Edge Environment adds creative flair to its mix with Goodness deal

05 July 2022 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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After working together for around two years, sustainability consultancy Edge Environment and impact agency Goodness are taking their cooperation to the next level – with Goodness now becoming a full subsidiary of Edge Environment.

The acquisition sees a Sydney-based creative team of around five professionals (according to LinkedIn) join Edge Environment’s team in Australia, lifting its headcount to roughly 90.

“We are delighted to welcome Goodness. The addition of a dedicated creative team cements Edge Environment’s position as Australia’s largest fully integrated end-to-end sustainability consultancy,” said Jonas Bengtsson, the chief executive officer of Edge Environment.

Jordan Stokes and Ashleigh Gay

Founded in 2008, Edge Environment helps clients with capabilities including ESG and sustainability strategy, carbon and climate resilience, sustainable and ethical procurement, sustainability leadership and transformation, circular economy and lifecycle thinking. The firm operates with three offices in Australia, one in New Zealand, and two further away, in Chile and the United States.

While Edge Environment has a solid base in advisory, analytical rigour and domain expertise, working with strategists, consultants and technical experts, the consulting firm up until now did not have an in-house creative team. This is where the deal with Goodness comes in.

By adding creative work to its “scientifically robust science, strategy, and storytelling capabilities”, Edge Environment will be able to improve the way it helps clients “bring sustainability to life through all aspects of a brand experience, from brand creation, engagement and activations through to digital, campaigns and reporting,” explained Ashleigh Gay, Head of Sustainability Leadership at Edge Environment.

During their two-year partnership, the complementary tie-up of offerings landed well with clients, in particular at organisations that are seeking to “take their sustainability purpose to customers, embed sustainability among employees and suppliers” and those that are aiming to “mitigate greenwashing”, said Gay.

“Creative plays a key role in the sustainability transition of organisations. Science-backed creativity is what our clients from marketing, communications and sustainability are looking for,” she added.

Meanwhile, for Goodness, the deal sees the boutique close a nine-year chapter of operating independently. The firm’s next chapter, however, is set to be even more exciting, claimed company founder Jordan Stokes. “Our team has always believed in the power of creativity to make a positive impact. Edge Environment fits our belief. We see an opportunity to offer the market something truly unique that will help make unsustainable unthinkable.”

M&A in sustainability consulting

With demand for sustainability consultancy services booming, M&A activity in the segment is at a high. Notable buyers include Deloitte (which closed two APAC deals in the first quarter of 2022), McKinsey (which purchased three sustainability firms in 2021) and Accenture (which is arguably the most prolific buyer in any consulting segment).

Meanwhile, in Australia, Melbourne-based Point Advisory in March was acquired by ERM, the world’s largest pure-play sustainability consultancy.