William Blair initiated research coverage of three companies that provide consulting services in the sustainability services industry. These include NV5 Global, Inc. (NVEE $95.47), ICF International, Inc. (ICFI $129.24), and Tetra Tech, Inc. (TTEK $154.72).

Analyst Tim Mulrooney published a report on the sustainability services industry in conjunction with the initiations. “As the scarcity of a resource increases, the quality of that resource tends to decline,” Mulrooney said. “This is almost universally true, whether we are talking about harder-to-reach oil, mined ore grades, or potable water. Under these conditions, society will ascribe more value to solutions that can optimize resource utilization. In our report, we highlight several categories of sustainability services business models that improve resource optimization. These include companies that can, in a cost-effective manner, help businesses and consumers increase energy efficiency and resilience, more effectively manage natural resources, and enable higher reuse and monetization of waste streams.”

The companies now under coverage focus on providing consulting services within the sustainability services industry, with Mulrooney remarking that “many of their core service offerings align with the solutions and economic themes we expect to grow in importance over the coming years”. Mulrooney added, “NV5 Global will benefit from an inflection in demand for the company’s core consulting services around geospatial services, utilities services, clean energy services, and mission-critical work primarily centered on data centers. A larger portion of the company’s revenue will come from traditional services that help provide efficient and resilient infrastructure and energy and also from recent targeted service additions such as geospatial and mission-critical work, all of which provide margin-enhancement opportunities.”

Mulrooney continued, “ICF International, over the last several years, has made a purposeful effort to realign its service portfolio around key growth areas including IT modernization, commercial energy, disaster response and mitigation, and climate and infrastructure services, many of which will benefit from sustainability tailwinds. We estimate these key growth areas represent roughly 65% of total revenues today. Given the priority placed in these areas and the secular tailwinds in their underlying markets, we expect these four areas to represent more than 80% of total revenue over the next three to five years.”

Lastly, Mulrooney added, “while it is difficult to group Tetra Tech’s wide service offering into specific categories, we have identified five service areas that we expect will see outsized growth, driven by several different sustainability tailwinds. These include renewable energy, federal digital analytics, digital water, high-performance buildings, and emerging contaminants. Collectively, we estimate these service areas will represent roughly 25% of the company’s 2023 pro forma revenue. Given strong growth in these service areas and their expanding market opportunity sizes, we expect they will represent over 40% of the company’s business over the next three to five years.”

William Blair is the premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management. We provide advisory services, strategies, and solutions to meet our clients’ evolving needs. As an independent and employee-owned firm, together with our strategic partners, we operate in more than 20 offices worldwide.* 

View our research coverage list

*Includes strategic partnerships with Allier Capital, BDA Partners, and Poalim Capital Markets.

William Blair or an affiliate does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. This report is not intended to provide personal investment advice. The opinions and recommendations herein do not take into account individual client circumstances, objectives, or needs and are not intended as recommendations of particular securities, financial instruments, or strategies to particular clients. The recipient of this report must make its own independent decisions regarding any securities or financial instruments mentioned herein.

William Blair or an affiliate is a market maker in the security of NV5 Global, Inc., ICF International, Inc., and Tetra Tech, Inc.

William Blair or an affiliate expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking services from NV5 Global, Inc., ICF International, Inc., and Tetra Tech, Inc., or an affiliate within the next three months.

Officers and employees of William Blair or its affiliates (other than research analysts) may have a financial interest in securities of NV5 Global, Inc., ICF International, Inc., and Tetra Tech, Inc.

Please contact us at +1 800 621 0687 or view disclosures on our coverage list.

Additional information is available upon request.

Current Ratings Distribution (as of 9/13/23)

Coverage Universe
Outperform (Buy): 72%
Market Perform (Hold): 28%
Underperform (Sell): 1%

Inv. Banking Relationships*
Outperform (Buy): 7%
Market Perform (Hold): 2%
Underperform (Sell): 0%

* Percentage of companies in each rating category that are investment banking clients, defined as companies for which William Blair has received compensation for investment banking services within the past 12 months.

The compensation of the research analyst is based on a variety of factors, including the quality and accuracy of research, client feedback, contributions to other firm departments, competitive factors, and firm profitability.


Stock ratings and valuation methodologies: William Blair & Company, L.L.C. uses a three-point system to rate stocks. Individual ratings reflect the expected performance of the stock relative to the broader market (generally the S&P 500, unless otherwise indicated) over the next 12 months. The assessment of expected performance is a function of near-, intermediate-, and long-term company fundamentals, industry outlook, confidence in earnings estimates, valuation (and our valuation methodology), and other factors. Outperform (O) – stock expected to outperform the broader market over the next 12 months; Market Perform (M) – stock expected to perform approximately in line with the broader market over the next 12 months; Underperform (U) – stock expected to underperform the broader market over the next 12 months; not rated (NR) – the stock is not currently rated. The valuation methodologies include (but are not limited to) price-to-earnings multiple (P/E), relative P/E (compared with the relevant market), P/E-to-growth-rate (PEG) ratio, market capitalization/revenue multiple, enterprise value/EBITDA ratio, discounted cash flow, and others. Stock ratings and valuation methodologies should not be used or relied upon as investment advice. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.

The ratings and valuation methodologies reflect the opinion of the individual analyst and are subject to change at any time.

Our salespeople, traders, and other professionals may provide oral or written market commentary, short-term trade ideas, or trading strategies—to our clients, prospective clients, and our trading desks—that are contrary to opinions expressed in this research report. Certain outstanding research reports may contain discussions or investment opinions relating to securities, financial instruments and/or issuers that are no longer current. Always refer to the most recent report on a company or issuer. Our asset management and trading desks may make investment decisions that are inconsistent with recommendations or views expressed in this report. We will from time to time have long or short positions in, act as principal in, and buy or sell the securities referred to in this report. Our research is disseminated primarily electronically, and in some instances in printed form. Research is simultaneously available to all clients. This research report is for our clients only. No part of this material may be copied or duplicated in any form by any means or redistributed without the prior written consent of William Blair & Company, L.L.C.

This is not in any sense an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security or financial instrument. The factual statements herein have been take from sources we believe to be reliable, but such statements are made without any representation as to accuracy or completeness or otherwise, except with respect to any disclosures relative to William Blair or its research analysts. Opinions expressed are our own unless otherwise stated and are subject to change without notice. Prices shown are approximate.

This material is distributed in the United Kingdom and the European Economic Area (EEA) by William Blair International, Ltd., authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). William Blair International, Limited is a limited liability company registered in England and Wales with company number 03619027. This material is only directed and issued to persons regarded as Professional investors or equivalent in their home jurisdiction, or persons falling within articles 19 (5), 38, 47, and 49 of the Financial Services and Markets Act of 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (all such persons being referred to as “relevant persons”). This document must not be acted on or relied on by persons who are not “relevant persons.”

“William Blair” and “R*Docs” are registered trademarks of William Blair & Company, L.L.C. Copyright 2023, William Blair & Company, L.L.C. All rights reserved.