excellence, innovation, inclusivity and collaboration. The integration of Golder’s industry-leading expertise paired with WSP’s world-class and highly complementary services positions WSP to benefit from the rapidly growing Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) trends driving demand for environmental services, while being the partner of choice to advise clients on achieving their sustainability goals.
Over the past few months, both WSP and Golder’s leadership teams – globally and regionally – have been working together to build the foundation necessary for a complete integration that will see the unified firm unlock the full potential of its increased scale and broader, deeper range of solutions to tackle key environmental and ESG challenges around the world.
Mathieu du Plooy, Managing Director: WSP in Africa says: “We are excited to bring the two teams together and bring the best out of both businesses. This integration reinforces our position as a market leader within the environmental and mining services areas, as our combined skills, expertise and experience working in Africa are complimentary and will ensure that we remain the service provider of choice in the ESG space for our clients operating throughout Africa.”
Through this integration Golder’s Africa staff compliment of 177 will join WSP, boosting the local firm’s ranks to near 530. Additionally, WSP in Africa has aligned its Earth & Environment business, which will be led by Ralph Heath, formerly the Managing Director of Golder Africa. “Forming this business unit enables us to elevate the depth of ESG experience and expertise that resides within the business. This will increase our ability to help our clients transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future, while providing professional development opportunities for our employees and long-term value for our communities, clients and shareholders. For us, environmental consulting is not just another division, it’s at the heart of our Future Ready vision,” says du Plooy.
“In Africa, where there is so much opportunity to leapfrog into more sustainable technology – such as renewable energy – it is crucial that ESG matters remain top of mind as these are adopted,” says du Plooy. “In every developing country, there is always a risk that speed of execution can take precedence over long-term impact, and we have always worked with our clients to remain future focused even as we design in the now. Through this integration we are promoting our combined expertise in environmental and sustainability matters to best advise our clients on how to ensure that their projects are future ready and sustainable.”
Though Golder’s staff compliment bolsters WSP’s capacity to service clients with environmental and sustainability consulting needs, the company also has opportunities available to join its team. “We are actively recruiting to further supplement our expertise in the African business,” du Plooy points out, “offering exciting opportunities for environmental experts and engineers to develop their skills and grow their careers. Through access to impactful projects on the continent, as well as to local and international specialists with whom to share knowledge, we believe we offer the best opportunities to consult in ESG.”