LRQA and ELEVATE combine to meet rising global ESG demands

By LRQA
To meet the global demands, LRQA and ELEVATE are teaming up to offer ESG transparency and assurance by using digitally-enabled assurance solutions

LRQA and ELEVATE are joining forces to meet the fast-growing need for transparency and assurance around environmental, social and governance standards.  LRQA, a leading global provider of digitally-enabled assurance services including environmental conformity assessments, will acquire ELEVATE, an industry leader in ESG and supply chain services, to create a powerful offer for clients as they navigate an ever-changing risk landscape.

The combination is expected to be mutually beneficial for LRQA and ELEVATE. 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. 

As innovators in their respective market segments, together 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.

Over the last six years, ELEVATE teams have designed and implemented an end-to-end ESG service ecosystem that is built on the strong foundations of on-the-ground assessment, advisory, program management and analytics. This service ecosystem evolves the prevailing one-size-fits-all audit paradigm to one that is designed to reflect the unique needs of a customer’s risk profile and sourcing structure.

LRQA, which became a fully independent business owned by funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management in December 2021, is focused on enhancing its portfolio in key growth areas and capitalising on increasing demand across its markets for assurance, inspection and cybersecurity services.  

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 a global scale and driven by a shared belief in data to drive change.  Businesses are having to rapidly re-think their approach to ESG and I believe this deal will transform the way in which we can help our clients to respond.”

Ian Spaulding, who has led the successful growth of ELEVATE since its inception in 2013 will join the LRQA executive team. Spaulding 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 led by Michael Bruun, Jose Barreto, and Mihir Lal, commented: 

“We are very excited by the combination of LRQA and ELEVATE, two highly complementary businesses with leading reputations in the assurance market for service quality, customer focus and thought leadership. 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. We are delighted to welcome the ELEVATE team, led by Ian Spaulding, to the LRQA family and are excited by the important role the ELEVATE business will play in accelerating LRQA’s growth trajectory in the increasingly important ESG assurance sector.” 

The transaction is expected to complete in 2022, following the receipt of regulatory approvals. 

About LRQA   

LRQA is a leading global assurance provider, bringing together decades of expertise in brand assurance, certification, cybersecurity, inspection and training, to help its clients negotiate a rapidly changing risk landscape.    

Operating in more than 160 countries and recognised by over 30 accreditation bodies worldwide, LRQA covers almost every sector and prides itself on the highest standards of quality and innovation as it helps clients to manage risk across the entire supply chain, drive operational improvements and build credibility with stakeholders.  

About ELEVATE  

ELEVATE is an industry leader in sustainability and supply chain services globally, with more than 17 years of expertise in designing, building and managing data-driven, sustainability linked programs that drive positive impact. ELEVATE’s business-minded perspective and relentless focus on transparency, innovation, sustainability and measurable impact deliver lasting positive change for companies, brands and retailers, suppliers, factories and workers.  

Having built an extensive global portfolio of clients, including corporates with international supply chains, suppliers, investors and banks, industry coalitions, NGOs and governments, and an operating footprint across 100 countries, ELEVATE currently conducts over 20,000 assessments and audits per year, to the highest standards of quality and integrity.

About Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Equity

Bringing together traditional and alternative investments, Goldman Sachs Asset Management provides clients around the world with a dedicated partnership and focus on long-term performance. As the primary investing area within Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), we deliver investment and advisory services for the world’s leading institutions, financial advisors and individuals, drawing from our deeply connected global network and tailored expert insights, across every region and market—overseeing more than US$2tn in assets under supervision worldwide as of December 31, 2021. Driven by a passion for our clients’ performance, we seek to build long-term relationships based on conviction, sustainable outcomes, and shared success over time.  Goldman Sachs Asset Management invests in the full spectrum of alternatives, including private equity, growth equity, private credit, real estate and infrastructure. Established in 1986, the Private Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management has invested over US$75bn since inception. We combine our global network of relationships, our unique insight across markets, industries and regions, and the worldwide resources of Goldman Sachs to build businesses and accelerate value creation across our portfolios.  Follow us on LinkedIn. Further information on Goldman Sachs Asset Management can be found on its website.  

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