Royal HaskoningDHV buys UK firm to boost digital flood services

25 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Royal HaskoningDHV has acquired Ambiental to accelerate its growth of flood-related digital services. The UK-based professional services firm is a provider of actionable intelligence from data, which can be used to help protect people, property and capital from flooding and climate change.

In recent years the UK has been routinely stricken by flooding, with former forests and wetlands across the country having become susceptible to flooding, with few measures to soak up ground-water from heavy rainfall. Notably, 2007 floods along the River Don caused major social and economic damage to Lower Don Valley, while elsewhere in the UK, winter floods in 2013/2014 affected thousands, and killed 17. The following winter also saw considerable flooding across the UK from Storm Desmond, Storm Eva and Storm Frank, among other heavy storms, costing the nation billions of pounds in the process.

With a growing number of other incidences spread across the country, professional services firms are increasingly being tapped to help deal with flooding in the future. Founded three years ago, Ambiental Environmental Assessment was created to support the growing UK development industry with its flood risk assessment needs. Since then, it has worked on over 3,000 projects, including supporting the redevelopment of St Paul’s School, Richmond (EIA project), National Rail developments, gas-fed electricity generator compounds, solar farms, and the housing developments of over 400 properties.

Royal HaskoningDHV buys UK firm to boost digital flood services

In 2018 alone, natural disaster events across the world led to economic damage of $225 billion. With demand for flood risk assessment remaining high, Ambiental quickly attracted the attention of larger consultancies for acquisition. As a result, Royal HaskoningDHV has announced a deal to purchase Ambiental. The deal strengthens the Dutch consultancy's position in the insurance market, providing clients with data-driven software and services that complement its extensive engineering and advisory knowledge. The acquisition also enhances the firm’s flood resilience and environmental consultancy profile in the UK.

Ambiental, meanwhile, will considerably enhance its global presence and footprint with the deal. As a result, Ambiental hopes its combined unique data analytics, human resources and engineering expertise will allow it to improve its product offering and associated customer support. It will also mean the firm can further develop and scale its solutions in data products, software and associated services for improved risk pricing, risk selection, accumulation control, actionable intelligence and portfolio modelling.

Commenting on the deal, Royal HaskoningDHV CEO Erik Oostwegel said, “We are excited to welcome the Ambiental team with their high-precision, productised analytics and data solutions. Together we can help our clients to better understand and reduce risks from flooding and other natural hazards using digital services and market-leading intelligence. Ensuring that money spent on flood risk modelling and management delivers the greatest possible impact on communities, corporates and infrastructure.”

Ambiental CEO, Justin Butler, added, “Ambiental is very pleased to be joining Royal HaskoningDHV. We deliver many complementary solutions, and together with Royal HaskoningDHV and their new partners, we will be able to offer even more compelling value propositions, and broader solutions using predictive analytics, data science, machine learning and computational risk modelling to an expanding global customer base.”


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