LRQA, an assurance services provider acquired by Goldman Sachs Asset Management in June 2021, yesterday announced its own acquisition of ELEVATE, an industry leader in ESG and supply chain services. LRQA said the move will help “meet the fast-growing global need for transparency and real time assurance around environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.” Together, they will help businesses in 160 countries identify ESG risk and establish a verified framework of standards, not only within their own operations but across their global supply chains.
LRQA expects the partnership to be mutually beneficial. By combining complementary product portfolios and geographic footprints, with the opportunity to advance their digital offering, the group will be in an even better position to serve clients’ needs.
LRQA and ELEVATE will offer an expanded range of data-driven insight, advisory services, analytics and best practice for sustainable supply chain assurance. With in-depth local market expertise, the combination will deliver brand and ESG assurance, cybersecurity, inspection services and training across a wide range of industries including food, retail, electronics, energy, manufacturing, financial services and apparel.
Paul Butcher, Chief Executive of LRQA, said:
“The risk landscape is changing so fast and our clients need a partner that can help them adapt, particularly in ESG. This agreement is a major signal of our determination to meet that need. We are bringing together two highly successful businesses to create something very special in the ESG field — grounded in true expertise, operating at global scale and driven by a shared belief in data to drive change. Businesses are having to rapidly rethink their approach to ESG and I believe this deal will transform the way in which we can help our clients to respond.”
Ian Spaulding, a founding ELEVATE member that will transition to the LRQA executive team, added:
“Working with LRQA supports our progressive, data-driven vision about the critical role of ESG in supply chains. It extends our ESG service ecosystem, connects our world-class solutions in the “S” domain with LRQA’s “E” expertise, and expands our global reach and sector coverage.”
The Goldman Sachs Asset Management team released a statement saying in part,
“The acquisition of ELEVATE enhances the breadth and depth of LRQA’s existing ESG, digital and supply chain quality assurance capabilities, and enables LRQA to better support clients to manage their sustainable growth paths in a changing risk environment.”
The acquisition will be completed some time in 2022 following regulatory approval.
ESG concerns have increased dramatically over the past few years. Environment & Energy Leader’s upcoming 2022 Trends Ehandbook forecasts that mergers and acquisitions activity will continue to grow in the coming year as companies seek to strengthen their ESG performance. A recent survey from professional services network EY Global found that 99% of CEOs factor ESG into their buying strategies, while 6% have walked away from deals in the past year because of ESG-related concerns about the target.