Engineering consulting firm GIBB has acquired environmental solutions consultancy Strategic Environmental Focus (SEF), more than doubling the size of its environmental team.
GIBB environmental services sector GM Dr Urishanie Govender said the move enabled the company to deliver broader environmental solutions, using professional environmentalists, auditors, green design experts and specialists to develop solutions for clients.
The combined firms would create a fully integrated environmental team, with more than 60 environmental practitioners being part of the GIBB group’s 950 staff.
GIBB Group CEO Richard Vries described the move as a great milestone for the entire South African environmental services industry.
“Developing infrastructure alone is not sustainable without rigorous environmental measures and both firms have built their reputation on standards of excellence. Our clients can now look forward to comprehensive solutions delivered by some of the most talented professionals in the country,” he said.
For GIBB, SEF’s established African footprint aligned with the firm’s expansion into Africa. SEF had, to date, completed an extensive range of projects across South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland.
“The time to move on was ideal since environmental legislation was recently passed, allowing environmental-impact assessments to be undertaken as part of large engineering teams, with external peer review,” former SEF CEO Dave Rudolph highlighted.
He added that with the latest change in 2014, authorities have recognised the value-add of professionalism and self-regulation.
“The environment is also no longer something which can be seen as an add-on service and having a clear understanding of environmental constraints at the on-set of a project is critical,” he stated.
The combined offering now included vegetation, hydrology, wetlands, ecological and landscape architectural services.