Update on strategic progress in Sustainability

07 March 2022

Designing and delivering ESG strategies; driven by increasing global demand

RPS, a leading multi-sector global professional services firm, is pleased to provide an update on the strategic progress that has been achieved in recent months in relation to one of the Group’s core thematics, Sustainability.  This is the final in a series of announcements, the other two being Natural Resources (released on 15 July 2021) and Urbanisation (released on 14 October 2021).

Natural Resources, Urbanisation and Sustainability are the key market drivers that underpin demand for RPS’ services and skills.  As demand for sustainable operations becomes increasingly critical for both public and private sector clients across the globe, these key areas continue to benefit from investment.

RPS is supporting clients around the world to meet their sustainability ambitions, from working with clients in North America to set their strategic direction for Environmental, Social and Governance (‘ESG’) planning, to supporting clients in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in the UK and Ireland.  At the same time, the Group continues to apply its specialist expertise to drive RPS’ own ESG and sustainability ambitions.


Developing and executing clients’ ESG strategies in North America

In RPS’ North American segment, work with Private Equity firms has expanded to include ESG as a standard scope for due diligence transactions, alongside building ESG frameworks into asset management throughout the holding period.  This new lifecycle work involves ESG key performance indicators, policy development, policy implementation, and greenhouse gas reporting for Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

In 2021, RPS entered a scope of work with the Riverside Capital Appreciation Fund (‘RCAF’), a North American focused buyout strategy that is part of The Riverside Company (‘Riverside’).  The project entailed completing a portfolio-wide assessment of environmental, social, and governance related factors:

  • RPS has been engaged to work with Riverside to implement an ESG strategy that consists of setting KPIs for the most recent and subsequent vintages of RCAF.  RPS will provide portfolio level KPIs, and industry specific ESG guidance.
  • Furthermore, RPS has completed an ESG assessment on nine of RCAF’s US-based portfolio companies and gathered data on the developed portfolio level / industry specific KPIs.
  • In some cases, RPS has been and will be engaged further to conduct a full ESG assessment to identify potential company specific ESG KPIs to be tracked by the portfolio company moving forward.


Supporting clients’ Net Zero Carbon (‘NZC’) commitments in the UK

RPS has seen increased interest in NZC and carbon neutrality requests, as more corporations are required to put detailed plans in place to achieve their goals.  Examples of the work done with clients to date include Shaftesbury PLC, a client RPS has been working with since 2002.  In that time RPS has assisted in developing and implementing its sustainability strategy.

Shaftesbury is a Real Estate Investment Trust which invests exclusively in the heart of London's West End, with a portfolio of around 600 buildings clustered in high profile locations, which together make a significant contribution to the heritage of this historic part of London.

  • In 2021 RPS supported Shaftesbury to develop its NZC commitment, launched in November 2021, which outlines Shaftesbury’s commitment to NZC by 2030.  A copy of the presentation can be found here.
  • The relationship is ongoing and RPS is now supporting Shaftesbury in the development of a target embodied carbon benchmark for its refurbishment projects.  Further information on RPS’ previous work with Shaftesbury can be found here.

Accelerating RPS’ ESG credentials and ambitions

RPS was pleased to appoint Matt Farnsworth as Global Director of ESG and Sustainability in September 2021. Since his appointment, the Group has made significant headway in progressing its own ESG ambitions.

  • In late 2021, the Group joined the UN Race to Zero and Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaigns; set out its Net Zero pathway; readied the Group for disclosing its credentials on large government frameworks (PPN/06-21); raised RPS’ CDP score up to B- and set Science Based Targets (‘SBTs’) for its action on climate change.
  • In early 2022, RPS’ SBTs were officially approved as ambitious and verified by the Science Based Targets initiative.

A further update regarding ESG and Sustainability will be provided at RPS’ next scheduled update, the publication of the Group’s FY-2021 Results on Wednesday, 16 March 2022.

For further information:

John Douglas, Chief Executive Tel: +44 (0) 1235 863 206
Judith Cottrell, Group Finance Director www.rpsgroup.com


Media enquiries:

Henry Harrison-Topham / Chris Lane / Tilly Abraham Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
[email protected] www.buchanan.uk.com



Notes to Editors

Founded in 1970 and built on a legacy of environmental and social engagement, RPS is a diversified global professional services firm of over 5,000 consultants, designers, planners, engineers, and technical specialists.

As an established technology enabled consultancy, RPS provides specialist services to government and private sector clients.

RPS is focused on natural resources, urbanisation, and sustainability - creating shared value for all stakeholders. Solving problems that matter to a complex, urbanising, resource–scarce world.

Listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE: RPS), RPS is classified within the Professional Business Support Services subsector.

For further information, please visit www.rpsgroup.com