Ramboll is a leading engineering, design and consultancy firm with 12,300 professionals across 35 countries and an annual turnover in excess of US$1.2 billion. The company serves a global client base across the markets of Buildings, Transport, Planning & Urban Design, Environment & Health, Water, Energy, Oil & Gas and Management Consulting.
During Ramboll’s strategic review process in 2012, the US was identified at an early stage as a high-growth market that values high-quality and sustainability services. This culminated in the acquisition of environmental and health science consultancy ENVIRON in late 2014. Ramboll’s biggest investment to date, this acquisition represents one of the most significant investments in the US by a Danish company in recent years. The US is now Ramboll’s fourth largest geographical market and 1000 specialists are based in the region.
Ramboll has identified a number of strategic focus areas in the US market. With ENVIRON’s substantial technical and scientific consulting competencies, Ramboll has not only been propelled into the top 10 environmental consultancies globally, but is also a leader in environmental and health sciences consulting services in the US market. Further strengthening this position will therefore be Ramboll’s top priority, particularly as the US$190.5 billion environmental services industry continues to grow rapidly and accounts for nearly 40% of global demand
The field of sustainable energy also presents new opportunities with capacity for renewables in the US expected to grow by 2.7% per year up to 2035 and energy efficiency increasingly coming into focus. Ramboll hopes to build on the high-profile appointments already made as lead consultant for Cape Wind, the first offshore wind project in the US, and as lead designer for a district heating and cooling system in downtown Bridgeport that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13,000 tons a year.
While the US is moving towards sustainable energy sources, oil and gas together account for 62% of all energy consumption and are therefore essential to maintaining reliable supplies. At the same time, the US continues to produce more crude oil and natural gas than any other country in the world. Here Ramboll will be able to support responsible and efficient oil and gas production. In 2013 the company acquired Houston-based Excel Engineering as a first step in developing its position in the US market.
Ramboll has also identified a strong trend among US cities to become more sustainable. Cities across broad geographies all face challenges presented by urbanization, such as waste and water management, air quality issues and congestion. Cities including San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, Portland and Austin have introduced ambitious measures to reduce emissions and utilize resources more efficiently over the last decade.
Ramboll recognizes a need to complement these sustainability ambitions with a focus on urban livability – improving quality of life by creating safe, clean, and climate resilient cityscapes that attract residents, businesses, and tourism – thereby driving economic growth.
Mette Søs Lassesen, Group Director for Ramboll in the US explains, “Creating livability requires a holistic approach that puts people first and considers the societal, economic, physical and environmental aspects of a city rather than treating them in isolation. This enables cities to maximize value on their investments, for instance, by creating ‘blue green‘ recreational areas when addressing storm water climate adaptation.”
Bringing together strategy, planning and technical design expertise, Ramboll has already been working on high-profile urban livability projects in the US. This includes a design concept for sustainable energy, water management and waste management to transform the 600-acre Chicago Lakeside city district into a model community based on 21st-century infrastructure and technologies. The concept will reduce the use of fossil energy by 90%, potable water by 60% and landfill to 1% with 90% of storm water infiltrated and directed to Lake Michigan.
Ramboll Group CEO, Jens-Peter Saul concludes, “With ENVIRON’s strong presence and reputation in North America, it will be possible to add Ramboll’s multidisciplinary services over time. Starting with adjacent services like energy, oil and gas and then moving into other areas, we will build a mixed portfolio at the locations already established by ENVIRON. The synergy between the two companies is already being realized on new and ongoing projects.”