Accenture adds sustainability specialist Avieco

The crossover between digital transformation and decarbonization continues at pace, with Accenture set to acquire UK-based specialist sustainability consulting firm Avieco.

The target company has a team of 60 professionals with experience in environmental, social, governance (ESG) measurement and reporting, net-zero strategy and regulation, and real-time data analytics. Avieco will be integrated into Accenture’s Sustainability Services division.

It is Accenture’s second recent swoop in the sustainability space in Europe, following its purchase of Netherlands-based Zestgroup in December 2021. That deal brought 120 employees specializing in energy transitions, net carbon-zero projects, and renewables procurement.

Accenture is not the only IT services provider that has crossed into the sustainability consulting space with an acquisition. Atos added 150 experts in carbon reduction strategy with the purchase of EcoAct in July 2020, and the trend is also playing out in the opposite direction. ERM, one of the world’s largest sustainability consulting firms with 5,500 employees, recently acquired UK-based OPEX Group, a data analytics software vendor focused on emissions management. (add link: )

PAC has launched a new research practice in 2022 that will look at dynamics in the CSR space. We will be exploring exactly how quickly European organizations are moving to deliver on their promises to achieve net-zero status. The research will build on a study we undertook with NTT Data last year aimed at understanding the starting point and investment plans for businesses on decarbonization in the wake of the COP26 climate event.

While geopolitical and inflationary issues are top of mind for most boardrooms as we move into the second quarter of the year, PAC continues to track a growing stream of IT services deals where reducing carbon emissions is a key component. In terms of investment, our view is that financial services and manufacturing businesses are the most active, with the former looking for external help in processing and understanding the emissions data of businesses in their investment portfolios.

As the latest Accenture deal shows, the supplier community clearly senses a growing opportunity. We recently ran a study of professional services firms in Europe (including IT services vendors as well as management consultancies), and 85% of senior executives said that they saw decarbonization as a potential revenue opportunity for their organization. This is an area where software and IT services firms should look to grow their capability and messaging in the coming months or run risk of falling behind the early movers.

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