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Leading Edge Management Consultancy Limited

environment & energy industry overview

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The recession in the UK economy is bringing mixed benefits for those in the environmental and energy sector. While it is clear that wider pressure from end-users is putting pressure on prices charged, the relative buoyancy of the sector remains. The energy market in particular is in the spotlight as questions continue on the role of renewable and nuclear in the UK's energy mix.

Moving to the environmental sector, major capital investment projects such as AMP5 in the water sector will continue to drive forward demand for a variety of technologies and related services. Although those working with industrial and commercial clients are likely to have a rocky ride as investment projects are delayed during 2009, this will only lead to a backlog of work likely in 2010.

Set against this background is the regulatory pull that continues to drive investment and interest in new technologies and services. Much of this will continue to come from the EU. While policy activity towards the environmental and energy sectors may wax and wane, the long term aim of a sustainable future for the community continues. Its expansion in 2004, and more recently in 2007, to '25' has brought considerable opportunities in terms of investment that will probably avoid any impact from the economic downturn.

As for areas of interest, two old favourites continue to be targeted in the environmental sector, namely water and waste. The water sector has recently been strengthened with a new Water Framework Directive. The waste sector has seen a number of more specific pieces of legislation. These include directives on the use of landfill, hazardous waste as well as restrictions on the disposal of consumable products - the WEEE Directive.

How Leading Edge can help

As either a player in this market, or a potential entrant, the above might appear attractive. However, the key question is how does one choose the best route to operate in what is a potentially buoyant market.

The main reason for a company failing is not knowing its market. Even if you decide to continue along an already well trodden path you might suffer difficulties. Market conditions can change as quickly as overnight. Individual customers and customer groups are even more difficult to predict when outside factors such as the actions of competitors as well as personal factors come into play. Large and small businesses can be affected. What were once markets that were easy to understand can soon become difficult to track – even formally.

Reflecting such challenges, Leading Edge's environmental group is seeing a greater proportion of its work looking at ways of minimising risk. These risks can be in a customer’s existing or planned market. Our approach can range from analysing the decision making process through to matching customer expectations with supplier’s perceived understanding of needs.

Even if you believe that you know your own market, we would ask you to think about its dynamics carefully. Often an outsider with the specialist skills we have at our disposal can make the difference.

If you feel that we can work with you in achieving your ambitions, then please contact Chris Hadley on 01189 797800.

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